Why is it so difficult to live these verses?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He shall direct your paths. — Proverbs 3:5-6
It is not a stretch to say that there are as many reasons, as there are readers. That is to say, your reason, or reasons may not be mine. And you likely will think of some I haven’t.
Here are mine, I hope they resonate with yours.
God has blessed or cursed me depending on how you look at it, I suppose. I have a logical analytical, albeit imperfect mind. I can give intellectual ascent to the reality that I should not lean on my own understanding because my mind is flawed. Yet, the twelve inches or so between my brain and my heart seem at times to be more like twelve miles. Add to that my sinful heart, and even if I successfully make the twelve inch trip, I have to deal with a heart that wants to be “like god”, where I’m in control of everything. As if that were possible, right?!!
That brings us to the second proverb. When I honestly search my life, I sadly realize that all of my ways do not acknowledge Him. Yet, I expect Him to direct my path anyway. Then, the things that I might come close to acknowledging Him, I want to take credit for them myself.
It might seem hopeless then. And that is why I’m thankful for a lesson from David, of whom it was said that he was a man after God’s own heart. I’ve often thought that it would be better to resolve issues with people here, than to wait for God to sort things out at the final judgment. And while I still believe that’s true, I need to balance that with what David realized about God. David just finished numbering the nation of Israel, and God was not pleased. David was given three options. If my memory serves me correctly, two of them were to lose in battle at the hand of man. And the one he chose, was God’s wrath. I honestly was thinking that was a bad choice, given all of the things that they had seen God do up to that point. David threw himself on God’s mercy. God is a God of Mercy!
GOD in mercy sent His Son
To a world by sin undone;
Jesus Christ was crucified —
‘Twas for sinners Jesus died.
Oh! the glory of the grace,
Shining in the Saviour’s face,
Telling sinners from above,
“God is Light” and “God is Love.”
Sin and death no more shall reign,
Jesus died and lives again.
In the glory’s highest height
See Him God’s supreme delight.
All who in His name believe,
Everlasting life receive;
Lord of all is Jesus now;
Every knee to Him must bow.
Christ the Lord will come again;
He who suffered once will reign;
Every tongue at last shall own,
“Worthy is the Lamb” alone.
— Miss Hannah Kilham Burlingham (1842-1901)
So it is for all of us. We ought to throw ourselves on God’s Mercy, and we can do that because of Jesus. If you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus, then you truly have no hope. God’s wrath is already on you because of your sin. Jesus was, and is the only perfect sinless one. Jesus’ death on the cross paid the price for God’s wrath that’s already on you. Ask God to give you the faith to believe that Jesus paid the price, and become a follower of Jesus. Then you too can have hope.
Now I suppose I’ve acknowledged Him. At least a little. Some questions are: “Do I trust Him?” Do I trust Him with every challenge I face? Do I trust He will direct my path? Perhaps the better question is: “Why shouldn’t I?” After all, I’m trusting Him for the life to come. I’m trusting that Jesus paid the penalty I deserved. I’m trusting that sacrifice is enough. Trusting Him for everything else after that should come easy!