Trust in the Lord with all your heart. That is the biblical instruction found in Proverbs 3:5, and if you’ve been a Christian for a while then I’m sure you’ve heard it quoted often. Doing so promises safety, provision, and peace. God can’t lie, and his Word is true. Since that’s the case, why do so many Christians feel frustrated, anxious, and uncertain, about the things going on in their life? Maybe it’s time we looked at that Scripture a little closer.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart is part of a passage and, like the rest of God’s Word, it should be read in the context of the surrounding verses. The lead verses are foundational to keeping it in context, and we need to look at some key words to get the full meaning of what God is saying.
The first four verses speak specifically of the Word of God and how we apply that Word in our lives. His Word is to be at the core (heart) of everything we think and do. We are to keep them as close at the clothing on our body! That image is the launching pad for what follows, because if we don’t follow through with keeping God and His Word close, then the rest of what follows will be powerless.
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.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones. (NKJV)
Trust in the Lord – Trust, have confidence in, and rely upon the Lord. That takes the pressure off you and places it where it should be – on Him. God is true. God is faithful. God will be with you!
… with all your heart – With the very core of your being. Do you have confidence in Him? Really? If not, then spend time getting to know Him through studying the Word and prayer.
… and lean not on your own understanding – This part can be tricky. We often want to try and figure things out on our own first, then take our plans to God for His blessing. Pretty much every time I’ve done that things didn’t go so well. If God is with us then He will lead us (John 10:27). Have confidence in Him because He knows what He is doing.
… in all your ways – All your ways means, well, all of them. Nothing is too small a matter for our Father to take notice of, even what we consider to be the mundane, everyday stuff.
… acknowledge Him – This is the crux of how we place our trust in Him. The word used is yada, which means to discover and know something as a certainty, to obtain an answer you are assured of, and to be diligent with what you know. It means to seek God through His Word and prayer to the point that you know you have heard His answer.
…and He shall direct your paths. – The word for direct is yashar, to straighten up, make right, and to fit everything together. As you acknowledge Him then He will make everything turn out correctly.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. – Taking things into your own hands is a form of pride, or it demonstrates a lack of trust in the Lord. He considers acting independently of His leading to be evil! To have the fear of the Lord is to reverence Him and follow His leading as you acknowledge Him.
It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones. – Here’s the promise given to those who will apply His Word. As you seek Him in all you do, He will keep you healthy in body and fortify you on the inside – in your heart. He will provide for your physical life (health to your flesh) as well as build courage, confidence, and trust in your heart (strength to your bones).
Trust in the Lord with all your heart. He’s worthy of your trust!