“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
We choose everyday where (or in whom) we will place our trust. It cannot be divided up among several recipients. It is either solely in God or it is not.
There is an old joke about the man who fell over the side of a cliff and was able to grab a small branch. As he dangled over the chasm he looked to the heavens and cried out, “Is there anyone up there who can help me?” Three times he called out and no one answered. Suddenly the heavens parted in the voice of God rang out, “I will help you but you must trust me. I want you to let go of the branch.” The man looked down to the ravine below him, considered his options, then look back to heaven and yelled, “is there anyone else up there who can help me?”
So it is in our walk with God. We ask for help, he responds with an invitation but always requires a step of faith, an act of ultimate trust in him. In almost every case trusting God requires us to take steps that seem illogical, countercultural and uncomfortable. That is the nature of faith and trust. Our text from Proverbs reminds us that trusting God will often require that we set aside “our own understanding.” That is we will be required to reject “the way we would do it” and embrace wholly the direction to which God is calling us. Adam and Eve faced exactly that choice. They were given the opportunity to enjoy the overwhelming beauty and abundance of the garden God created for them. All that was required is that they trust God and not eat of the one tree that grew in the center of the garden. That was it. “Enjoy all I have created for you, and trust me that you do not need or want the fruit of the forbidden tree.”
We know how the story ends. How about for you? What step of faith, what act of trust is God asking of you? Will you set aside your own understanding and trust in him? Even if it means letting go of your branch?
This is time for absolute honesty with your self. Answer this question: “If I absolutely, completely and unreservedly trusted in God for my life, my health, my finances and my future, here is one thing I would do differently today: ______________________________________.”
Now that you have named it, what will you do about it?
Gracious Lord, I confess that I love to cling to my own understanding. Letting go and trusting you is so very difficult for me. I pray for faith to take this step that you are calling me to take today. I know how differently my life would be if I really trusted in you for everything, and I want that life, Lord. I’m tired of compromising my faith and placing conditions on my trust in you. I want to be all in, holding nothing back, completely submitted. I can’t do this on my own, I know because I’ve tried and failed so often. But I claim the promise that through you I can do all things. So give me the strength and the courage to step boldly in the direction that you’re calling me. Fill me with a new level of trust in you that I have never known before. Help me Lord, to trusting you with all my heart, and not lean on my own understanding. I give myself back to you for that purpose, in Jesus’ name. Amen.