And Lean Not On Your Own Understanding
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Some people would suggest this is an argument for putting our minds on hold or setting aside all rational thinking for some blind, mindless resignation to a hyper-spirituality that is superior to reasoned or rational thought. The truth is far from it.
In fact, it is quite the opposite. It is impossible to trust in the Lord with all our heart without also engaging our minds and reason. To lean not on our own understanding is simply an admonition to lean on God’s understanding instead. That is the wisdom that comes from above.
In order to walk by faith, to stand in faith, to live by faith, to understand by faith, to believe by faith we must know the God of faith and the Word that is His sustaining power, freely given to every believer.
It is what we know about God and what we believe He has provided for us that makes it possible for us to have faith in Him and to lean totally, our minds, our hearts, our souls and our very lives on Him and Him alone.
Here are just some of the things we can know about God.
In Him is life and the life is the light of men [John 1:4].
He is the Way the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father except by Him [John 14:6].
He is our Life and the length of our days [Deuteronomy 30:20].
He is our Peace [Ephesians 2:14].
He is our Hope and our Salvation [Romans 15:13; Psalm 68:19].
He is our Good Shepherd [John 10:11].
He is the Vine we are the branches [John 15:5].
He is our Counselor and our Friend [Isa. 9:6; John 15:15].
He is our Healer [Isaiah 61:1].
He is our Advocate and the High Priest of our confession [1 John 2:1; Hebrews 3:1].
In Him we live and move and have our being [Acts 17:28].
He is our God and our Father [1 Thessalonians 3:13].
He is our Creator and our Sustainer [Colossians 1:16].
He is our Lord and the Lover of our souls [Revelation 19:16; John 3:16].
He is our wisdom, our Righteousness and our Sanctification [1 Corinthians 1:30].
He is our source and our Provider [James 1:17].
He is the Bread of Life [John 6:35] and the Light of the world [John 8:12].
God is love [1 John 4:16].
He is our Deliverer [Psalm 18:2].
“He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He.” Deuteronomy 32:4
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
Our understanding is not high enough to deal with the stresses, the conflicts and hard places of life. We need a higher wisdom, a higher understanding. We are woefully ill equipped to manage and unravel the entanglements of life, those imposed on us, and those we impose on ourselves. In either case we need God to make it right.
The good news is He gives us His wisdom freely for the asking. He wants us to succeed. He wants us to be blessed and to be free, truly.
“Whom the Son sets free is free indeed.” [John 8:36]
So, then, we walk by faith and not by sight. [2Cor. 5:7] We walk by faith in the Word of God. We walk by faith in the wisdom from above. God reveals every step to us if we are willing to hear and to do what He says, even when we can’t see the end from the beginning.
We can trust that God is leading us to a higher place of blessing and peace than we could ever reach by human effort alone. Leaning on His understanding is leaning on His Word, His covenant promises and His Spirit working in us, with us and for us to do His will and to glorify Him.
God is for us and in Him we will have good success! To God be the glory with all thanksgiving and praise!