Proverbs 3:5-6 Indepth study
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not in your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your path straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)
How does trust look like?
The oxford dictionary defines –trust- as a firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone.
If we think someone is reliable, there is a natural tendency to trust them or if we think they are truthful and capable we trust them.
Trusting in the Lord means that we believe that He is reliable(can be depended upon). We can rely on Him because we are sure He won’t fail us.
Trusting the Lord with all of our hearts:
It means I have committed myself to trust His reliability. I have stopped being self-reliant or other people reliant. I’m solely reliant on Him.
When I trust Him with all of my heart it also means that I have believed that all he says in His word is truth.
I have also decided to fully depend on his ability-not my own or anyone else’s ability. Anything I need, I trust that He is capable and able to give it to me. I don’t have to find my own ways to meet that need.
Lean not on your own understanding:
Many times I have asked God for something but I was sure of the way He was going to give it to me and how it was going to look like. Even though I was trusting in His provision, I was leaning on my own understanding.
When I fully trust in the Lord, I will not lean on my own understanding. I will lay down my ideas of how He should do it, when He should do it and how it should look like.
You leave room for God to change all your plans, rewrite the script, and even give you completely new plans because you trust Him with all your heart.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55: 8-9 ESV
It’s clear that God doesn’t think the way we think nor does He do things the way we do. Whenever I’m tempted to lean on my own understanding I read this verse. I remind myself He is God , and I’m not.
In all your ways acknowledge him:
The word acknowledge here has a deeper meaning than to merely see someone. For example, we “acknowledge” a friend’s presence by giving them a nod –which says, “I see you.”
To acknowledge God is to know Him, to know His ways, and to submit ourselves to His ways.
The NIV says, “In all your ways submit to him…” NLT says, “Seek his will in all you do…”
When we acknowledge God we come to Him before we do anything. We seek His will, direction, and plans. We don’t go out and do something, then run to Him and ask Him to bless it(which is what many Christians do).
A great example in the Bible is David. David acknowledged God in all his ways. He had a habit of always first inquiring of the lord before doing anything. Even when he had walked with God for a long time he didn’t presume to know what to do. If God said go ahead, he did. If God said don’t do it, he didn’t.
So David inquired of the Lord… (See 1 Samuel 23: 2, 4; 1 Samuel 30:8; 2 Samuel 5:9)
If we acknowledge Him in all our ways, we will not have a habit of doing things, then later inquiring if it was His will or not. We will ask first, then proceed with the instructions we receive from Him.
And He will make straight your paths
When we trust in Him and acknowledge him in all our ways, he directs our paths.
There is a connection between God’s direction and our trusting Him with all our hearts. Outside His will and direction, our lives will be characterized by twists, turns, and ditches that we may not be able to navigate.
But when God directs our paths
He will go before you and will level the mountains. Isaiah 45:2
He will turn the darkness into light before you and make the crooked places smooth. Isaiah 43:16b
He will even make a way in the wilderness. Isaiah 43:19
When God directs, the mountains (representing obstacles) before us will be leveled. The darkness (symbolic of confusion and lack of clarity) will turn into light (wisdom and knowledge to do things). The crooked (the things that don’t represent His goodness and character) will become smooth (will turn for our good). There will be a way in the wilderness (a situation that seems impossible will become possible) where we cannot see a way out; He will provide a way for us.