My own understanding

Today I read a familiar passage, one I’ve heard my kids recite through AWANA.
Proverb 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

The interesting thing is that today, I saw it in a new light.  I’ve always looked at the part of leaning on your own understanding as referring to things of this world.  But today I saw this statement from a different perspective.  Instead of thinking about my understanding of things, people or situations, I saw it as my understanding of Him.

This made me think of the child-parent relationship.  My kids regularly want to know all the answers… where are we going, what time will we get their, when will we eat, what’s for dinner, what are we doing tonight, what plans are for tomorrow, etc.  Any parent knows that this list goes on and on.  They have a natural pull to lean on their own understanding of things, but sometimes we just want them to trust us.  We (as your parents) will get you there, we will feed you, we will care for you, take care of you.  We want so much for them just to trust us.

I meet people all the time who refuse to accept Christ because this just can’t understand the Gospel.  They can’t get their head around this fact or that.  What is the trinity? Is God the Father the same being as God the Son or the Spirit?  Was there an actual Garden of Eden?  An actual flood?  What about the dinosaurs?  Was the resurrection a physical thing? etc.

The questions that people wrestle with in their minds is endless.  This is not a bad thing, it’s good to wrestle with things, Jacob was said to have ‘wrestled with God’ before God renamed him to Israel.  Kind David constantly was asking questions, challenging his thoughts about who or what God was.  This is fine.  I’m not saying to ignore these questions, for they are worth pursuing.

However, when King Solomon said “do not lean on your own understanding” he didn’t say ignore your questions.  He didn’t say that your own understanding was useless or irrelevant.  He simply said not to ‘lean’ on it.

I am so thankful to have faith that provides all I need.  I don’t need to have all the answers to trust Him, I just need to trust Him.  I know I’m that kid that keeps asking Him, are we there yet?  Is this the right path?  When will we be there?  When will I know for sure?

The truth is, we never stop asking these questions, but God doesn’t want our faith in Him to be dependent on these questions.  We desire to know just like my 8 year old son desires to know.  But just as his questions are merely seeking knowledge and not having an impact on his faith in me… my questions of Him are merely seeking knowledge but have no impact on my faith in Him.

 

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