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Lean Not on Your Own Understanding

February 15, 2013

In Proverbs 3:5 we read, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”. What does it mean to trust in God? Does it mean taking stupid risks, on the assumption that God will protect me? Well, even Jesus refused to deliberately test his Father in that way. Does it mean giving away all your money to the poor? Some people have tried that, and usually end up needing help from others who haven’t. Does it mean making no plans and having no opinions, on the assumption that God will reveal to you what to wear, what to eat and whether to go to work or not? That is just plain silly, as you’ll quickly realise if you try it.

I think it simply means acknowledging that our Father in heaven knows us and wants the best for us, so that when things don’t go our way, we look for his comfort and his guidance in that particular situation. It means that we submit our plans to him, because we could be mistaken; it means praying about the ministry of our church, in case there’s something God wants to tell us; it means doing everything for the glory of God and for the good of his kingdom, regardless of the consequences.

Most of all, it means relying on God. This is his church, and we are his people; we need his power to carry out his plans. Church is all about being God’s ambassadors on earth: sharing the gospel, communicating love and forgiveness, and pointing people to the risen Saviour. We may not always know how to do this, but that’s where the “lean not on your own understanding” comes in: we need to ask him for guidance, and believe that we’re not in this on our own: Jesus has promised to be with us till the end of the age, and has given us his Holy Spirit. That’s really what makes it possible for us to trust in the Lord with all our heart! Let’s hold on to that, when things go well and when they don’t, because God sees the bigger picture, and we just have to trust that he knows what he’s doing!

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From → Christianity, Faith

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