Proverbs 3:5-8Amplified Bible
Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart
And do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
[a]In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him,
And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord [with reverent awe and obedience] and turn [entirely] away from evil.
It will be health to your body [your marrow, your nerves, your sinews, your muscles—all your inner parts]
And refreshment (physical well-being) to your bones.
The Word of God for the Children of God.
Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen
Proverbs is one of the most quoted books of the Bible.
Everyone seems to know or has heard those often-quoted words of wisdom and advice.
Did they really work for and during the times they were written for?
But would they really work in our most contemporary of internet times?
Can they be or are they still relevant and effective ?
Are they really wise words to live by as we close 2022 and enter into 2023?
Has anyone ever gotten any real success out of these sagacious verses written thousands of years ago?
Having Proverbs 3:6 During Hard Times
In the Bible, specifically in Proverbs, there is great wisdom concerning how to live a happy and peaceful and successful life – to be able to move through our failures and failings and arrive at a place where faith becomes first, foremost.
So much so one might find it unfathomable that people would not look forward to immersing their hearts and their souls and their lives into reading, studying, praying through, following, the wisdom this well-known Old Testament book.
Of course, not everyone reads Proverbs.
Consequentially, many never follow its prodding.
That is indeed a shame, for as we look at our world today.
Never has it been so necessary, so vital, to get to know the true powerhouse of Proverbs, what Go brings to our table of life and what miracles it has to offer.
God only knows, it is never merely individual humans who need advice and guidance; it is our families, neighbors, neighborhoods, church, entire world.
Today, let us reflect together about our spiritual journey: its beginning and destination, sharp turns, slowdowns, shutdowns, its challenges and blessings.
Today’s Scripture gives us a crucial piece of advice for every successful journey of faith.
Before we can start “driving,” we have to fully trust the Lord.
The Bible often calls the Lord our Shepherd.
In today’s terms, we could say God is our GPS.
God Positioning System ….
Trust in this GPS, and you and I will never get lost – just twisted around a bit!
The Lord warns us against thinking we are smart enough to figure out our own way. He tells us to turn to him in single every part of our life’s spiritual journey.
Acknowledge His GPS, He will make our path straight and will see us through.
As for me, there is one particular piece of advice from Proverbs that has carried me through countless challenges to my faith, through myriads of my failures.
When was the last time (do we remember the first time?) you an I ever noticed when we were on a good smooth road, and things were moving well, that a big bump or even a big pothole comes out of nowhere and messes up everything?
What if we arrived at a point on that “messed up” road where it felt like we were driving on cruise control at 65 mph driving from the eastern most to the most western point then from the most northern point to the most southern point of our country – and driving around in ceaseless circles – on the rims of our tires?
For a long time, I kept asking myself …. are all roads leading away from failure unto any success such ceaseless circles, is failure all I’m ever destined to know?
Is there any pathway which leads me away from such a dark, defeating cycle?
THE PATH TO WELLNESS ……
The grace of God is demonstrated by the fact that He has a plan and purpose for our lives that He wants to reveal to us.
It’s a pathway He’s designed specifically for each one of us, yet some of us may fail to consider this.
We find it too easy to move through life without giving God a second thought.
Instead of wondering whether our lives have counted for anything, we can all choose to believe that the Lord has the best plan for us, discover His path, and get on it as soon as possible.
If we don’t fully trust God, we will be reluctant to follow the path He’s chosen for us.
Even though He always leads us the right way, our fears or uncertainty could cause us to sidestep His commands and opt for following our own course.
Proverbs 3:5-8 tells us what’s required to follow the Lord, what the benefits will be.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. 8 It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.” Proverbs 3:5-8 NKJV
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding” (v. 5).
1. GOD COMMANDS US TO TRUST HIM
“Trust in the Lord” ProvERBS. 3:5a NKJV
- Trust is a strong belief in someone’s integrity, ability, and character. This is the kind of confidence we are expected to have in the Lord. Then whatever He says or He also requires of us, we will prayerfully know with certainty that it is right.
- If we lack that faith, lack that degree or measure of trust, we will not so innately or faithfully follow Him and will find ourselves living outside the will of God.
- On the other hand, if we have spent some quantity and quality time, reading, studying, trusting, obeying Him, we can testify that He has never let us down.
- Trusting God, is loving God in action. If we love God, we will trust Him.
“Loving God means keeping his commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome.” 1 John 5:3 NLT
“In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And His commands are not burdensome.” I John 5:3 NIV
“Every person who believes that Jesus is, in fact, the Messiah, is God-born. If we love the One who conceives the child, we’ll surely love the child who was conceived. The reality test on whether or not we love God’s children is this: Do we love God? Do we keep his commands? The proof that we love God comes when we keep his commandments and they are not at all troublesome.” 1 John 5:1-3 The Message
2. THE BASIS FOR TRUST IN GOD IS HIS SOVEREIGNITY.
“Trust in the LORD” Proverbs 3:5b NKJV
- LORD = YAHWEH. The One Who Is. The Absolute and Unchangeable One. The Existing, Ever-Living, Self-Consistent and Unchangeable God.
- He is the divine Ruler over all things and all people at all times.
- His sovereignty is His wisdom, power, and righteousness all wrapped into one.
- The Lord’s purpose is always right and good even if it doesn’t look that way from our perspective.
