Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. NKJV
In all sincerity – I think if there was a top 10 most popular Bible verse list – this would make the cut.
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this verse. I even bought a decorative faux wood standing plaque for my house and had it for YEARS before it dawned on me – it said ALL.
Why one little word would make that much of a difference to me is obvious in hindsight. It’s like it jumped off the plaque one day as I was dusting it and around it. Why hadn’t I noticed it before?
You may have already figured that out, but it was like a lightning bolt for me. Was I trusting the LORD with all of anything? All my heart? Some of it – yes of course. But all?
What about acknowledging Him in all my ways? Were there some ways left up to just me?
This may be one of those verses I need to visit daily, not just every once in a while. Some seasons of life you may be saying yes – you do this -with all and in all. Some seasons, not so much.
While doing some research for the podcast I stumbled upon the Hebrew for the word acknowledge. Some of my favorite definitions: recognition, advise, be aware, let know, make self-known, declare.
Are we doing this with our ALL? Recognizing God in all, making Him aware of all, making ourselves known in all regards?
Commentary from Baker Illustrated says it nicely, “Verses 5-6 encourage complete reliance on God and His revealed will – rather than on oneself – in all decisions and actions. As a result, God will help one to head straight for the goal and avoid unnecessary detours.” (p.544)
That makes a lot of sense doesn’t it? Maybe, just maybe if we recognized God in every decision we made we would just see our decisions leading us on the right paths – instead of oh, I don’t know, going the wrong way and making poor decisions just to have to reroute later.
The other glaring note from this verse says, “And lean not on your own understanding.”
Isn’t that super hard to follow, too? What if everything in us says one thing but God leads another?
Personally, I like to make a lot of decisions based on what makes sense to me. I try to understand the world with the poorly phrased set of words that is common sense. It is legit not that common!
God is too big to just go by our own understanding anyway. This leaves us in the trust tree where we need to stay. Many things don’t get revealed to us until the time is just right so it doesn’t make good sense for us to trust in our own senses anyway. Not to mention that whole conversation from the other week about emotions and feelings leading us way off course.
This verse formula could read:
WITH GOD TRUST WITH ALL + DON’T TRUST YOUR UNDERSTANDING + ACKNOWLEDGE GOD IN ALL = STRAIGHT PATHS