PROVERBS 3:5: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.” NASB
OBSERVATION: How do I trust in the Lord? This verse from Proverbs is one of the most familiar verses in the Bible. I learned it in Sunday School and it has been a verse that I have quoted more times than I can remember. However, how do I trust in the Lord?
I love how practical the Word of God is. The answers to our questions are usually found as we continue to read the text. Such is the case with this verse in Proverbs. As I continue to read the text I find that the answer is very practical and not without reach. Many times we miss the answer because we try to over-spiritualize it. We are called to trust in the Lord with all of our hearts. Here are the instructions from Proverbs on how we do this.
The first answer is found in the second part of verse 5. We begin placing our trust in the Lord when we lay down our own wisdom at the altar for His wisdom. Trust begins with surrender. It begins at the cross where we realize that we are sinners in need of a Savior and we surrender our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This does not mean that we stop using our minds or ability to understand. Rather, it simply means that we do not put our faith in what we see and know. We lean fully and completely upon His divine wisdom and understanding in everything we do!
- “In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:6
The next step in trusting the Lord is to always put Him first. Jesus said exactly what this verse is saying when He exhorted us to – “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…”. This is the call to be Kingdom-minded. It means that we see all of life through the lens of God’s Word and submit all of our actions to the benefit and growth of His Kingdom. When we align our wills to His will, when we put His Kingdom above our own, we are trusting fully in the Lord and He promises that He will make all of our paths straight!
- “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.” Proverbs 3:7
Trusting in the Lord requires that we continually check our motives and our hearts. The enemy uses pride to lead us away from the path of righteousness. He is still using the same temptation he used against Adam and Eve in the garden, saying – “Has God really said?” We are tempted to return to our own understanding and find ourselves embracing things that are clearly outside of the will of God for our lives. As we trust in the Lord, as we continue in His Word, we must be willing to lay down every sin and weight that the enemy tries to entangle us with along the way! Repentance is more than an action. Repentance is an attitude of one’s heart!
- “It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones.” Proverbs 3:8
God has given us a wonderful gift of discernment in our physical bodies. When we are trusting in the Lord and walking after the Spirit we experience life and peace. This brings both spiritual and physical harmony to our lives. When we are stressed or bound by fear, we feel it in our physical bodies. I am not saying that all physical illness is the direct result of sin in our lives. However, we cannot deny that when we are walking in the will of God when our hearts are anchored in trusting the Lord, we find healing and refreshment in our physical and emotional lives. We need to learn to listen to our bodies as we seek to trust in the Lord!
- “Honor the Lord from your wealth, And from the first of all your produce; Then your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10
A life that is trusting in the Lord is a life that puts God first in a tangible way. If I trust the Lord as my provider I will honor Him with my first fruits. Giving will not be a difficult thing for me to do and will actually be a confirmation of the level of trust I have in the Lord. Some have said that there is an umbilical cord attached between our wallets and our hearts. To trust in the Lord is to allow the Spirit to cut the cord and release us into a life of joyful giving and generosity. A life that honors the Lord tangibly with their wealth and possessions is a life that is truly trusting in the Lord!
- “My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord Or loathe His rebuke, For whom the Lord loves He disciplines, Just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:11-12
Finally, to trust in the Lord is to recognize Him as our loving heavenly Father. The book of Hebrews says that a father who loves his child will discipline them. If a father does not discipline his child then he really does not love them. Our Heavenly Father loves us and wants the best for our lives. Therefore, when we begin to stray outside the path of His will, and we all will, He will lovingly discipline us. No one likes discipline or correction. Yet, it is essential for growth. The writer of Hebrews eloquently writes,
- “For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. For the moment, all discipline seems not to be pleasant, but painful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” Hebrews 12:10-11
God not only calls us to trust Him, He shows us how to trust Him, proclaims the blessings in our lives when we do, and promises to lovingly and faithfully discipline and correct us when we begin to veer of course. What a wonderful call! What a wonderful provision! What a wonderful promise!
- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
Lord, this morning, I put my trust in You! Help me to walk moment by moment after Your Spirit. Give me a renewed hunger for Your Word. Help me always to put you first. Keep me from pride and presumptuous sins. Lead me in the pathway of your loving correction so that I can experience the fruit of Your righteousness.
In Jesus’ Name!