Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs3:5-6
My first memory of hearing this verse was when I was about four years old. A prominent Baptist preacher was holding a conference at our church in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and preached a message on this passage. I have no idea what he said about it, but I vividly recall this passage because he sang the words to verse six.
As the years passed, I would come to hear these verses quoted often. But it was only after I was truly born again that I understood it and the difficulty of heeding it. You may wonder why I would think of it as a hard thing to do. That’s because the prosperity Gospel has overshadowed the true Gospel. The devil has many Christians convinced that “God owes us blessings” simply because we claim His name. They have forgotten the passage from Matthew 16:34, Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. That doesn’t sound easy to me. In fact, it’s impossible! We cannot follow Christ unless He is our Savior.
When we lean upon His Word, rather than our own understanding; when He is directing our path, it may lead us through treacherous territory. We may find ourselves in a graveyard saying goodbye to loved ones. We may find ourselves in a ministry where we are persecuted. We may lose friends, and family members, because of our decision to follow Christ. The Lord may direct our path through financial reversal. Certainly God brings us through these trials. He even gives us blessings along the way. He sustains us. But it isn’t easy. Following Christ probably won’t lead us to great earthly riches or fame. Most of us will plod along in obscurity. But as we lean upon Him – and by that I mean we are completely relying on Him for everything – He will show us that He is enough. He will provide in ways that we otherwise would never have seen. He will send friends from places which we have never heard. He will not only supply our earthly needs, as He promises in Matthew 6:31-33, but He will often give us our wants.
The comforting part about walking dark paths with Christ, is that we walk the dark paths with Christ! He is beside us. He doesn’t hand us a sack lunch and send us on our way. Rather, He traverses with us, holding us and caring for us each step of the way. He communes with us and encourages us. The road may be steep and rough, but He helps us make the climb. It is hard, but it is not impossible, because of Christ.
As I have tried to obey Proverbs 3:5-6, I’ve seen the Lord help me when I couldn’t take the next step, or simply didn’t know where to take the next step.
He will do the rest.