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5 Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. 6 In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will directand make straight and plain your paths. 7 Be not wise in your own eyes; reverently fear and worship the Lord and turn [entirely] away from evil. 8 It shall be health to your nerves and sinews, and marrow and moistening to your bones. Proverbs 3: 5-8 AMPC
Whenever we lean on something, it’s an act of faith. We’re trusting that thing to hold us up. We lean because we are weak or lacking strength. Because we are confident in the strength of something else to bear our weight. This Proverb is telling us to lean on God. To look to Him for support in times of weakness. To trust Him to hold you up. To be confident in His strength. To know that He can bear your weight.
Many times we trust our natural minds and what we can see, more than we trust God. We trust the information we get from our senses more than the Lord! Solomon, the writer of Proverbs – the wisest man to ever live – is urging us not to do that. He recommends that we direct all our energies toward complete reliance on God for understanding. True dependence on God takes energy. It requires intentionality. It isn’t passive at all. It means being deliberate in going against our natural inclination to want to control everything, and yielding to God. Dying to self. Solomon reminds us: don’t lean on or put your trust in the way you perceive things to be. Put your trust in God. Recognize that your understanding is weak and feeble and run to God for His perspective on things. His understanding is sure to hold you up when you’re confused, stressed or depressed.
Don’t lean on what makes sense to your natural mind. Rely on God’s infinite wisdom instead. The wisest man to ever live was trying to tell us to trust in the All-Knowing Creator instead of our limited human understanding. It makes so much sense right? But often we do the opposite. Putting our trust in ourselves and our opinions. Leaning on the way we see things to guide our decisions.
How do we do what Solomon is urging us to do in this passage? To trust instead of depending on our own understanding? Start by acknowledging God in all things. It’s a great reminder that He is in control, not you. In everything you do, make it a point to recognize God’s presence and His Lordship. Honor Him in all that you do. Pray inviting His guidance in every area of your life. Not only will God give you direction when you live like this, but the scripture says He will direct your path. He will determine the direction of your path. He’ll clear the way for you. He’ll move the obstacles in your way ahead of time. He will make the crooked paths straight for you. He will guide you in the way that leads to your ultimate good and His glory.
Solomon goes on to explain that living this way – honoring and acknowledging God as King in all that we do – it’s worship. This is what reverent fear and worship looks like. If we are not loving this way, then it means our worship is directed elsewhere. If we’re relying on our own wisdom instead of trusting God and looking to Him for wisdom for support. If we see ourselves as wise, relying on our own wisdom, then we have elevated our opinions above what God says. When our actions show that we think we’re wiser than God, we have deemed ourselves worthy of worship. And that, the Bible says, is evil. Solomon is urging us, even in all his God-given wisdom, to turn our backs on the evil of being wise in our own eyes. Of somehow believing that we know better than God does. That’s how the enemy got himself kicked out of Heaven. And it’s what led to The Fall in the Garden of Eden. If the wisest man to ever live still chose to lean on God, why would we do any differently?
Solomon, wise as he was, never forgot where his wisdom came from. He had no delusions about that. He asked God for wisdom and he received. But he remembered that he was not the Source of his own wisdom. The mistake many of us make is in forgetting that God is our Source. That He is the reason that we’re alive. That any minuscule insight into anything in this world that God created, has been given by the Creator Himself and still pales in comparison to the mysteries He knows. Wisdom remembers the Source. The wisest people are the ones who recognize how much they don’t know. It is truly wise to look up, not inward, when we need wisdom.
Living in the way Solomon recommends in the passage is even good for your health! Your mental and spiritual health affect your physical health. Even our bodies know we aren’t supposed to be in charge! There is such peace in yielding to Him who is Greater. We were made to worship. Solomon says in the passage, “reverently fear and worship the Lord and turn away from evil”. Put simply, a life of worshipping God keeps us from evil. A life without worship is a life that’s headed for evil. Because our adoration is misdirected. Misdirected adoration is idolatry. And being wise in your own eyes makes you your own idol. That seemingly simple delusion can lead to such great evil. And evil rots the bones.
As your lifestyle becomes more in line with Solomon’s suggestions, you experience such peace. Peace in the midst of chaos and joy in the center of devastation. You’ll begin to perceive life in a healthier way, because you’re looking at it God’s way. According to His wisdom and not your own. Your quality of life will increase in ways you never imagined as you rely on God for wisdom and direction in everything you do.