The drunk husband snuck up the stairs quietly. He looked in the bathroom mirror and bandaged the bumps and bruises he’d received in a fight earlier that night. He then proceeded to climb into bed, smiling at the thought that he’d pulled one over on his wife. When morning came, he opened his eyes and there stood his wife. “You were drunk last night weren’t you!” “No, honey.” “Well, if you weren’t, then who put all the band-aids on the bathroom mirror?”
Trust in marriage, or any relationship is a very important thing.
The first and most important step in establishing and maintaining a true relationship with God, is trusting Him. God greatly desires that we turn to Him by faith and trust Him.
In the book of Proverbs chapter 3 the Bible shares one of the greatest passages regarding the essences of a true relationship with God. The Bible says in verses 5 through 6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
TRUST IN THE LORD
The first and most important aspect to any meaningful relationship is trust.
Merriam-Webster says that trust is the “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.”
There are several Hebrew words used to express the concept of trust, in Proverbs chapter 3 verse 5 the word used there is batach, baw-takh. Batach indicates one who trusts, is confident or sure in someone or something, someone who has hope in someone or something.
The trust spoken of here is not a small or flimsy trust. Rather, it is big and bold in nature. It does not waver, but stands firm regardless of circumstance.
Proverbs chapter 3 directs one’s trust to the “Lord.” The Lord? Which Lord? In England they have a number of Lords. In fact, they have a place called the “House of Lords.” It is the “second chamber of the United Kingdom’s Parliament.” There they gather for the purpose of “making and shaping laws and checking and challenging the work of the government.”
Is the passage referring to one of those Lords? No. It’s referring to one specific “Lord.” How do we know? The Hebrew word translated “Lord“ is “Yhwh.” Yahweh is the word used to identify the “self-Existent or Eternal” God Himself. The passage is very clear who the “Lord” is. It is referring to the God of the Bible. The God of Heaven and earth.
TRUST WITH ALL YOUR HEART
Proverbs chapter 3 verse 6 establishes the extent of the trust expected of true followers of God must embrace. Verse 6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.”
Trust “with all your heart.” What does the word “all” mean? Does it mean 25 percent of your heart? Does it mean 50 or 75 percent of your heart? What about 99.999 percent of your heart? Of course not! All means trust in the Lord with 100 percent of your heart!
The trust spoken of here is not a flimsy, weak, semi-committed trust. Rather, it is a trust characterized by boldness and confidence.
Deuteronomy chapter 6 verse 5 says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
In Matthew chapter 22 verse 37, Jesus echoed the teaching of this verse when asked by a Pharisee, “which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” There Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
Did Jesus prove the depth of His commitment to fulfilling this command in His own life? Indeed, He did! How? Jesus died on the cross as the ultimate act of love and trust. And He proved His love and trust were not in vain when He rose from the dead on the third day. Jesus is our standard and our model.
By His life, death and resurrection, Jesus proved that love and trust of God go hand in hand. If Jesus brought the two together, then who are we to separate them.
There are many who claim to “love” God, but when push comes to shove they don’t trust Him. How do we know? Look at their lives. How do they live out their lives? When their feet are to the fire do they pull back or trust? When things don’t make sense, do they question God and turn on Him or trust?
How can we truly “love” the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and strength, if we do not trust Him with all our heart, soul and strength? If we say we love and trust Him, do we strive to daily prove it or are we just mouthing words?
Remember that old saying, “Where’s the beef?”
The trust spoken of in Proverbs chapter 3 verse 5, is one that encompasses all our heart, all our soul and all our strength, or else it isn’t a trust worthy of entering into eternity with.
If our trust were a car, would we want to drive that car into eternity? Is our eternity car falling apart? Does it need new tires and an engine overhaul? Are we driving an eternity car that’s running on empty? If our eternity car can’t make it across town, how in the world do we expect to drive it into the Kingdom of God?
TRUST NOT ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING
Proverbs chapter 3 goes on to add in verse 5, “lean not on your own understanding.”
As mere mortals, far too often, even those striving to follow Christ, “lean” or trust not in God, but their “own understanding.” In other words, their own ability to work things out or discern the best path to pursue. They don’t pray or consult God’s Word, but their own human ingenuity.
Of course, God does not expect us to consult Him on the mundane things of life such as should I not eat, bath, cloth myself and the like. But rather things that demand His direction and discernment. Things like employment, ministry opportunities, working through issues with friends and family God would have us to consult Him and His Word to make certain the way we handle such thing is in accord with Him.
When we fail to trust in God, and look solely to our own means of resolving things, we can get ourselves into lots of trouble. The Bible is full of such examples. Take for instance Genesis 27, the patriarch Jacob, at the request of his mother, fooled his father Isaac into granting him his brother Esau’s blessing. This angered Esau so much that he planned to kill his brother. This led to his mother devising a plan to send him to a faraway land until his brother’s anger subsided.
Let us turn from our own devises, remembering that God is not only all loving, but all knowing. He has a vantage point that is far greater than ours, why not call on rather than trust in our limited understanding or perspective?
TRUST BY ACKNOWLEDGING THE LORD
How do we go about turning from self to God? The first and most basic step is seen in verse 6 of Proverbs chapter 3, there it says, “In all your ways acknowledge Him.”
The first step is acknowledging God. If we fail or refuse to acknowledge God, then we ought not expect help or direction from Him.
Those who acknowledge God do so all the time, not simply when they find themselves in trouble or have a need. We can turn to Him anytime we choose, but true acknowledgement demands true sincerity of heart and will.
TRUST THAT THE LORD WILL DIRECT YOUR PATHS
Lastly, what will happen if we love and trust in the Lord with all our heart, and lean not on our own understanding, and in all our ways acknowledge Him? Verse 6 says, “He shall direct your paths.”
God makes a promise, if you truly, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength love and trust the Lord, He will “direct your paths.”
In similar manner, in the book of Hebrews chapter 13 verse 5, God says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” These are promises that millions, perhaps billions of believers have hung their hats on over the centuries, and God has not let them down.
If you have never truly experienced the assurance of God’s presence and guidance in the directing of your path, perhaps you have never entered into a true relationship with Him.
A while back I was watching an old program called, “Death Valley Days.” Each week the program would feature a story about those settling Death Valley California. In one episode there was a fellow named Por Smith and his wife Tildy. One day Por went to Los Angeles to purchase a vehicle. He wanted something that would stand out as it would be the first motor vehicle in the region. Por did find a vehicle that indeed stood out and proudly drove it home.
When Por got home and showed his wife the car she was so overwhelmed she passed out.
Por was so proud of his new vehicle he would regularly drive into town tooting his horn and making a scene. Realizing the unique nature of this vehicle, people would stop, point and laugh at Por and his new vehicle.
One day a stranger was passing through Por’s area. Stopping at his home, the stranger got to talking to Por about his vehicle. To Por’s dismay and embarrassment, the stranger told Por that the vehicle he was so proud of was in fact a hearse. Por then realized why people in town laughed and joked as they did. He was so upset he drove the vehicle off a cliff to its destruction.
Some people spend their entire live sporting a spiritual hearse without knowing it. They think they are driving a heaven bound vehicle but they are not.
Jesus shares one of the most sobering comments in the Bible in Matthew chapter 7 verse 21, there He say, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”
What is the Father’s will? To acknowledge Him. To love and trust Him with all your heart, soul and strength. The first step in acknowledging Him is to embrace His sacrificial death on the cross for our sins, and His overcoming of death and sin through His resurrection from the dead.