Trust in the Lord:  Do Not Lean on Your Own Understanding


It’s simple.  It’s short.  Yet it’s incredibly powerful.  Proverbs 3: 5-6 is one of the most familiar passages in the Bible – with good reason.  It sets forth a life-changing truth that is worthy of our attention.  Spend three minutes reading this article and see if you agree.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart,

and do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him,

and he will make straight your paths.”

Let’s break down this life-changing truth to make sure we understand it.

Trust in the Lord.


It starts with trust.  Any real relationship has to start with some level of trust.  It’s the only way a friendship will endure.  It’s the only way a marriage will work out.  It’s the simple reason why an employer hires workers or why the workers stay employed.  It’s all about trust.  Trust in the Lord, however, takes on an entirely new dimension.  This is our trust in an eternal, all-powerful, all-wise, all-loving God.  He is worthy of our trust.  The trust is important, not just because of who God is, but because of the way in which we must trust him:  with all your heart.  It involves every fiber of your being.  That’s the kind of trust we can have in God–a complete, unshakable, deep, abiding trust.

If you are a Christian, you trusted God for salvation.  You can trust Him with the rest of your life, too – EVERY detail.


Don’t Lean on Your Understanding.


The verse involves a positive – something you must do.  But it also involves a negative – something you must not do.  Don’t lean on your own understanding.  Basically, the verse is telling us that we ought not to be self-reliant.  We cannot pursue a course of action, a financial decision, a business move, a relationship, or an educational choice simply based on our own understanding.  It must be founded in our trust in God.

Self-reliance is such a deceptive trap.  We begin to pride ourselves in something – our savvy, our looks, our intellect, our spirituality, our family, whatever.  When we do, it takes away our trust in the Lord.  It has become trust in self.  The result is a dangerous compromise that will lead to destruction.

Instead, Acknowledge God — in EVERYTHING. 


The antidote to this self-reliance is found in the first command of the verse:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,” which is developed in the next verse:  “In all your ways acknowledge Him.”  The word “acknowledge” isn’t merely a polite tip of the hat to the Man Upstairs, or a few words of grace over your meal, or even perfunctory attendance at church to let Him know we’re still cool with what He’s doing.  It’s way more.  It’s allowing Him access, control, command, and involvement in all your ways.

What’s the result of this trust?  Will God ruin your life?  Will He be a Sovereign Killjoy?  Will He rob you of fun?  The verse ends on a promise. What is it?


He Will Make Your Paths Straight.


The promise is put in the form of a metaphor.  What does it mean to have straight paths?  Several things — First, paths lead toward an end – a destination, a goal.  Thus, trusting God wholeheartedly in every area of life gives your life a sense of purpose and priority.  Second, it indicates that there will be a clear understanding of where you are going and what you are doing.  It makes daily decision-making an easier and less painful task.  You realize you are trusting Him.  He, in turn, is making your paths straight.  Thus, the way ahead is more apparent. Third, “straight paths” suggests moral purity.  It suggests a life that has less of sinful compromise and more of wholesome attitudes, actions, and behavior.

That’s the kind of life that God promises.  It’s the kind of life that you can have.  It begins with trust.  It involves acknowledging God in every way.


How Do I Get Saved


Romans 10: 9-10

New International Version (NIV)

9 “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”


1 John 4:15

New International Version (NIV)

15 “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.”

SALVATION is as easy as ABCD…

A- Admit you are a sinner.

B- Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

C- Confess with your mouth.  Tell someone you have been born again!


Pray this sinner’s prayer and receive Christ in your heart…it is all by faith:

“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have
separated me from you.  I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you.  Please forgive me and help me avoid sinning again.
I believe that your son, Jesus Christ, died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer.  I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You and to do Your will for the rest of my life.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

If you have just prayed this prayer and accepted Christ as Savior and Lord please tell someone.  Tell us about your salvation experience or ask questions that you might have about becoming a Christian.  We would love to send you more information and a resource book called “Getting Started.”  Be sure to include your mailing address.

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