Leaning on God’s Understanding

Read it

Proverbs 3:5-6I know, you probably have it memorized and can even sing it from so many years of VBS and summer camps… but today, I want you to actually go to these verses in your Bible.  Proverbs is directly after Psalms, and if you open right to the middle of your Bible, you’ll probably be real close to it.

The amazing thing about Scripture is that we can read it over and over again and see it differently each time.  God loves to use Scripture, His Word, to show us things we may have never seen before or remind us of things we may have forgotten.

So go for it, read Proverbs 3:5-6.  And if you’re feeling adventurous, read it twice.  It’s always good to get real familiar with the Word of God.

Consider it

Trust in the Lord with all your heart” –

These are easy words to say, but not always the easiest to do.  In all the situations in our lives, from having a tough time in school to families falling apart, we know that God is present, comforting us, guiding us.  Even during the times when we don’t recognize God, He is carrying us.

What do you need to completely trust God with right now?  What does it look like to trust God with all your heart?

And lean not on your own understanding” –

As you may know, I am in the process of looking for a job.  Emily and I have been searching high and low from Washington to San Diego for a place that we can call home.  Throughout the process, we have been trying to trust God and lean on His understanding.  A few weeks ago, while traveling to the state of Washington, a church offered me a position as the Youth Pastor.  We were SO excited!  All the months of searching and day after day of not knowing where we are going to live and where money is going to come from has ended!

As we got into a deeper conversation with that church, which was offering me an amazing salary (we’re rich!), we came to the realization that there were some things about that church that didn’t sit well with us.  While they are great people, we began to realize that God did not want us there.  Are you thinking what I’m thinking?  It’s a job.  It’s awesome money.  It’s no more of the unknown.  It would make all the human sense in the world to take this position!  But we turned it down.  We want to fully rely on God’s understanding, and God was saying, “not here, not yet.”

You may not always know where God is taking you, but don’t you want have God (the one who created all of creation and you) guiding your life?  We really want to say “yes, of course!” to that question, but it’s difficult – because we like to be in control of our own lives and the many situations we encounter everyday.

In all your ways acknowledge him” –

We are called to follow Jesus, walking the path he has set out for us, letting him infiltrate every aspect of our lives: from our school-life to our home-life to our friend-life.

In what aspect of your life do you need to acknowledge God in the most?  And what would it look like to “acknowledge him” in that area?

And he will make your paths straight” –

While God doesn’t promise the paths we are on will not be difficult at times, like my not knowing where and when I’ll get a job, He does promise that He will guide us as we put our trust in Him.  When we strive to completely surrender all of who we are to God (both our thoughts and our actions), God can make our paths straight.  God will provide our every need.  And that’s an amazing promise!

However, sometimes God’s paths for our lives and what He thinks we need may not look like our sometimes selfish ideal paths and desires for our lives… like the desire to be the rich, popular, smartest student in the “cool group” at school.  But God knows us and loves us more than we could possibly imagine.  So His righteous good must be better and more God-honoring than our selfish good for our lives.

I trust that God is active in my job search and is guiding Emily and I to the place he would like us to be.  Similarly, I trust that God is at work in your life, working for your good.  So regardless of what you are facing and how you feel, we are called submit to God and be open to what God wants to do in and through us in every situation.

Respond to it

Take some time to be in conversation with God…

Thank God for being active in your life, being present in your life even when He doesn’t seem to be there.

Ask God where you need to allow Him to be part of your life.  Invite Him to be active in your life this week as you seek Him.

In silence, allow for space for God to speak to you.  If you feel yourself distracted by people or things around you, re-read Proverbs 3:5-6 to center your thoughts and dive back into prayer.

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