Pro 3:5-8 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
As I go day by day, I’m reminded over and over again how important it is to trust, lean, and acknowledge. The things we most think we want or need may not necessarily be what is best for us. As true believers it is important to learn these things.
Whether we are going through persecution or just plain trials and temptations we, as true believers are required to trust the Lord in every situation. It is not easy to do so because we think we are in control and when things start falling apart, we fall apart. Surprisingly, persecuted believers have more of a tendency to trust the Lord because they have seen the Lord work in many different ways and they HAVE to trust Him. We, in the western world with lots of freedom, think we can make it without God…kind of like pull ourselves up by our own shoelaces, so to speak. Not only do we need to trust but we should do it with all our hearts. If we do it half-heartedly then we aren’t truly trusting the Lord. Whatever we do should be done wholeheartedly and that includes trusting the Lord. After all, He created the world and keeps it going. What makes us think we can do a better job than Him? We can’t and won’t because whatever we try within our own power will be like sewage.
As things grow crazier and crazier, it’s important for us lean NOT on our own understanding. If we seek to lean on our experiences and what we feel should happen we will land ourselves in hot water. God has a myriad of things for us to go through to teach us in each situation. Who’s to say that a situation we have never been in before is going to be the worst thing that ever happened to us? God’s use of situations to make us become more like the Lord Jesus Christ is important no matter what we think. As we look at persecuted Christians and see what they experience then show amazing love and joy for their persecutors we have to bow in humble adoration to our thrice holy God. That is beyond human power to behave in the way they do. Human behaviour says, “I will take revenge on how you hurt me.” That is extremely easy to do and hard not to do. Even in just that one split second when you are so angry that you respond in a way that does not glorify God and take the revenge…that is natural instinct. We should not be guided by natural instinct if we are true believers. We should be guided by Biblical instinct and what the Word of God says. We each have failed in this area but we can only seek forgiveness from the Lord and ask Him to keep us from that response.
This is so hard to do because human nature doesn’t want to acknowledge Someone over them. It’s the rebellion in our souls. In America, we’ve been taught that submission is the same thing as slavery. This is a lie from the evil one because submission is a deliberate act of submitting to someone. In every area of work that is proven to be the best way of doing things and yet we aren’t willing to do that in the family or church? In a business you have the president, vice-president, board of directors, etc., etc., etc., and yet if everyone of those people decided they would be the person in charge the company would fall apart. The president submits to the board of directors, the vice-president submits to the president, the treasurer submits, and so on. In the same way, it’s extremely important for us to submit to God as our final authority and the One Who is over all things. So, when we acknowledge that God is Lord and we follow His way of doing things then He directs our path. If we don’t acknowledge Him then He will still direct our paths but we won’t like the results. As parents teach their children to do what is right and give them direction so the Lord does with us. No, He’s not up there in heaven waiting to send lightning bolts at us if we do wrong but He does direct us in many kinds of ways. Just as we will grab our toddler’s hand if they try to run out in the road so He keeps His eye on us and directs us in the way we should go.
When all that is done then it is health to the navel and marrow to the bones. We begin to mature slowly but surely.