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. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Proverbs 3:5-8 (NIV)
What do those words mean to you? What do what words mean to me? What do the words, “straight paths” mean to you? If I were to have walked a crooked path I would have wasted a lot of time, energy, and resources. I would have gone where I shouldn’t have gone. I would have done what I shouldn’t have done. I would have lived with regret with the decisions and choices that I had made. I would have regretted opportunities that were lost because I had foolishly and crookedly bounced from one mistake to another. I would have to retrace my steps. I would have needed to back track to the place where I had made a wrong turn. You are speaking as if walking a crooked path is merely a hypothetical concept. Have you never walked a crooked path? I didn’t mean to imply that.
I have walked a crooked path. I have relied on my own understanding. I have made dumb decisions and foolish mistakes. I am a “crooked path” expert. I have bounced from one dumb idea to another. I get tired just thinking about how much time, energy and resources I have wasted by relying on my own wisdom and understanding. Have you learned any lessons? Yes, I have. Tell me, what lessons have you learned by relying on yourself and walking a crooked path. I have learned that I don’t have all the wisdom that I need. I have learned that it is foolish for me to rely on my own understanding. I have learned, maybe it would be better to say that I am learning, to trust you with all my heart and mind and soul and strength. That is very good.
What will you do differently because you are trusting me with all your heart and mind and soul and strength? I will freely admit that I need your help. I will depend on you. I will pray to you. I will ask you for wisdom. I will ask you to guide all my thoughts, words and deeds. I will turn away from evil. I will rely on your guidance. I will follow your instructions. I will follow you to where you lead me. I will do what you ask of me. I will acknowledge that you are the one who is working in and through my life. It is you who will help to walk a straight path. It is you who will help me to do what is pleasing in your sight. You will make me able to live and walk in a way that will bring healing to my life and health to my bones. Yes, I will. That will be very good.
Lord, I have frequently relied on my own understanding. What a mistake that has been. With my own understanding, I have walked a crooked path that has wasted time, effort and resources. Help me now, to trust you with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. Amen
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