God says: “From the beginning I revealed the end. From long ago I told you things that had not yet happened, saying, “My plan will stand, and I’ll do everything I intended to do.” Isaiah 46:10 GN
“From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of my hand. No one can undo what I have done.” Isaiah 43:13 NLT
“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 NIV
3. THE DEGREE TO WHICH WE ARE TO TRUST GOD IS WITH ALL OF OUR HEART.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart” Proverbs 3:5b NKJV
- Instead of so easily and instinctively relying on our own knowledge, perception, or reasoning, we should P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Something Happens) ourselves to place our total trust in the Lord.
- This requires more than just agreeing with Him. We can actually agree with God about many teachings in the Bible without actually trusting Him. Agreement means we believe something is right, but genuine faith responds to that belief with action—do what God says because we trust Him to guide us the right way.
- Wholehearted trust also means we cannot pick and choose areas we entrust to Him while trying to keep other parts of our lives under our control. It’s unwise to rely on our own perception because it is so limited, but God’s understanding is complete and eternal. Even when we do not fully comprehend or like what’s happening, we can still fully rely on His loving wisdom and respond in trust.
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3:6 NKJV
4. IN EACH SITUATION, WE MUST FIRST ACKNOWLEDGE GOD
“In all your ways acknowledge Him” Proverbs 3:6a NKJV
- To acknowledge someone is to recognize him. But when we acknowledge God, we are not merely admitting that He exists but confirming He is our Lord who has authority over us and the right to give us direction in every area of our lives.
- In each choice or situation, each success, each failure, failing, we acknowledge His sovereignty over them by surrendering to His will and trusting Him fully.
5. “HE WILL MAKE YOUR PATHS STRAIGHT.” Proverbs 3:6b NKJV
- When we follow the Lord’s guidance, He protects us from side roads and eliminates obstacles and confusion along the way.
- In basic terms, the straight path is the one of obedience. We may slide, stumble and slip into a few ditches along the way or need redirection, but God repeatedly and faithfully brings us back when we confess our change of heart, to obey Him.
- His path is not always going to be easy to travel upon, but His forever promise is it is always going to be the best. If we think we can do a better job of plotting our own course for happiness and prosperity, it may look good, but eventually we’ll suffer the wear and tear coming from taking unprotected detours on our rims.
His Master Class after Master Class, after instructing us on what to do, God then gives us a poignant warning for our disobedience and a blessing for obedience;
6. “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil” Proverbs 3:7a NKJV
“Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.” Proverbs 26:12 NIV
- Whenever we choose our own way instead of trusting the Lord, we are playing the fool because your life does not belong to you. There are 2 masters in life
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” Matthew 6:24 NKJV
- One day we are going to stand before God and give an account of how we lived.
- If we’re wise, we’ll seek the Lord, listen to His directions, and trust Him. Since He cannot lie, we know that God will always keep His promises, and whatever He says is true.
7. “Fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.” Proverbs 3:7b NKJV
- To reverently fear God is to recognize and honor Him as not only the sovereign Ruler of the universe, but as the Only Lord and Only Savior of our lives.
- If we truly believe this, we’ll turn away from sin and seek to live in obedience to Him.
8. “It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones” Proverbs 3:8a NKJV
Every day we are faced with choices, and what we decide to do is based on whether we or not we believe God, that He has a plan for our lives and has chosen the best possible path for us, or we distrust Him, follow our own ways.
- Whether we succeed or we fail, If we are willing to faithfully listen and trust Him, we will discover His faith-filled path leads to healing and refreshment.
- Success or Failure, there will 100% be an underlying sense of peace, assurance, confidence, and satisfaction when we follow Him instead of going our own way.
Resolutions, Responses to Consider as we enter upon the New Year
- Where do you find the most difficulty trusting God?
- Why do you think it’s so hard to trust Him with this?
- What promises in His Word could bring you assurance of His trustworthiness?
- Does knowing God is sovereign over all the events in your life help you trust Him? Why or why not? Which of His other attributes motivate you to trust Him?
- It’s easier to trust someone we know very well than someone we don’t. With this in mind, how well do you know the Lord?
- Since the Scriptures are God’s self-revelation, what do you need to do to increase your trust in Him?
Sin has polluted our willingness to submit to the Lord.
The devil tempts us to implicitly trust our own way and intuition.
Our ever faithful God seeks to draw us to back to himself because he knows best.
By our Baptism in Jesus Christ, we are all constantly caught in a faith to failure back to faith tug-of-war, always leaning one way and then leaning the other.
There was a time when I thought I knew it all, but the one thing I did not know, would not acknowledge was God had a better way He was waiting to show me.
God’s Word taught me to more instinctively trust his GPS with the directions.
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
God, Author of my Life, God of all understanding, you have promised to give wisdom to anyone who asks. Well, I am now asking and indeed, I am pleading and praying. As I walk through life, give me wisdom and understanding in every decision I make. Guide those uncertain thoughts and redirect my misguided steps. When I experience failure, uncertainty and confusion, may I lean on your limitless wisdom. May your divine Holy Spirit be at work in me like a lamp to my feet and a shield to my mind. Help me to think clearly and calmly. Help me to act with confidence and wisdom. Help me to glorify you in everything I do. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, My Lord.
Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.