Monday, February 25, 2019

Instructions

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understand; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
What’s so wrong with leaning on your own understanding?
A while back I was assembling a crib at the house, getting ready for our next foster child placement (blissfully unaware that the next kid would be a 16-year-old). As I started, I decided that, hey, I’ve done this before, even took some pictures to help me remember how it was done, so I don’t need to use the instructions this time. You can guess how the rest of the story went. I ended up with a wonky crib and an extra hour of work on my hands, taking it all apart and putting it back together again.
Our lives are a lot more complicated than assembling a crib. All these demands on you, all these people to deal with, all these decisions to be made (big and small), temptations to navigate, fears to face. There’s just so much. It’s complicated. But if I can choose between leaning on my own understanding for all of this and trusting in the Lord and looking to God’s Spirit for some instructions, why on earth would I try to do it on my own?
I love how The Message Bible translates this proverb: “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.” We have to listen for God’s voice. Amy Vogel writes that anytime she catches herself leaning on her own understanding, she doesn’t beat herself up over it. Instead, she turns to the Holy Spirit and asks, “What do You think?” We’ve got to listen to hear God’s instructions.
But it all starts with trust. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, from the bottom of your heart. Only when we trust God’s guidance, trust that God really does know better, can he keep us on track.
Do ever think you know how to handle something better than God does? How did that turn out?
Are you in a situation now that you’ve been trying to handle on your own? Have you tried asking the Holy Spirit, “What do You think?”