I often ponder Proverbs 3:5, where God tells us to trust in Him with all of our hearts and to not lean on our own understanding, and I often marvel at just how easy it is to get those two seemingly simple commands so horribly wrong.
Lean not on your own understanding.
Wow, don’t we all do this most of the time?
Let’s say you worked a job that paid you an annual salary of $35,000, and you went off job-hunting, searching for something that paid a little better, perhaps doing something you enjoyed a little bit more. And, let’s say you went to several interviews and finally were offered a position at a different company doing something you thought you would really enjoy, and just for fun, let’s say they offered you double what you were already making at your other job. Yes, that’s right! This new company offered you a salary of $70,000.
Now, I’m not so sure I know a single person that would NOT take that job. Not a one, and if you are reading this blog and think you are that person, guess again!
My point is this…in the above example, let’s say you were a person with a very developed and fervent prayer life, and as such, you quite regularly “heard” God speaking to you. So, as you had prayed about your old job situation, God had told you to seek employment elsewhere, so you did, and in your search, God had told you to “trust Him,” which you had done all throughout the interviewing process at a number of different companies. This “trust” had led you to believe that God would present to you the perfect opportunity for your next place of employment, so when this new job offer presented itself and it paid double your old salary and was a job doing something you knew you would enjoy way more than your old job, it seemed pretty logical this was the very thing God had been leading you to the whole time.
Most of us, and I admit I would be the first in line to jump at the new job, would stop our praying as soon as the new boss said, “When can you start?” Yes, you know most of us would do just that. Heck, it’s double the salary and the job description fits you perfectly! “I’ll take it” would probably come flying out of your mouth without a second thought.
You see, some situations appear to be so obvious to our human brains that we instinctively “lean on our own understanding” when the truth of the matter is that sometimes, God might have something else in store for us. That $70,000 job might NOT be God’s truth; it might just be our own understanding. Perhaps God’s truth is a job making $17,500/year (half of what you were making) doing something we have no idea if we’ll love or not, and perhaps at that job, making way less than we think we can even live on, God brings a person across our path whose life He changes forever through our interaction with them.
Perhaps! Perhaps not! The point here isn’t about the job or the income or even our level of enjoyment. This is just a silly scenario I concocted to make the point that we will never know for sure what God’s truth is for any situation in life if we don’t go to Him for the answer. The truth will never be known if we don’t actively seek Him and then trust in Him completely, even if what He tells us isn’t what most of us would very quickly and obviously choose.
It’s just so easy for us to lean on our own understanding sometimes, when the reality is that God’s truth sometimes flies in the face of what seems logical to our human brains.
Think about when God told Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. What if Abraham had leaned on his own understanding?
What about when God told Noah to build an ark because the earth was going to get flooded?
What about when God told Joshua to march around the city of Jericho? You think his understanding of this command would have made sense?
You see, when God really reveals something to us, it’s truth, and we are called and commanded to trust it. The problem comes when our fleshly desires make us think our truth is really God’s truth. Yes, sometimes they line up perfectly, but sometimes, the $70,000 job is the one God is telling us to turn down.
Friends, seek Him for the truth. Maybe, just maybe, a true opportunity is waiting right around the corner.