“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” – Prov. 3:5-6
God’s promise of help is given to those who are willing to trust Him. We all need God’s guidance with equal urgency, but not all of us are willing to respect God’s judgment. At those times when His instructions point to a different path than we would follow if we went by our own judgment, it is often hard to yield to Him. But those who seek God must make the choice to yield, and they do sin the confidence that God’s wisdom will stand the test of time. It has never failed the test in the past.
If we’ve made any serious attempt to obey God, then we’ve surely discovered that His instructions can sometimes seem counterintuitive, at least from our earthbound viewpoint. What are we to do in such situations? The consistent answer of the Scripture, of course, is that we must demonstrate “faith.” But faith is often misconceived. It is not a blind leap in the dark, and it does not require the setting aside of all reason. When we make the choice to trust that God knows what is best, we are putting our confidence in a God who has over and over again proven His trustworthiness. Our “leap” is anything but “blind,” our eyes being wide open to what God has openly revealed of His character and His purpose. Nothing in the world would have seemed more counterintuitive than for the Son of God to be sent to the Cross (Matt. 16:21-23). But that sacrifice having been made and its surprising results now being obvious, there should never again be any doubt about either the wisdom or the benevolence of God’s will.
When Solomon said, “Lean not on your own understanding,” he did not mean that we should deny our own reasoning powers or our ability to comprehend the truth. It was God who gave us our rational minds, and He intends us to use them constructively in our relationship to Him. But compared to His knowledge, our information is lacking, and our perspective is limited. For that reason, when there is a conflict between God’s wisdom and our own – and therefore a clash between God’s will and our own – we are wise to “Acknowledge” Him in all our “ways.”
Diligently Seeking God (November 18) - by Gary Henry
Servant Leadership in the Bible:
Reading: Prov. 3:1-12
I. Trust Is the Foundation of Leadership
a. Prov. 3:5-6
b. Prov. 3:7-8
II. The Wisdom of King Solomon
a. Prov. 16:8-18
III. Character Develops from the Inside Out
a. Matt. 23:1-7, 25-28
IV. Peter Gives Instruction
a. 1 Pet. 5:1-11
Lessons From God’s First Command
Reading: Gen. 1:1-5
I. God Has All Authority
a. 2 Cor. 4:6
b. Mark 4:39
II. God’s Commands Have Purpose
a. Gen. 1:2-5
b. Gen. 1:5
c. Isaiah 55:8-9
III. God’s Commands Are Good
a. Gen. 1:4
b. Deut. 6:24-25
Mending the Walls
“Then I said . . . ‘Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.’ . . . So they said, ‘Let us rise up and build.’ Then they set their hands to this good work.” Nehemiah 2:17-18
A city wall in ruins was a very bad thing in ancient days. It left a city vulnerable to both physical attack and hurtful ridicule from neighboring powers. In Jerusalem’s case, the unrepaired wall also gave foreigners a reason to scorn God, whose holy city it was. And that is why Nehemiah wept, mourned, fasted, and prayed for several days when he heard the news of the condition of the wall, which had been destroyed and neglected for more than a century.
During the 120 years after the walls were torn down by the Chaldeans (2 Chronicles 36:19), generations of Jerusalem’s people had looked at the ruins and done nothing. Maybe to them, rebuilding the wall looked like an impossible challenge, even though the city possessed plenty of workers. What the people needed was someone to rally them, plan their course of action, and take them through the rebuilding process. What they needed was a leader. They needed Nehemiah. Remarkably, it took the people only fifty-two days to rebuild the city wall. And they were able to do it because they had a great leader to navigate for them.