Word for the day: “Lean not to your own understanding”

Proverbs 3:5 (HCSB) “ Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding”

Let’s end our week with food for thought; The book of Proverbs is a collection of moral and religious teachings in the form of sayings and proverbs. Much of it has to do with practical, everyday concerns of the human experience. Proverbs guides and teaches us how to live intelligently, honest, just, and fair. They can make an inexperienced person clever and teach our young people how to be resourceful. These proverbs can even add to the knowledge of the wise and give guidance to the educated, so that they can understand the hidden meanings of proverbs and the problems that the wise raise.

Two commands are contained in today’s message in Proverbs. First, there’s the call to trust in the Lord with all of our heart. Second, there’s the warning against leaning on our own understanding. So, why does the Proverb in chapter 3 of the Bible bother with two commands here? Why does scripture find it necessary to go beyond the simple instruction of trusting God and warn us against relying on our own understanding? The answer is simple: We need it for our lives here in the earth!

Even after we’ve seen the surpassing greatness of God’s wisdom, we often revert back to our own understanding. “I know God’s Word says this, but I think that. We rationalize “that may be what the Lord wants other people to do, but given my situation, it can’t possibly apply to me”. Yeah, I know what the Good Book says, but…” and we can go back and forth with this pattern and simply living our lives in our way, but it ultimately leads to living in mediocrity.

Sound familiar? Of course it does, because all of us are prone to being pulled back into the pit of our natural and earth-bound understanding. We lose focus, we lose fire, and we lose faith when it comes to trusting in the Lord’s wisdom and His way of doing things. We pollute His perspective and mingle His methods with our own. And the result is always something that takes us off course.

In all actuality, the command to avoid our own understanding is just as important as the command to trust in the Lord. If we don’t keep the second, it will be impossible to fulfill the first. The weeds of human reason and logic, which often doesn’t take God into account, will eventually strangle and stifle our trust in Him. Have a blessed and safe holiday weekend.

Elder Baker

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