In 2020, the staff of Bible Study Tools compiled a list of the most popular bible verses and included in the top ten is Prov 3:5 and 6, taking up two spots. I was exploring whether their list matched my own most popular verses. Do you have a list of your top 10 favorite verses? Prov 3:5-6 is one verse that has spoken to my heart again and again and is one of the first verses I memorized.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Notice that it does NOT say: “Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding…” There is clarity given to the quality of the trust that is needed: “with all your heart.” “With all” implies a total commitment on your part.
Where you trust in God, but you also trust in yourself. Abraham believed God, His Person, and it was “credited to Him as righteousness” (Rom 4:3, Gal 3:6) Abraham learnt the hard way, not to trust in himself and took a decision to trust ONLY God. This very act of trust brought Him salvation as a friend of God. (James 2:23)
It is not a mental decision but requires ALL of your HEART.
In our Western culture that is primarily influence by Greek thinking, we see the center of the person as their mind, which fuels their thoughts, emotions, will and action. But in the original Hebrew, the heart is the center of the person’s being: their mind, will, emotions, spirit and action. It is the whole person, as in the sum of all parts, the complete person. Trust with all the heart, requires an acknowledgement or submission to Him in a relationship, being intimately acquainted with Him and inviting Him into every aspect and part of our lives and conduct.
It is also mutually exclusive.
In other words, it cannot partially trust God, you either trust Him, or you don’t. Else you are what the word would describe as double-minded, or having a wavering mind. These two states of trust are mutually exclusive, just as black and white are mutually exclusive, you cannot be both, else you are just grey.
The reason we need to trust Him; this exclusively is so that we do not lean on our own understanding. We can see this in Abraham’s life who when he lent on his own understanding and trusted his own wisdom, looked to Hagar to give him the promised heir. All this did was bring problems into their lives from the moment Hagar conceived “When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.” (Gen 16:1-4).
Another example is in Gen 12:10-20 when Abraham again trusted his own understanding, and in the goodness of Egyptians. Instead of trusting the Lord, he lied to the Egyptians by saying Sarah was his sister. Problems came about just as Abraham expected, and then the Pharoah was inflicted with disease and Abraham was sent away in a time of famine.
God warns us in Jeremiah 17:5 that our lives become cursed when we stop trusting the Lord and instead trust in ourselves, or people:
“This is what the Lord says: ‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord.”
- lies helpless, face down, dependent OR
- a person who leans on, relies on another for support, or to cling, like a vine
- a soldier that is defeated, yielding himself to the conquering general.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. (Psalm 28:7)
Thank you, Lord, for being the ‘everlasting arms’ that support me, that I can rest my life in your hands and no longer fight for myself. Instead, you are my strength and shield, and my life is secure in you. Help me to watch my heart, my whole person, to always trust in You completely. Do not allow me to harbor other things I trust in or trust in myself, but make me sensitive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in keeping my heart undivided.
- Have you ever considered a tendency in your heart to trust in your own plans and the support of people, rather than trusting the Lord?
- Have you seen evidence of problems that occur in the lives of a friend or family member that fails to trust the Lord and instead made their own plans to overcome circumstances?