“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proberbs 3:5-6, ESV)
This passage reminds me of something that I think Christians can easily tend to forget. It is the Lord who straightens our path. Therefore, our understanding, which is limited in and of itself to the natural, and skewed by our corrupted state, is not what we should rest on at the end of the day.
There are things in life, and especially in our theology, that will make a lot of sense but lack proof. Throughout my life as a Christian, there have been times where I have silently rebelled against this utter trust in the Lord. And at times, even subconsciously, I would compartmentalize what I fully agreed with or understood in God’s Word and separated it from what I didn’t understand or entirely “trek with”. And those things that would fall in the latter category would be substituted with my own understanding of things in place of the non-provable conclusions that Scripture was offering.
Without a doubt, we should think through and test everything to be confident in the truth of a thing or to abandon it due to its falsehood. And what we believe to be true should be connected to good evidence or reason to believe it is. However, a lack of proof or full understanding of something does not make that something untrue, or even true. Although, it may well be either of the two! But when the evidence points us to a likely conclusion, though it is non-provable or non-observable, guess what we all do at that point? That’s right, we are forced to either reject the conclusion or place our faith in it! This is what the atheist, agnostic, and religious person alike will do. When we place our faith in that thing, we receive it into our worldview paradigm. Moreover, these supposed “truths” that we place our faith in are often not found in the details, but are far more foundational to our belief systems.
There are many places where God provides a methodology or command for Christian living but we rarely practice these things in direct obedience to what the Lord has decreed. We like to put our own spin on things, which can be fine, but sometimes this can take away from the significance of what we see in Scripture. For instance, regarding evangelism, Jesus told His disciples to go two by two into a town, visiting people in their homes and telling of the good news (Mark 6; Luke 10). And how often do we as churches practice this method? Not very often. The Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons set a better example of this practice than we do. However, they are bringing people a different gospel than our Gospel.
Our church began an outreach ministry in which a few of our church leaders would go to the neighborhood streets around the church two by two and see if people were willing to talk about Jesus and discuss their thoughts about the Church. My friend, Ben, and I went together and were so blessed by the great conversations that we had with people, and how we were able to compliment one another as we engaged people about the Gospel. As we drove back to the church to debrief with the others, we were amazed at how God led us in our encounters and I said with a hint of sarcasm and amazement, “Wow, God is so smart”! This might sound redundant, but please remember, God is far, far, far, far, far, wiser, knowledgeable, clever, etc. than any of us…
If only we trusted more holistically And more often in the God that we claim as our Creator, Lord, King, Redeemer, Savior, and Healer. Of course, I deeply care about knowing what I can know to be true, finding good evidence for my beliefs, and having an understanding of where all the evidence leads. The only problem with that is, while I may lack objective proof for some of my beliefs (as does everyone), I do not lack the undeniable subjective proof for His existence through the testimony of God’s transformation in my life, answers to prayer, and miraculous sustaining of my faith.
Not only is there (what I believe to be) better evidence for the existence of the Christian God as the one true God than there is to the contrary, but the matters of faith that go along with it, when I trust in the Lord, are only verified. But this is a very subjective, spiritual, and non-provable way of showing proof. Frustrating I know! But it’s also encouraging because I am personally not left void of evidence from God’s work in my life. I have experienced this because of His grace and unfailing love. I did not grow up “going to church”, I wanted to work in a completely different field than Christian ministry, had every reason to doubt Christianity, and plenty of opportunity to run the other direction. BUT GOD… in His love and mercy, has drawn me to Himself, and since I believed, has sustained my faith, affirmed it, and encouraged it. And believe me, my faith has not gone without serious testing. As I have trusted, He has faithfully “made my paths straight”. Do you trust in the Lord with “all your heart”?
The truth of the matter is that, we all put our trust (faith) in several things to make sense of our reality. What are you placing yours in? Where does the evidence lead? Understand this, whether you are someone who claims to be a Christian or not, the unavoidable truth is that “…without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6, ESV; emphasis added).
I hope you have enjoyed today’s “Wednesday wisdom”! Please like, share, or be a part of the discussion in the comments below!