As one of the first scriptures I learned as a child, Proverbs 3:5-6 has carried me through most of my life. Not that I have gotten it perfect, far from it. In my darkest times, I have always had this scripture to pull me towards the Light.
God has directed my path through much darkness. My family being torn apart by abuse, the death of childhood friends, rape, teen pregnancy, divorce, homelessness, the death of both parents, bankruptcy, foreclosure,involuntarily job termination, and post traumatic stress are just a few of the things that I have had to trust not my own understanding. This scripture has been my reminder that I can’t rely on myself. I must place my trust in God.
I can’t rely how I feel – I must trust God.
Some people are driven by their emotions. They can not do anything unless they feel it. They do things they shouldn’t, knowing in their mind they shouldn’t because they felt like they should. God did not design us to be driven by our feelings. God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. I John 3:20 We are told to trust God with all our hearts.
Others wear their hearts on their sleeve. They so desire to be liked by others, they will do anything just for approval. However, our emotions are not for everyone. The Bible warns: Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23 We are told to Trust the Lord with our heart.
Others have so guarded their hearts their emotions are stifled. Yet Jesus, who is our great example had no problem expressing emotions – compassion, anger, sadness, love to name a few. I fit in this category. I am not really a person governed by my emotions. I have a hard time expressing them, especially deep emotions. Yet, I know that God knows my heart. I have given it to Him even when I felt it was discarded by others. He has kept it safe and He is starting to give it back to me, showing me that at this time in my path I am ready to address those buried feelings.We can’t hide from our emotions. We are told to trust the Lord with our heart.
I can’t lean on what I know – I must trust God.
Some people prefer to claim ignorance, saying “I didn’t know.” We can’t allow our own lack of knowledge to keep us in the dark. It is our responsibility to seek out a trustworthy source for the correct answers. For simpletons turn away from me—to death. Fools are destroyed by their own complacency. Proverbs 1:32 Even if it is lack of knowledge, we can not lean on our own understanding.
Still others rely on the voice of “they.” They follow the understanding of others. They allow the voice of others to be the guiding force in their lives. They take what is said to them at face value and never seek to verify if by a trustworthy source. They take other’s understanding as their understanding. The mouth of the godly person gives wise advice, but the tongue that deceives will be cut off. Proverbs 10:31 We can not lean on the understanding of others.
Others rely on their education and training. They believe that the way that they think and believe is solid. They trust the knowledge they have obtained through degrees and life experience and use them as a the foundation for decision-making. When they don’t know something they will seek out scholarly answers. I admit at times I fall into this category. If I don’t keep my lines of communication open to God daily, I tend to quickly fall on what “I know.” I am also skilled at finding answers quickly. There is nothing wrong with education and training. The Bible says “Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge.” However, God’s wisdom is so much more than ours. We are told to lean not on our understanding.
I can’t rely on what I want – I must seek God’s will.
Some people spend their lives trying to please others. They live their childhood life trying to be what their parents wants. Then as they become teens they are influenced by their peers. In adulthood they try to seek out what their spouse or children want them to be. They are so busy seeking the approve of others they live their whole lives missing who they were designed to be. We are told to seek God in all we do.
Others are self-seeking. They are so busy looking out for #1 – self they miss the God-given opportunities placed before them to help others and pursue a higher calling. They live in their own world and expect that everyone else longs to live there too. They love to link arms with the first type of seekers, because those seeking to please others will join in the self-seekers effort and keep the self-seeker as the center of the world. I admit there was a long period of time in my life where I was very self-seeking. I could easily manipulate things to get my way and loved to surround myself with people who wanted to keep me happy. I still have to fight the tendency when I get around certain people, because the flesh wants what it wills. We are told to seek God in everything we do.
I can’t rely on the path before me – I must trust in God.
Some people get stuck because they can’t see the full path in front of them, so they are afraid to take the first step. They have great God-given ideas, but because they don’t have the resources, connections, or knowledge they place it on the shelf of unfulfilled purpose. The shelf is filled with many other opportunities that God has tried to engage them with, but because they want the completed big picture, they won’t even put pen to paper to start. Usually it takes one step at a time, but God will show us which path to take.
Some people run from one path to another unsure of where they are going. They go from one project to another, to another, to another. Many projects go unfinished because they aren’t able to go far enough down the path to get to the final product. They start the process, and are even likely on the right path, but they take a lot a detours. God’s grace covers our detours, but if we let Him, He will show us the straight path.
Some people follow others down a path. It can be a great path, but if it not the one that they are called to be on, regardless of how far they travel on it, it will never feel right. Usually these people are imitators . They love the gifts and callings of others and they are so focused on someone else’s gift, they miss the path to their own destiny. God wants to be the leader in our life, and the path He leads us on will always have good results.
Still others are determined to prove others wrong and will journey down a path that is not theirs to travel just to make a point. These people may have been injured some time in their past. They may be refusing to be like someone else, missing the good aspects of that person’s life just to avoid the reminder of the one who hurt them. They may also be trying to get back at someone else. When we walk out path to prove something, we miss the opportunity to prove Someone to those around us. If we let Him, God will show us what path to keep and likely a few hidden treasure from the pain of the past too.
Who we place our trust in often determines the course of our life. When we place our trust in ourselves, we miss the world around us. When we placed all our trust in others, we will likely end up acting like someone we are not. However if we will place our trust in God, and lean not on our understanding of the situations we encounter, but seek His will for our lives, then He will take us down a good, fulfilling, life changing, people reaching path to our destiny.
This blog is part of a #Write31Days series on trust. 31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day in October.