“In All Your Ways Acknowledge Him”
Prov. 3: 5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. 7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.”
Last time we talked about the first step in God’s guidance is the trust factor—Can you trust the Lord with everything including “that”, THAT being the things you’re most attached to.
Now this time I want to deal with the next part of the verse.
It says that a big part of trusting Him is to:
I. Not rely on your own understanding
It’s not that we’re helpless to think something through and make decent decisions on a wide variety of issues.
God gave us the ability to think rationally, to use common sense, to add two and two.
But when it comes to knowing and following God’s will, the Bible teaches that our own understanding is limited.
Partly because our thinking has been affected by Adam’s fall.
This is why the Bible says things like, “There is a way that people think is right (a way that seems right), but it leads only to death.”—Prov. 14:12
Without God’s guidance people make decisions all the time out of their own understanding that are unwise and even destructive.
This is why we need the Word!
This is why David prayed prayers like this:
Ps 25: 4-5 “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. 5 Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”
God assured David:
Ps. 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with my loving eye on you.”
We find him repeatedly writing about and praising God for His guidance:
Ps.37:23 “The steps of good men are directed by the Lord. He delights in each step they take.”
Ps. 48:14 “For this great God is our God forever and ever. He will be our guide until we die.”
Ps. 73:24 “You will keep on guiding me all my life with your wisdom and counsel, and afterwards receive me into the glories of heaven!”
In the book of James God says, “If any man lacks wisdom let him ask of God” because so often we do lack wisdom!
Our own abilities to look at a situation and discern God’s will are limited.
This is true also because we don’t see what God sees, and we don’t know what God knows!
Isaiah 55:8-9 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. 9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
So our ability to figure out God’s will and make the wisest decisions is limited.
You say, “Well, I’ve just learned to follow my heart.”
“Did you know the Bible says, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be saved.”—Pr. 28:26 LEB
The great Apostle Paul with all of his brilliant insights, dazzling intellect, and profound spiritual understanding admitted:
“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then (in heaven) we will see everything with perfect clarity.”—1 Cor. 13:12
The Bible is not telling us to be irrational, or to reject common sense, or to do away with critical thinking.
It’s telling us to not lean on conclusions based only on our own limited perceptions.
Then he says:
II. Acknowledge Him in all your ways
To acknowledge God simply means to “know Him.”
We could read it like this: “In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him,” AMP
Know and recognize what?—That He is Lord of your life, Captain of your ship, and the Shepherd of your life!
Acknowledge that He is—that He’s there
Acknowledge Who He is—the Creator of all things, the one and only Almighty God of the universe.
And Acknowledge Who He is to you—your Redeemer, your Savior, your Heavenly Father!
And since He is your Heavenly Father, He cares about every step you take!
ILLUS: If you’ve ever gotten a puppy you know that, at first, they don’t acknowledge you at all.
They run off to chase a squirrel without looking back.
They ignore your calls.
They chew up what they want to, and so on.
But as they undergo discipline, and experience bonding to you, you notice that before running off they will look up and acknowledge you.
If they start to go where you don’t want them to, they’ll acknowledge your call to come back.
You’re there, you’re real, and they acknowledge the relationship.
Likewise, as His children we’re to acknowledge His presence and Lordship at every turn,
—at every fork in the road,
—with every decision we’re to:
—Acknowledge the Lord’s Lordship and supremacy.
—Acknowledge Him with who we decide to hang out with,
—Acknowledge Him with financial decisions,
—Acknowledge Him with where we go to church,
—If you’re single Acknowledge Him with who you date,
—Acknowledge Him in making major decisions.
Don’t act like He’s not there or He doesn’t matter, but “In ALL your ways”—
With every road you take,
every goal you set,
every decision you make acknowledge His Lordship by running your options through Him!
One of the best examples of this is David.
It was David’s habit to inquire of the LORD for guidance.
Nine times throughout 1 & 2 Samuel, the scriptures show David asking God what to do rather than forging ahead with his own plans.
The only two times he didn’t do so ended in tragedy and heartache for him.
He didn’t inquire of the Lord regarding Bathsheba,
And he didn’t inquire of the Lord about living in Ziklag under a Philistine king for 16 months.
It’s always struck me that we don’t have one recorded psalm David wrote while in Ziklag.
It’s like his well of inspiration had run dry!
In fact, David lived a lie in Ziklag, telling the king he was fighting the king’s enemies when in fact he was fighting the king’s allies.
And but for God’s rescuing help, David almost lost everything!
There’s two kinds of people in life—those that acknowledge the Presence, wisdom, and Lordship of Christ when making decisions…
And those who don’t even think about inquiring of God.
Ps. 10:4 “The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts.”
But the wise man or woman will first thing seek the guidance and counsel of God in all things.
When we TRUST Him with all our heart to faithfully guide us,
When we don’t LEAN ON our own limited understanding,
And when we ACKNOWLEDGE the Lord by submitting to His wisdom and direction as Guide and Master of our life…
The promise is—“He will direct your path.”
And that’s what I’m talking about next time—how to know God’s guiding you!