The Simplicity Series #3

The Fail-Proof Plan for Divine Guidance in Life

“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.” Pro 3:5–6
In all my years of teaching, at home and overseas, no question has been asked more often than this: “How can I be sure of getting God’s guidance in my life?” Although a full study of the topic would include many other factors, I am convinced that the simple instructions in the quote above are sufficient for anyone who is a child of God to be assured of having the guidance of God.
The most reliable of guides is useless if we do not trust implicitly in their guidance. In the Hebrew, the verb is batach, which signifies the sense of security based on having confidence in something or someone. The concept behind this word is best seen in 1Pe 5:7, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” It is often said that the power of faith is in the object of that faith. We trust in a God who is trustworthy and, therefore, have assurance that He will do as He has promised. The phrase “with all your heart,” is meant to imply “without reservation.” This is the word used by Job in Job 13:15.
If we are to trust God completely, we cannot put any reliance on our own faulty perceptions or powers. In its biblical usage, faith implies an expression of helplessness. We cannot be trusting God if we are also trying to “work it out” by our own logic or ability. The combination of utter trust in the Lord who is faithful, and distrust of my own capabilities which are unreliable, presents two sides of the “coin” we call faith. It is not 95% trust in God and 5% reserved for my efforts. Trust is an all or nothing proposition.
The word “acknowledge” is literally “know.” The true knowledge of God is relational, built over time through study and experience. We “come to know Him” when we trust Jesus Christ as our Savior. But “the fear of the LORD” is only the beginning of knowledge (Pro 1:7). It is the building of a deep and abiding personal relationship with God in the experience of daily life that leads to truly knowing Him “in all [our] ways.” If we exclude Him in any of our decisions or actions, how can we presume to suddenly include Him when we have a problem? People who want the Lord to show up only in times of trouble have not laid the foundation for guidance.
The promise based on the preceding three conditions is that God will “direct your paths.” Literally, the promise is that “He will make your paths straight.” The verb yashar means to be “upright.” God’s paths—His guidance—will always reflect His character and be in obedience to His Word. He will always lead us in the way that is expressive of His nature. The word “ways” is the same used in Isa 40:3 of the ministry of John in preparing “the way of the LORD.”
In my experience, it seems this guidance is often unconscious; there are no “signs” or “markers.” God simply leads the submissive soul to make wise decisions, based on the wisdom of His Word and the familiarity with His character.
In the story of the servant of Abraham, all of these four ingredients are implied in his summary of how he was led to Rebekah. Read the story and consider each element (see Genesis 24).
“Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His mercy and
His truth toward my master. As for me, being on the way, the LORD led me …” Gen 24:27

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