If there is one thing that someone who loves Jesus wants to know, it is how to figure out what God wants for his or her life. I was praying about something the other day and reflecting on two verses of Scripture I learned when I was in 3rd grade. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Note that there are 3 steps here with a promise. Let’s break this down a little bit.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” The first step to receiving the Lord’s direction is trust. We have heard this illustration many times, but it’s amazing how most all of us trust that a chair will hold us up when we sit down, and we do not give it a second thought. We fully rely in the ability of the chair to hold us. However, the Lord of the universe has so much more ability than a chair yet we are slower to trust Him with our life. God is calling out to us, “I hold the whole world together, so why can’t you trust me to hold your world together?” Your first step to receiving God’s direction is complete and total trust in the Lord.
“Do not lean on your own understanding.” Why do we try to help God out? I pray about something and then do 100 things to figure out life by myself. God is reminding me that it is not up to me to figure it out. He takes me back to the principle of trusting Him first. If I trust Him fully, I should not lean on my own understanding. I should let “Jesus take the wheel” and relinquish my will to His. It’s a control issue. I want control of my situation. God wants control of my situation. He is the greater power!
“In all your ways acknowledge Him.” Do you see the climactic nature of this verse? Rather than try to figure out life for myself, I should pray and seek the Lord’s direction in ALL my ways. I heard a pastor preach several years ago and give advice about asking God to show them basic things like which toothpaste to use, which way to turn at a stoplight, etc. He then asked the question, “If you don’t know what God wants with these basic things in life, how are you going to be able to know what God wants you to say when a young couple who lost a child comes to you for counsel?” Those seem like silly things to pray about, but the pastor had a point.
When we do these things, He promises to direct our paths. We tend to complicate life while God gives us a clear road map called the Bible which gives us principles to help us. Do you want direction? God laid out the principles. Now the ball is in our court. Obey or keep wondering.