Sometimes it’s hard to trust God. It’s hard to choose His way over our own and to obey when things may not make sense. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” Trust is the idea of confidence. It means “to throw your back on,” just like you would sit on a chair or lay on a bed with your full weight. We do not always understand the will and ways of God, but we can lean hard on Jesus! Abraham taking Isaac to Mount Moriah did not make sense but that is where the ram was. Elijah by the brook Cherith did not make sense but that is where the raven came! As we look at the rest of this passage in Proverbs 3, we’ll see that the God who guided Abraham and Moses and Elijah wants to guide us. When we trust Him, he promises to direct, provide for, and correct us, just like He did for them.
The Promise of Direction
Verse 6 says, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways (Is. 55:8). Whenever I drive, I use a navigation app called Waze. It let’s me know what’s coming ahead – objects in the road, accidents, or police officers. We need the “Waze” of God! Have you ever been in a new place and asked a total stranger for directions? We trust total strangers, we trust doctors, lawyers, bankers, but we struggle to trust God. If you are trusting in yourself, God cannot guide you. Look at the repeated word “all” in verses 5-6. The Christian life is not a way of looking at certain things, it is a certain way of looking at all things! When you obey the direction God has given, God will reveal the future to you one step at a time. Life is filled with twists and turns. You don’t know what is coming around the next bend. There are no signposts to help us navigate. “Path” indicates a destination. We are going somewhere! Not only is God leading but He is clearing the way. He will make your path straight when you trust Him in all things.
The Promise of Provision
The passage continues, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones. Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine” (v. 7-10). When the Lord is your Shepherd, you shall not want. He gives us each day our daily bread. He provides what money cannot buy, your health. Add up everything that money cannot buy, a calculator cannot compute, and death cannot take away, and that is how wealthy you really are. These verses we read are Solomon’s advice to David. It’s advice on money from the wisest and one of the wealthiest men who ever lived. “Firstfruits” is giving God our best first, not our leftovers. Give God the first hour of every day, the first day of every week, and the first dime of every dollar. Look at the promised blessing! God wants your life to be full and overflowing not empty, overdrawn, overwhelmed, overbooked, and overcommitted.
The Promise of Correction
Solomon goes on, “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights. Happy is the man who finds wisdom…” (v. 11-13). When God disciplines His children, it is loving correction. The Heavenly father delights in you. He wants the best for you. God is a faithful Father. He loves us too much to let us get by with our sin. Hebrews 12 says, “Because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son… If you are not disciplined…then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all” (v. 6, 8). Conviction can be painful, but confession and correction bring happiness. There are children I see in public, talking back to their parents. They are not honoring their parents or showing them respect. I want to correct them, but I can’t because they are not mine. There was a time I was headed in the wrong direction. I was not honoring the Lord with my time, tithe, or talent. But God in His mercy intervened and I made a course correction. I made a U-turn. He brought me to my senses. He got my life back on track. Praise God for His hand of correction on our lives!
True joy, fulfillment, and happiness is found in trusting Jesus. When you lean not on your own understanding, but trust and obey Him, you can be sure He’ll be right with you guiding you, providing for you, and correcting you along the path He has for you!