Proverbs 3:5-6 “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.”
Trust in the Lord with all your heart – why? – because your heart is bigger than your head. What you can fathom; what you can grasp; what you can see; what you can perceive; what you can connect to from the heart is so much more significant than what you can embrace with your mind. The mind is not insignificant, the mind is important, but the Bible teaches some very profound things on the priority of the heart over the mind.
What happens with ‘small-minded’ people is they put the mind first. If the mind is first; if I understand everything that’s going on in my Christian life; if I can fully explain where I’m at in life; if I understand everything that’s happening, then I have actually reduced God to my size. It’s actually important that I have parts of my life which are buried in mystery. In our walk with God, mystery is as important as revelation.
In our quest to know God; in our quest to serve Him and illustrate His kingdom purposes, we gain understanding. Things that I didn’t understand several years ago, I now understand. That’s how it’s supposed to be. We are meant to increase in our understanding. But in our progression in the Kingdom, we have to always allow room for the stuff that we can’t explain; the stuff we can’t control in our life, so that we have a reason to trust God. There has to be the stuff we can’t explain.
In Acts chapter two it talks about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised that His people would be clothed with power from on high. There’s no question as we read through Acts – we see the power of the Holy Spirit at work. But that power serves two purposes – we tend to emphasize only one. The one we emphasize is the need for miracles, the need for breakthrough, the need for power, the demonstration of God’s power. But the other role of the outpoured Holy Spirit was always to produce endurance in us. Endurance is necessary because the breakthroughs don’t always come immediately, do they?
Endurance is what’s needed when it didn’t happen the way you thought, or there’s a delay. That power, that immersion in the Spirit serves both purposes. It equips us and enables us to pray, to believe and to see miracles unfold around us, but when that miracle doesn’t happen, the Spirit actually gives us the power, the grace to endure until the breakthrough comes. It’s a huge part of this life.
So we are exhorted to trust in the Lord, with all our heart, let everything about us be anchored in who God is. Then we are exhorted to lean not on our own understanding. That word ‘to lean’ actually means that which supports you. So if you lean against a wall, it supports you. If it wasn’t there, you would fall over. It is supporting you. So this verse is saying, “Don’t let your understanding be that which supports you.”
Now please don’t think this is anti-intellect or anti-understanding. It’s simply saying, that we should make sure we accept and respect the mystery part of our life, as our understanding increases. We need to make sure we stay exposed to the mystery God places in our life in such a way that it will become normal for us to lean not on our own understanding – but in all our ways acknowledge Him.
So each day our commitment should be to not let our understanding, our insight, our revelation be the source of our strength. Rather let our strength always come from our heartfelt abandonment to the purposes of God – whether we understand them or not.