“Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.” — Proverbs 3:5-6 (AMP)
|Ciara Lilly is a Charlotte-area writer. Her faith-based column, Fishers of Men, is published here each Monday. Opinions expressed are solely her own.|
Most of us have a tendency to trust our own insight, even in matters of faith. When faced with a mountain, what’s the first thing we do? We try to figure it out.
We sit for hours with our calculators, our pads and pens, our calendars, graphs — you name it, we’ve got it! We are determined to ‘direct and make straight and plain our paths’. But all too often, our precious insight and understanding only gets us deeper into trouble. It’s only at this point that we get spiritual. I mean we bring out the holy oil, the prayer cloths, seventeen bibles; we pull up all the stoppers and begin fervent prayer for God’s direction. And if we don’t get immediate answers, we’re back to our original plan.
There’s something wrong with that formula.
Have you ever used a GPS device? Occasionally, I’ll put in an address and the GPS will lead me based on its insight and understanding of my location. It will tell me to turn right here, left there. I’ll listen faithfully but end up at a destination that’s opposite to the one I’ve requested. Instead of McDonald’s, I’ll find myself at a produce farm in a totally different city — lost, hungry and in need of gas!
We chuckle at that, but this is no different than how we sometimes direct ourselves.
How many times have we set out to direct ourselves to prosperity, only to find ourselves at poverty’s door? How many times have we set out to direct ourselves to love, only to find ourselves lost in the city of pain? We trusted our insight and understanding and it got us lost!
But there’s good news: The whole time we were busy directing our paths, God was with us, so we were never lost from Him. We may have traveled to some unpleasant destinations, but isn’t it great to know that you never traveled alone? Isn’t it great to know that you have the opportunity to exchange your GPS for God’s direction? All you have to do is, “in all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.”
So, if you see yourself sitting with the calculator, pad and pen, stop yourself and say, “Lord, here you go. I am not relying on my own insight or understanding. I am trusting in you. I am leaning on you. I am confident in you with all my heart and mind.”
With that one declaration, you’ve surrendered the compass. You no longer have to worry about getting lost; you will always end up at the right place, at the right time, with the right Guide leading the way.