Wise people rarely see themselves as wise. Most of the time, they are aware that they have limited understanding and knowledge and need help from an outside source. Foolish people rarely believe they are foolish. In fact, they believe they are so smart that they keep their own counsel, honestly believing that they have all the answers! What we believe about ourselves in this capacity ultimately determines our future. If we are INDEPENDENT of the Lord and others, there is a good chance we’ll end up a mess. If we are DEPENDENT on the Lord and others who hear from Him, there is a certainty that we’ll be ok!
We’re told in this passage that if we trust in the Lord AND lean not on our own understanding, acknowledging Him in ALL of our ways, our paths will be straight. Let’s break this down. The word trust here is the Hebrew word bâṭach and it means: to flee to for protection, to be confident in and be sure of. We are called to trust the Lord in this way. We are then told to NOT lean on our own understanding which could be translated: “Do not support or uphold yourself with you own knowledge and ability.” So the picture here is clear, we’re to run to the Lord for refuge, strength and safety. You may ask flee from safety from what? Our own understanding and knowledge! Foolish idiots think they are the Cat’s Meow, but they are not, GOD IS!
Then we must acknowledge God in ALL of our ways. The word “acknowledge” is the Hebrew word yâda‛ and is frequently used to describe worship and means: to know, to recognize. Way here is described as: a path or course of action. To walk this straight and narrow road we must acknowledge and recognize God. I’m aghast at Christians that make major life decisions without ever asking themselves, “Is this what the Lord has for me?” or even better, “Lord, are you in this decision?” Most people simply inform God of their course of action after keeping their own counsel! They probably have a conversation with themselves that sounds something like this: “Self, what do you think about this path? Sure, sounds great, let’s wreck our lives!” They are their own support and then they wonder why they are off course.
If there is a scourge in the body of Christ today, it is people not knowing who they are or what they are called to do. They are walking, but many times in confusion about their life’s purpose. Is it possible that many of us are walking some foreign path that God never intended simply because we were our own support, keeping our own counsel and never recognized that God was even involved in our lives?
I’m thinking… yeah.
Anchoring a structure to itself doesn’t work in construction or life.