We have spent quite a bit of time over the past few days talking about staying close to God… keeping our eyes fixed on God… focusing our lives on God. Today I have been thinking about how that may just seem impossible when you are busy with work, kids, homework, grandkids, etc.
So, today, we are going to talk about how we can actually do that. Is it really possible and if so, how?
Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
5“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make Your paths straight.”
It seems to me that staying focused on God is partly habit, partly determination, but mostly heart. Throughout God’s Word, there is a consistent theme – it is about the heart – His heart, my heart, your heart.
Mostly About Our Hearts
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3
“Love the LORD your God with all your heart…” in Deuteronomy, Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
“…and serve Him with all your heart…” Joshua 22:5
“…above all else guard your heart…” Proverbs 4:23
According to christianbiblereference.org, the word “heart” occurs in the NIV translation almost 600 times. Each translation is a little different on the count.
As God draws us to Him, He turns our hearts toward Him. He gives us that heart’s desire to focus on Him, know Him, love Him, serve Him, trust Him, and so on. So if we need the heart to focus on Him we need to ask Him for it.
Let’s go to Verse 5:
5“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…”
The AMP Bible says:
5″Lean on, trust and be confident in the LORD with all your heart and mind, and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.”
It is pretty clear in this verse that we do not just automatically do the will of God. I am sure we all knew that – but our insight and understanding apart from God will almost always lead us in the wrong direction.
God’s Wisdom or Ours?
Why? I think it is because then we are actually relying on human wisdom, which falls terribly short in comparison to God’s wisdom. Human wisdom will take us down human paths.
But what path will God’s wisdom take us down?
Now to Verse 6:
“…in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
The AMP Bible says:
“In all your ways know, recognize and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.”
Focused on Him
This is where we really get down to the word “focus”.
We are to “in ALL our ways acknowledge Him”. When we do that, we are focusing our lives on Him. Well, the way that will happen is if our heart/soul is so clinging to Him and wanting to be in His will that we acknowledge Him such as
- “So, Lord, is this the way I should go?”
- “Lord, how do I accomplish this thing that I feel You are leading me to do?”
- “Please help me forgive her, Lord. I know You do not want me to stay angry.”
- “This is too hard for me, Lord, so please help me.”
- “How can I bring You glory in this situation, Lord?”
Does it Line Up?
As He leads you and answers these questions for you, won’t He be making your paths straight? Absolutely. But, how do you know He is the one leading you? How do you know it is His voice? Does it line up with God’s Word?
- We must know His Word well and know His character well. Which comes from spending time in it and with Him. If you are not sure, go to a more mature Christian, a mentor of sorts, and ask them to help you qualify it in God’s Word.
- God will never, ever lead you to do anything contrary to His Word. If it is contrary to His Word, you have not heard from Him. There again, you may want to talk with a Christian mentor about it.
- He will never lead you to lie or break any of His laws, to accomplish His will.
- He will never condone this thinking “the accomplishment justifies how I get it done – no matter how shady or deceptive I am.” We are to walk uprightly before God and man, aren’t we?
It is such a beautiful thing to be protected and led by our wonderful Lord. He has His glory and our good in mind… always! He is so good to us and He wants good things for us.
Things to Ponder:
- Are you trusting in the Lord today or in yourself or in someone else? We need God’s help even in trusting Him, so let’s just do that. Ask Him for His help in trusting Him. For me, some days it is harder than others but He is faithful to help us.
- Are you acknowledging Him in all your ways? Do you bring Him into your decision-making process?
He loves you and me so much and He delights in our seeking Him! He really does. No matter how many times we take our burdensome decisions or issues to Him, we cannot over-burden Him. He has unimaginably strong, broad shoulders to carry the load.
May your day be filled with God’s light and your heart be filled with His joy!!