Solomon - “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)
King Solomon was a wise man. He conveyed in Proverbs 3 that we can’t live the good life without trusting the Lord. Trust is essential for successful relationships, including our relationship with the Lord. God demands our total trust in Him because frankly, He deserves nothing less. Think about it. His character makes it impossible for Him to fool us because He cannot lie; His wisdom makes it impossible for Him to fail us; He cannot make a mistake. Therefore we should totally trust Him. But what does it mean to trust the Lord completely?
“Trust” in Hebrew means “to lie down on” like we do on our beds at night, trusting for support. Every night when we go to bed we lie on our mattresses, we stretch out as much as possible and put our full weight down on our beds never giving them a second thought. In the same way, we should trust God - "with everything we are." A half-hearted faith is basically the same thing as wholehearted doubt. There's no such thing as halfhearted trust. We either trust God totally or as far as God is concerned, we don’t trust God at all. A lot of people have a “partial trust” in the Lord, but partial trust is equivalent to total unbelief; so if we’re going to trust in God we must do so without reservation.
Furthermore, we are told to “not depend or lean on our own understanding.” The word “depend” in Hebrew is “shan-ann” which literally means “to support ourselves by leaning on something or someone.” That means we are not simply guided by what we think, but instead, we’re guided by our trust in the Lord. However, this does not mean that we are to be without understanding, putting our minds in neutral, or sacrificing our common sense; but it does mean that we are not to make our reasoning or intelligence the sole guiding principle of what we do. Solomon reiterates this when he writes, “Don’t be impressed with your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:7)
When David fought Goliath, Saul wanted him to use a sword and a shield. But God directed him to use a slingshot. People thought Noah was crazy to build a boat on dry land. Others thought Joshua was nuts when he marched around Jericho seven times, but David, Noah, and Joshua were more confident in God's power than in their own understanding or in the understanding of others. We should do our best to follow their example.
Followup Activity - In your journal or on a piece of paper, write out Proverbs 3:5. Try your best to memorize it. Quote it to yourself and others throughout the day. Share with someone else what this scripture means to you. If you’re leading your family through this devotion, ask each family member to write out the scripture, then take turns quoting it to one another, then dialogue about what the scripture means to you as a family.
Prayer for Today - Lord, help me always to trust more in You than in my own understanding. In Jesus’ name, Amen.