The most familiar verses in this chapter are v5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways kacknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
There are some great Biblical examples of people who trusted God and not their own understanding. Noah built a large ship with no cloud in the sky and no sea! Abraham left the security of his family to go travel to a new unspecified land at the age of 80. The ordinary believers of Philippi who would not say “Caesar is Lord”, in their patriotic military city, but chose to say “Jesus is Lord” instead. Faith is often to be said to actually be spelt R.I.S.K. There’s risk involved in trusting God and stepping out in faith.
Most of our lives can be lived with our own understanding, our own natural abilities, our skills and experiencesand our savings. But there are times when none of that is any good. In the midst of this global pandemic when your client base suddenly dries up, you have to go back to the Covid ward to treat the sick and dying, or you can’t see family who are lonely and vulnerable.
In the midst of the good and the bad times, we would do well to trust the Lord with all our heart, acknowledging him and not boasting. God will make straight paths for us. He will guide us.
I’m in Alpha Course mode (and loving it!), so I am remembering the “How does God guide?” talk. In it Nicky Gumbel uses that device beloved of preachers – the acrostic. But he doubles it using 5 CS’s.
1. Commanding Scripture – Objective Standard
Psa 119:105. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
2. Controlling Spirit – Subjective Witness
“My sheep know my voice” God speaks to us as we pray, in an inner voice and in spiritual gifts of prophecy, dreams and visions, words of knowledge and wisdom and discernment.
3. Common Sense
BUT God’s heavenly plan doesn’t always make earthly sense. Charles R. Swindoll
4. Counsel of the Saints
“The wise man listens to advice” (Proverbs 12: 15) “Plans fail for lack of counsel but with many advisors they succeed” (Proverbs 15: 22) “Make plans by seeking advice” (Proverbs 20: 18)
“Men give advice; God gives guidance.” Leonard Ravenhill (1867–1942)
5. Circumstantial Signs – Divine Providence
In his heart, a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (Proverbs 16: 9)
Sometimes God closes doors (Acts 16: 7) Sometimes God opens doors (1 Cor 16: 9)
Then we are to Acknowledge
We need to speak out about God. So here’s a lockdown challenge. If you are on social media, why not post what Jesus means to you today.
Health and Wealth
Trusting God also brings healing and refreshment to our bones. We are not 100% there with healing and we wont be on this present earth, but we are called to extend His kingdom and do what Jesus did and that includes healing.
Next Solomon reminds us to honour God with your wealth. You are wealthy by the way – If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75 percent of the world. So we are reminded to honour God with it – take the generous path. Bless people and his kingdom, especially the poor and God loves it.
In v13 Solomon reminds us that wisdom trumps wealth everytime!