When I was a new Christian, my mentor led me through a curriculum where I had to memorize five assurance verses. There was the assurance of answered prayer (Matthew 7:7-8), the assurance of salvation (1John 5:13), the assurance of forgiveness (1John 1:9-10), and the assurance of deliverance (1Corinthians 10:13).
All of these verses have been tremendously helpful throughout my faith journey, but perhaps the assurance of guidance has been the one that I’ve used time and time again. It comes from Proverbs 3:5-6.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Know What To Pray
There are many times in our lives where we require God’s guidance. Whenever we reach a crossroads or when we have to make an important decision, we seek God; we pray and ask for his help. Are you trying to decide whether or not to change majors? Are you wondering which career path to choose? Are you unsure of whether this person is the one you should marry? How about where you should live or what you should do once you retire?
Now, some things God makes very plain in Scripture. We should never pray about whether or not to do the things God explicitly commands. Rather, we should pray for a willing heart to obey. So we never pray, “Lord, should I forgive her or not?” You already know that the answer is “yes.” But instead, you can pray, “Lord, give me the heart to forgive.” Also, always seek the counsel of mature believers.
God is our Father and wants us to walk by faith, not by sight, meaning that he wants us to live our lives trusting in his leading and guidance. How should we go about doing that? Well, in the verses above, it says we are to do three things, and then God will do his thing. What are they?
First, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” Trust in the Lord, ultimately, not in yourself and not in the advice of men. And we are to trust with ALL our heart, that is with all of our being – not just partially, but completely.
Second, we are to lean not on our own understanding. This is the complementary truth that fits alongside trusting in the Lord. We cannot trust in the Lord and, at the same time, lean or depend on our own understanding. It has to be one or the other. Now, this doesn’t mean we check our brains at the door whenever we make decisions, but we ultimately entrust our decision making to God, not ourselves.
We cannot trust in the Lord and, at the same time, lean or depend on our own understanding. It has to be one or the other.
Third, “In all your ways, submit to him.” This part is so important. It’s as if the author is saying, “Why would you even bother asking God for guidance if you’re not submitted to him? If you’re not willing to follow the advice God gives, then why bother asking?” You see, sometimes we might get a word from God that we don’t like or don’t agree with, and we may even decide not to follow through. That’s why it’s important that we submit to him in all our ways.”
Now, here’s the good part: “God will make your paths straight.” Isn’t that amazing? It’s not just that he’ll show you the path; he will actually make your path straight. It’s as if he’s going before us, paving the way, so that we might follow after him. What a great God!
Whatever it is you’re going through, trust in God. Don’t trust yourself, but submit to him, and he will guide you, guaranteed.