These past few months have been among the most tumultuous times in recent memory. Amid a pandemic and societal strain, we all have been searching our hearts for right and redemptive responses. Let’s return to one of the favorite verses in all the Bible:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 CSB)
I. A devotion of the heart
If you want God’s direction in your life, it begins with your personal trust. The Bible calls this faith (Heb. 11:6). This test is not to be half-hearted or anemic but an all-encompassing trust, believing that God not only has the answer, but He is the answe
Over 100 times in Proverbs we read about the heart. The heart is the epicenter of where all decisions are made. It’s our mind, will, and emotions. Its where we determine our plans, our pursuits, and our priorities. (Prov. 4:23)
A guarded heart is a guided heart. Guarded from anything and everything that is contrary to God’s will and God’s way. (1 Thess. 4:3) A guarded heart says no to all the immoral temptations you face and responds with the resounding prayer of the psalmist. (Ps. 139:23,24)
God has little patience with chronic doubts and indifference (James 1: 6-8). The letter to the church at Laodicea in Revelation addresses the issue of lukewarmness and spiritual indifference — and it makes Him sick. His call was to repent and return to Him with a fresh passion and a wholehearted commitment. (Rev. 3:20) A halfhearted commitment is never acceptable in any significant relationship we treasure (marriage, job, parenting, education, etc.) God’s leadership is contingent on a wholehearted trust in Him.
II. A discernment of the mind (3:5)
We’re told to “lean not unto our own understanding.” God’s direction for our lives is not discovered in conventional wisdom or the philosophy and ideology of this world. The tension in the life of the believer is will we take the high road of faith or will we give a listening ear to the noise and nonsense that is so prevalent in the world in which we live? (Prov. 14:12, 16:25) We must develop a Christian worldview that grounds us, guards us, and guides us from defaulting to worldly thinking.
The late apologist Ravi Zacharias argued for a coherent Christian worldview that is formulated by satisfactorily answering four questions: 1) origin, 2) meaning of life, 3) morality, and 4) destiny.
These biblical understandings keep us from errantly believing and doing wrong things by leaning on human logic and secular beliefs.
III. A determination of the will (3:6)
We are called to acknowledge God in all our ways, and He will then direct our paths. A devotion of the heart and a mind fixed on God and His Word results in volitionally and passionately leading us in the way everlasting. (Josh. 24:15) This determination and dedication effects all of our lives, but three things bear mentioning.
Everyone worships something or someone, but the object of our worship is on God and Him alone. (Matt. 22:37)
The Bible says idolatry is anything that we love more than God. Satan has plenty of substitutes for any unbridled love. Oftentimes it’s not in bad things but just in other things, i.e. leisure, hobbies, sports, hunting and fishing. But its anything and everything that takes your heart away from God.
ESPN has been doing a 10-part documentary on the epic career of Michael Jordan entitled “Last Dance.” Over his years of domination in the NBA, Jordan developed a cult-like following. Everybody wanted to “Be Like Mike.” When you fall in love with Jesus, you will want to be like Him.
When we acknowledge God in all our ways, it’s more inclusive than a Sunday commitment; it affects your vocation and how you behave in the workplace. Our commitment makes a difference in how we treat others, those we manage, and those who manage us. We must live lives worthy of our calling, and it is most evident in our home and in our job.
C. Wealth (3:9,10)
If God can be trusted with your life, He can be trusted with your finances. When we acknowledge Him in all our ways, we respond with a generous heart driven by God having first place in our lives (first fruits). Then our faithfulness pays dividends as God declares that there is blessing in store for those who give unselfishly (vats will burst out with new wine).
God’s direction can only be found by men and women who are marked by devotion and act decisively and live faithfully by the precept and principles of God’s Word. May we continually, habitually, and unashamedly “acknowledge Him in all our ways.”,