GOD PROMISES HIS GUIDANCE
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
I’m sure you are familiar with this promise, but it may not be saying exactly what you think. Let’s look at it and see just what is being promised here.
First of all, we see 3 conditions we must meet for this promise to be true. What are the conditions? God expects us to 1) trust 100% in Him (hard to do), 2) trust 0% in ourselves (even harder to do) and 3) always 100% acknowledge our total dependence on Him (most difficult of all to do). These are all inner heart attitudes, not simple outer actions. They must be our inner desire, even if we struggle and sometimes fail in them. God knows our heart, and He knows if we truly desire to have these three or not. In other words, before He will show us His will, we must be totally committed to following it no matter what.
We can’t ask God to show us His will just so we can consider it with our other options, then decide if we want to follow Him or not. We must sign on the dotted line before we are shown the contract. That’s what faith is all about. That’s our part. Then God will do His part.
When we do this, God promises He will make our paths “straight.” Our misunderstanding of this promise centers on the meaning of “straight.” We read it and we think, “smooth,” “easy,” “direct,” “downhill.” That’s not what the word means. It has the idea of “clear,” “understandable.” God promises He will reveal His will for us in a clear, understandable way, something we can follow and know we are following Him. We won’t be confused about what is right and wrong – the Bible and His Spirit within us will show us that.
Abram was fully committed to following God, and the Lord led him from Ur to Canaan (Genesis 11:27-12:9). Elijah was totally devoted to following God and was directed to a brook, then a widow’s home, and finally to the conflict with the prophets of Baal (His path wasn’t easy, but God made the way clear and Elijah followed (1 Kings 17-18). The magi, king-makers from the east, were seeking God’s will with all their hearts, and He led them thousands of miles to see the new-born Messiah/King (Matthew 2:1-12). Proverbs 3:5-6 promises that when we want to follow God, He will direct our lives in that direction.
What He is not saying is that when we trust Him all will go smoothly and easily. It won’t. We’ll clearly know when we are living for Him, or for ourselves – He’ll make that plain. His Spirit will convict us. And with His help, as promised in Hebrews 13:5; Philippians 4:19, etc., we will be able to follow. This verse promises awareness of God’s will for our lives, but it doesn’t promise that way will be easy and smooth. It wasn’t for Jesus, and it won’t be for those who follow Him, either. Are you confused about a decision or direction in your life? Make sure you are trusting Him and committed to following Him no matter the cost. Don’t expect the path to be easy, but you can be sure it will be what God wants, and He will guide you step by step.
Are you willing to do whatever He wants and go wherever He wants you to go, no matter what it is? If so, tell Him now that you’ll follow 100% no matter what.
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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