“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
This passage in Proverbs is telling us if we trust in the Lord, we cannot also depend upon our own ability to understand everything God is doing.
However, most of us have a desperate desire to understand. And yet in so many areas, we must acknowledge we cannot always understand. It’s often frustrating and sometimes downright infuriating.
The tension that we feel from our limited understanding can be eased by a further look into Scripture. Here are a few reasons we cannot lean on our own understanding but can rest in God’s:
We don’t have a clear picture, but God does.
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” We only see part of the picture God is painting. If we are to truly trust Him, we have to let go of our pride, our programs, and our plans. Even the best-laid human plans cannot begin to approach the magnificent sagacity of God’s plan. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom.” 1 Corinthians 13:12
God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord. “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
Our limited understanding can lead us astray.
“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end, it leads to death.” Proverbs 16:25
When we choose to direct our lives according to what seems right to us, we often reap disaster.
“In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” Judges 21:25
Cultures may change their understanding of what is right and wrong, but God’s standards never change.
“God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” Numbers 23:19
Each of us must decide whether to live his or her life according to personal preference or according to the unchanging Word of God. Let’s face it, often we will not understand how God is causing “all things to work together for good” (Romans 8:28). But as we spend time with God in His Word and prayer, we learn to trust Him more and more.
Is there something going on in your life now where you have been leaning on your own understanding? We’d love to pray with you! Leave a comment below.