Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “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.” These verses have been a source of comfort and blessing to many believers, for in them we have one of God’s most precious promises to us, that “He shall direct thy paths.” It is one thing to be saved and to know we’re on our way to heaven, but it is another thing to be guided by God as we make our way to our heavenly home.  We are in a world of sin and confusion, and we need His direction in every area of our lives. There are countless decisions we need to make, and we can only be assured of His guidance by following the three things mentioned in this passage.

1) For of all, we must “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart.” This means there must be a total commitment to the Lord, trusting that He alone can lead and guide us through our lives. Romans 12:1 speaks of this commitment, for it reads “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” In Proverbs 23:26 we have a similar thought, “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.” In these two passages God is appealing to the believer to fully surrender their whole being to Him. One has said that if God has our heart, He has all of us…body, soul, and spirit.

2) Secondly, we are told “lean not unto thine own understanding,” which means we must “DISTRUST ourselves.” Jeremiah expressed it this way in Jeremiah 10:23: “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” Our hearts cannot be trusted to direct our steps, for they often deceive us. Jeremiah wrote of this in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” A good example of this is seen in Joshua chapter 7 when Joshua and his men decided to invade a little town called Ai with just a few thousand men. They had just defeated the large city of Jericho and now they reasoned among themselves that they didn’t need their whole army to conquer such a small city. Their hearts deceived them, for they forgot that God alone had given them the victory at Jericho and that they would need God to enable them to conquer the enemy at Ai too. They ended up suffering a miserable defeat because they “leaned on their own understanding.”

3) And lastly, God tells us, “In all thy ways acknowledge Him.” Every decision we make, big or small, must be committed to Him. In doing so, we are acknowledging the Lordship of Christ and that He knows what’s best for us. We must abandon our own wills and humbly pray, “Thy will be done, O Lord.”

If these three conditions are met, GOD WILL DIRECT OUR PATHS! He may guide us by Scripture, or by the counsel of godly brethren, or by an inner peace of the Holy Spirit, or by clear and unmistakable circumstances. Or, He may choose to use a combination of these things. Whatever the case, He will make it clear to us which way we should go and we will be blessed as we follow His leading.  (189.8)  (DO)