“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”
I’ve been thinking about these verses a lot lately. They are very well-known verses, and because of that, sometimes we become “numb” to them and forget how powerful they really are. So I’m going to break them down and look at them closer. I’ll break down the first verse in this section.
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart”
First off, what is trust? To me, trust is a complete confidence in something. A lack of worry and fear. I think of the sun. We trust it to rise every morning. It doesn’t even cross our minds that it might not rise the next day. It’s going to, no doubt about it.
We need to trust in the LORD. Put our full confidence in Him, and Him alone. But it goes further than that. The verse says to trust in God with “all thine heart”. In every area of our lives, we need to trust God completely to supply that area. Not just in some areas where it’s easier for us to, but in every area. And with full trust, we cannot have any worry.
“and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
Our own understanding is what we see and perceive around us. We use our understanding to figure things out. This is where I have trouble, because I like to figure things out and know ahead of time what’s going to happen. And many worries stem from that. Why? Because our understanding is limited to the present and what is around us. Perhaps there is something that you really want or need to happen. A great desire. But it seems impossible. Our own understanding, because of its limitations, cannot fathom the possibility of it. So we worry and fret.
But God can see the future and can work in areas that we can’t see. He can do the impossible. The story that comes to my mind is the story of Joseph.
Joseph had dreams that his family would bow down to him (Gen. 37:6-20). This was something that was foretold by God to Joseph. Something that Joseph knew was going to happen. Yet shortly after, his brothers sell him into slavery into Egypt. Then he is lied about and thrown in prison.
Imagine yourself in his place. You’ve had visions of your family bowing down to you, but now you’re hundreds of miles away in a dungeon with no hope of ever seeing them again. With your own understanding, it looks genuinely impossible for those visions to come true.
But yet you never read of Joseph questioning God. When he comes across some other prisoners who are sad, he asks why (Gen. 40). In fact, those two prisoners had dreams themselves. And Joseph interprets them! That leads me to believe that Joseph was not leaning on his own understanding and still trusting in God. After all, if he had given up on his visions, why would he interpret more? And we do know that Joseph’s visions end up coming to pass (Gen. 42:6).
Another person I think of is Zacharias when Gabriel told him that he would have a son. Zacharias trusted in his own understanding. He and his wife were. According to logic, too old to have a son. And because he failed to trust in God, he could not speak until it came to pass (Luke 1:18-19). Though our unbelief and lack of trust will not prevent God from accomplishing His plan, we will have a harder time because of it.
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
A very powerful verse with very powerful truths. It can be very hard to fully trust in God in every area of our lives, but if we can, we will see God perform great things!