Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
The above passage is quoted many times by Christians and also non-Christians in the times of encouragement. But is it followed? The command here is to “trust in the Lord with ALL of your heart”. This means all, not some of it, not most of it, but all of your heart. The abandonment of trust in any other thing or person is needed in order to trust in God and God alone.
The next exhortation is a building on the trust in God. The command is not to lean on your own understanding. This would mean rationalizing God’s ways to make sense in your ways which are fallen and sinful by nature. Your understanding is flawed in other words, so don’t trust in this, trust in God’s understanding which is perfect. This is another call to surrender the idea that you are in control and God is a bystander.
The next command is to acknowledge God in all your ways. Again the word “all” is used, not some of your ways, or most of your ways, but all of your ways. Are you thanking God for waking up this morning for example? It is easy to take God for granted, but He is doing a million things in your life that you are most likely unaware of. Some are traveling somewhere for Thanksgiving, but don’t realize that God is protecting them on the road from disaster. So upon the journey’s end, they fail to acknowledge this.
Growing in trust in God is also growing in faith. Those with little faith will have little trust in God. Jesus was always quick to point this out to His disciples. One example was when He was sleeping peacefully in a boat with them and a huge storm came up. The disciples panicked and were frightened, even with God Himself physically in the boat, and Jesus pointed out their little faith.
Jesus applauded the greatest faith He witnessed on earth up to that point when the Roman centurion asked Him to heal His servant. The centurion trusted Jesus completely with all of his heart. He didn’t demand evidence, didn’t question Jesus’ method of healing, didn’t doubt for a second Jesus was who He said He was. And as the story goes, Jesus healed his servant right then and there.
Trust and faith go hand in hand. You can test your faith by the trust you place in God and you can discern others by this especially in times of trouble. Some will claim they are of great faith, but when an unfortunate circumstance comes, their trust in God alone vanquishes like a fire being doused with water. They trust in their own understanding, in other fallen humans, never in God, thus their faith is discerned.
Lastly, trust in God with all of your heart, does not mean you are also reckless in your understanding. It doesn’t mean going out on a busy highway and claiming a car won’t hit you because you trust in God. It doesn’t mean you won’t take a certain medicine or go through a medical procedure which would cure you because “you trust in God”. That is testing God and is NOT trusting that He is guiding your steps. You are not to put God to a test! Your little faith in Him is actually shown. You are saying “if You do exist God, You must do this for me now”.
Meditate on these words “I trust in You God, alone”. Say the words slowly, define each word, until you actually believe what you are saying. This is a good exercise to build your trust and thus your faith in Him. Humbly ask Him to build your trust if you struggle, He will always help you in this! It might be something He shows you that He alone is the One you should always trust.
Trust in God alone, do not lean on your own understanding!