Hear me loud and clear when I say that I love when people say they have a life verse. I do. In fact, I have one of my own. Truth be told, I’ve had several life verses, different ones for different seasons. You know how that goes, right? Certain passages leap off of the page and into your heart when you’re going through certain things. I’ve got mine, and I pray that you’ve got yours.
Here’s the thing, though. I’m not a super huge fan of what I like to call wall art faith or bumper sticker theology. I’m a fan of people knowing God’s Word for themselves, opening it on a regular basis, clinging to it with all their might, and never letting it go. It’s one thing to put a pretty, stylish frame up on your wall that you found at Hobby Lobby on clearance and feel great about your faith in Christ. It’s quite another to be in the Word, meditating on the Word, praying the Word into your situation, and living out the Word in this world. This is my heart. This is what I’m after in this generation—a people wholly committed to knowing the truth of God’s Word and living it out, beyond the walls of their homes.
Proverbs 3:5-6 are perhaps the verses that I have heard most people claim as their life verse. Don’t get me wrong—this isn’t a bad thing. However, I wonder how many of us have ever taken the time to brush past the surface of these few verses, dig into the conviction that comes before the promise, and really allow these verses to change and transform our very lives. Let’s do that together, today, shall we?
“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.”
Let’s take this apart phrase by phrase.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart.”
In order to do this one part, it requires faith in an unseen God. Do we get that? Because we cannot see God, we easily wander from His pastures. More often than not, the temptation that leads so many of us astray is the temptation to be led by our emotions instead of our faith. Our hearts are the seat of our emotions. To trust God with all of our heart is to refuse to be led by emotions but rather by faith. How are we doing with that?
“… and lean not on your own understanding …”
We can only see a small frame of God’s greater picture. That small frame is our limited perspective of God’s limitless plan for our life. That limited perspective is our own understanding. And why wouldn’t we lean on that? It’s what we know. It’s what we can see. But God calls us to wade in deeper waters. To not lean on our own perspective is so counter-cultural, so unnatural. But that is what faith looks like—to trust in the God whose ways and thoughts are higher and better than our own. How are we doing with that?
“In all your ways submit to Him …”
To submit to God in all of our ways means exactly that. Nothing is too small to run by our great God. There is no decision too minor, no thought or idea too insignificant, no plan too little. Still, how many of the decisions we make on a daily basis have never been brought before the counsel of God? Do we even consult Him anymore on the things we choose to do? Do we only go to Him with the BIG stuff? Is God’s Word the final authority in our lives? God says, “In ALL your ways …” How are we doing with that?
“… and He will make your paths straight.”
Now, we get to the promise. Don’t miss this, though. This promise is a conditional one, and the conditions are as follows: #1—trust in the LORD with all your heart, #2—lean not on your own understanding, and #3—in all your ways submit to Him. We want to cling to the promise without walking in obedience first. We want the blessing from God’s hand without first submitting to God’s authority. We want the benefit without the relationship.
But that’s not how God works. He’s after more than that. He wants our hearts. He wants our motives. He wants our desires. He wants our plans. He wants our trust.
And friends, hear me loud and clear—He is worth it all.