“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil.” – Proverbs 3:5-7 (NLT)
If I’m being really honest, I’d have to say this verse of scripture challenges me. Trust the Lord with all my heart while not depending on my own understanding? This seems a little counter-intuitive given the world we live in. Our culture is supportive of analyzing a situation from a thousand angles before committing to a strategy, and trust is only given when we’ve checked a good number of references and can guarantee someone’s track record is legitimate. But in this Psalm David is telling us to simply trust God with our whole heart and to give up the detective work. Like I said . . . challenging.
To trust is to belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. Trust is a choice that requires us to take a chance on someone, believing they will be reliable, truthful and fully able to accomplish what they said they could accomplish before they actually do anything. Trust comes before we step out with someone. Trust is an investment. It’s a risk.
When we trust God with our whole heart, we take him at his word. We believe he will do what he says he will do – that he’s good, that he’s capable, that he’s willing. When we trust God, we let go of our self-preservation instincts and we transfer that responsibility over to God. We believe, by faith, that God will care for us even better than we could care for ourselves.
To place our trust wholly in God we must abandon our natural inclination to figure things out to get to understanding. God doesn’t want us depending on our own understanding. The Bible tells us in a number of places that true understanding resides with God, and it’s not something we work to earn from him. When we trust God – his Word, his commands, his principles, his character – our trust actually allows God to give us an understanding. He can reveal to us how the situation at hand will be best resolved. We don’t have to grind out an analytical understanding. What God reveals will actually be a more accurate and complete understanding than we can figure out on our own.
This Psalm also warns us to keep from being impressed with our own wisdom. The wisdom that comes from God is fully superior to anything we could come up with on our own. David’s son, Solomon, must have heard his dad singing this song a few times. When he had an opportunity to ask God for anything he wanted, Solomon asked the Lord to grant him wisdom (1 Kings 3:3-9). When we trust God, seeking him in all we do, he will show us the right path to take in any situation. He can help us to avoid pitfalls and unexpected surprises that could take us out or slow us down.
Make a choice today to trust the Lord with all your heart. In every decision you make today, defer to him. Don’t rely on your own understanding. Reach out to him and ask for his wisdom. He won’t disappoint.