I used to be completely numb to the meaning behind Proverbs 3:5-6, until one night, as I was journaling my frustrations down to God, the Spirit reminded me of this passage. I pulled out my Bible and I felt like God allowed me to read this passage with new eyes.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” The word ‘trust’ in the original Hebrew is bâṭach, which means ‘to lie helpless, facedown’, in complete confidence and security. True trust in God means to trustim wholeheartedly. But how can we trust God perfectly when we ourselves are imperfect? It was not the writer’s intention for us to trust God without fail, rather, “with all your heart” implies a heart and a life that does not reject or defy God with unbelief.
“...and lean not on your own understanding.” When we trust in God, our desire to be in control and belief that we know what is best is put away. We surrender our understanding and, instead, choose to put our trust in God’s understanding.
“In all your ways acknowledge Him...” In all our ways — in the mundane and the tediousness of routine — we have a choice to acknowledge and honour God, or not. It is a choice to invite God and practice being in his presence in our everyday lives. The word ‘acknowledge’ in Hebrew is yâdaʻ, which means “to know, or get to know, to discover, to perceive and see”. Yâdaʻ has an active and intentional meaning behind it. To acknowledge him is a choice we make when we actively seek more of who God is — when we ask God for counsel, when we aim to do everything for his glory. In our active “knowing”, we become more in tune with his Spirit and presence in our lives.
“...and He shall direct your paths.” The last first lines of the passage all indicate decisions that we have to make on our end. When we decide to trust in God, when we decide to put away our understanding and acknowledge him, it is then that we reach this point where he directs our paths in accordance with, and fulfillment of, his will. After we surrender our hearts, we find delight in the path that God has laid out for us.
This newfound revelation of this passage gave me an abundance of peace. Why should I try to direct my own path when I don’t know what the future holds? Why do I stress over my life when I have the choice to trust in a God who can direct my paths? But more often than not, I go back to my old ways of ‘leaning on my own understanding’. The Spirit has given me new eyes to read this passage, and yet I still don’t trust God as much as I should. But the Spirit is also leading me to realize that choosing to trust God isn’t just a one time thing. In his grace, I can choose to trust God after stumbling, again and again. And you can, too. How awesome is that?
God, help me to trust you more. Thank you because your Spirit leads me day by day to live according to your will. Help me to actively seek you in all my ways. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Throughout This Day: Reflect on the original Hebrew meanings of the words 'trust' (to lie helpless, facedown) and 'acknowledge' (to intentionally know, discover, perceive and see). Invite the Lord to help you trust and acknolwedge him the way he's called you to.
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