Lean Not on Your Own Understanding

Most of us are familiar with Proverbs 3:5, which says, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart...", but often we don't take time to consider the second part of the verse, which says, "...and lean not unto thine own understanding."

We must learn to trust in the Lord with all our hearts but also to understand that the Lord often doesn't do things the way we would. Part of trusting the Lord is to continue to trust even when our own understanding fails us.

Trusting in the Lord doesn't mean that there won't be any storms or difficulties. Not leaning on our own understanding means believing that the Lord will make a way, even when things seem to be going the opposite way that we would expect. The Bible lets us know that God's ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). We also know that we see through a glass darkly (I Corinthians 13:12), which means we don't have a clear vision or understanding of everything that the Lord is doing.

Time and time again we find events in the Bible where our own understanding would fail us, but God was in the situation:

  • The children of Israel at the Red Sea, with Pharaoh's army pursuing them, hemmed in by the mountains and no way of escape...
  • Joseph's brother selling him into slavery...
  • The betrayal and crucifixion of our Savior when the apostles and others thought Jesus was the Messiah (Luke 24:18-21).

The Lord wants us to trust Him to the degree that, even if we don't understand, we'll trust Him. When we trust and don't lean on our own understanding, we can be like Job who said, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him..." (Job 13:15).