A familiar verse revisited and applied

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Proverbs 3:5–6 (ESV)

    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 make straight your paths.


There are a few verses that are well known in the Bible, this is one of them. The problem with well known verses is that they are often thrown at a situation with a “you are supposed to know this” attitude and everyone in the room is supposed to bow down to that verse. One such verse is Romans 8:28. We know and love the truth that God is supposed to work all things out for good, but at the moment of a great trial, throwing Romans 8:28 into the room is less than helpful. Proverbs 3:5-6 is in the same category. Now, don’t get me wrong here, the problem is not that we know these verses too well but that we do not know them well enough.

What does it mean to trust in the Lord with all of your heart? What does it mean to not lean on your own understanding? What does it mean to acknowledge the Lord God in all your ways? We like to think of the Lord directing our path, or as the ESV puts it, to make straight our path, but how often does the Christian and the Christian church give God full trust, not look to man’s wisdom, and fully seek His guidance? Yes, God has given us minds that we are supposed to use but here we are directly commanded not to use human understanding first.

When it comes to trusting the Lord with our lives and not giving our own logic the first right in decision making, this verse is a relic, something on a shelf of our lives. In the book of Acts, when the church was seeking the mind of God, they would often fast and pray together. They would talk about what to do but would collectively seek the mind of God. When they believed they knew what God wanted they put aside their human logic from their own backgrounds and accepted the mind of God. Their commitment to being directed in all their ways by the Lord dictated how they got there.

I have to tell you this, when you commit to trusting the Lord regarding your life’s decisions, when you stop looking to human logic and experience first, when you actively acknowledge the mind of God in your decisions, others, even other Christians, will tell you that you are making a big mistake, maybe even the biggest mistake of your life. But, when you have the mind of God on something, you are best off to put aside all of that human logic stuff, trust in the Lord, and do what He has placed before you to do.

When a Christian or a Christian church finds themselves in a bad place the first thing to do might be to come back to Proverbs 3:5-6 together, surrender their human thoughts of how it should work to the Lord, seek Him in a new way, maybe even in prayer and fasting, and trusting in His leading according to His word do what He leads them to do. It might seem counterintuitive but in the end you will see your path directed, made straight, and even make sense.


Tonight is our second small group in our apartment. You are welcome to join us. I will be introducing a book that we will be studying called, “Living the Christ-Centered Life.” This book applies the gospel of salvation to every part of our lives and draws our attention to how the Cross of Christ needs to be and can be the center of all that we do. If you are unable to attend with us at 7:00, please pray for God to use this time to strengthen those who can come.

Be in prayer for Sunday. Pray for your pastor, those involved in teaching, singing, playing music, ushering, and serving the church. Pray for God to use this Sunday as a time of great spiritual encouragement and growth in the lives of those who come to church with you.

Have a great day in the Lord,



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