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  • Writer's pictureCaren Fehr

Trust In The Lord

Updated: Nov 19, 2022

Proverbs 3:5-6-“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

I have always loved this verse. Season to season the Lord reveals new truths to my soul and this most recent study left me in awe, convicted, and with a deeper desire for more of Jesus and less of me. I wanted to share some of my takeaways with you. Would you joining me in reading it as though it was for the very first time? I know it’s tempting to glance over verses we know by heart. But lean in with me, friend.

Let’s break it down section by section.

Trust in the Lord.

Trust. It implies security, confidence and reliance. Trust is not passive. Trust is faith in action. Think of it as boots on faith! Trust is also what fuels obedience. If our obedience is lacking, the best place to start examining is our trust in the Lord. Is there an area we are struggling to trust Him? Is there something we are struggling to fully believe?

Trust also requires humility and surrender. It's an awareness that God is God and I am not. For my friends out there who struggle with releasing control, this will only make it more difficult to place your trust fully in the Lord.

Where we place our trust matters. It seems so simple and yet, I love that Scripture makes it so clear that our trust is to be in the Lord. Not in ourselves. Not in others. Not in material possessions. Yet we can be so quick to place our trust in things that are shakeable, temporary and fleeting.

All throughout Scripture God reveals Himself to be trusted. He is trustworthy. He is good. He provides, redeems, heals, saves, restores, sustains, comforts and conquers. He is always faithful. So if you are struggling to trust in the Lord today, I encourage you to consider where you’re struggling to believe that God is who He says He is!

Final thing to remember about trust is that it grows. My trust in the Lord today is so much more than what it was in 2007 when I decided to follow Him and submit my life to Him. Want to know how it grows? Through obedience. I have seen how the more I practice small steps of obedience, the more I get to experience His goodness and faithfulness. The more I experience His goodness and faithfulness (who He is), the more my faith deepens and the more my trust grows. It's a beautiful thing!

With all your heart.

Again, simple but it’s the two words for me: All and heart. Not some of our hearts but all of it. Not 95% but 100%.

What does “heart” mean here? This is more than just our affections. To me, the heart signifies the very soul which includes our will, our mind, and our emotions. We are to trust God with all our desires, all our thinking, and all our feeling. We trust Him with our everything.

Pause with me and ask: Where am I not trusting Him with all my heart? What am I still clinging to? Where is my trust divided? Where is it not all?

Lean not on your own understanding.

It’s true that God gave us a brain and wants us to use it. However, before our brain is to be used, it must be submitted under His authority and His will. You see, our understanding is limited. It is nothing compared to the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Sometimes God leads us in ways that are logical to our understanding, and sometimes He leads us in ways that seem illogical. If we rely on our understanding, and God takes us a way that doesn't line up with our understanding, this can lead us to disobedience, partial obedience, or even delayed obedience—all ultimately disobedience, as my friend Somer Pheobus would say.

I have also learned that depending on my understanding often is what leads to my anxiety and pressure whereas leaning on God’s understanding brings peace and confidence. Even if I don't know all the details or the full plan, I know the "Who" and I trust Him and His understanding... so I follow.

You can have understanding but it should never trump God’s voice in your life. I think of when God called Abraham to go to a new land and leave all that was familiar (Genesis 12). God didn’t even say where! Abraham could have not gone because it didn't seem logical. Plus, he didn’t have all the details. Yet, this is a beautiful example of faith in action. Abraham trusted God and followed God’s leading even when he did not know the destination. He didn’t rely on his understanding but trusted that God is who He says He is and that was enough.

In all your ways acknowledge Him.

What does it mean to acknowledge the Lord in all our ways? To me it means a few things:

  • It means I am depending on Him in all my ways (all I do, believe, say, think, dream etc).

  • It means recognizing and yielding to His power and presence in all my ways.

  • It means to take God as my King and my Savior. He alone is now on the throne of my heart. I don’t just know about Him, I accept Him as my Lord.

  • It means I am now serving Him with all my knowledge and devotion.

  • It means I acknowledge that He is God and I am not and that I need Him moment by moment.

  • It means that He is now the point of my life not just a part of my life.

Again, I love the word "all" here. Not just some of my ways but all of my ways. It means God is now the very foundation of my life and everything I do is to honor Him, glorify Him, magnify Him, and make Him known.

Pause with me and ask: Are there areas in your life you are not acknowledging Him?

And He will make your path straight.

This was the most interesting to me. For years I tried to understand this whole “straight paths” concept. I would find myself preferring translations that say ,"He will direct your path" because it clicked better with my brain. Now to be clear, the different translations don't contradict each other. Quite the opposite. The focus and outcome is the same, which I will get to in a moment.

I think I struggled with the "straight paths" translation because to me that looks like a path that is successful, smooth, obstacle free and without complications. Yet, I cannot confidently say my life has always looked like straight paths.

There are three things that I have come to learn.

First, sometimes the lack of smoothness, complications and obstacles are a result of my own disobedience, pride, and lack of fully trusting the Lord with all my heart. I start out trusting Him, then along the way I start to take the reins. So it’s true, some of the mess is self-inflicted.

Second, sometimes the road is hard and messy and it has nothing to do with us. It's not because we sinned but simply because there is sin and brokenness in the world. God promises to be with us in the trials and roads of suffering. He also promises that as we trust Him with all our heart, do not depend on our understanding, and acknowledge Him in all our ways that He will make our path straight. Notice it doesn't say "and the path is instantly straight" but He will make it straight.

The Lord brought to my mind Romans 8:28-“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

What this reminded me of is that while the path may not look instantly straight in my eyes, God is working all things together for my good and His glory. In the end, it will be made straight! In His timing and in His way. In the mean time, I am to trust and delight in the path God has me on with Him instead of resisting it, resenting it, or trying to run from it—no matter how difficult. I can delight in it because He is with me. I can delight in it because God's presence is my delight and His joy is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Remember last week’s blog post on Psalm 23? We were reminded that even when we walk through the darkest valleys, we need not fear any evil because the Shepherd is with us. Even though it is dark, He is light and in the darkness is as light to Him (Psalm 139:11-12). Even though our path may have bumps and obstacles, making it straight does not necessarily mean it will be without difficulty or trial because all throughout scripture we see the Bible making it clear that we will go through hard times. Instead, making our path straight seems to also point to the truth that for those who are His, God promises to keep us protected from evil—using both His rod and staff to comfort us.

Last point here. I also now understand straight to also be direct. This is why the other translation where He directs our path has the same focus and outcome. He will make my path straight. It will be clear and direct because He is the one directing It. It will not be confusing because our God is not a God of confusion.

We make it confusing when we try to live His way and our way. We make it confusing when we try to follow Him and the world. Yet, when we follow Jesus only and He is our Shepherd, He makes the way clear because He is the way. We cannot get lost as long as our hand is in His.

I think of the story of Joseph in the Old Testament. You see his life and his path looks anything but straight. Yet, you get to the end where he is promoted and becomes second to Pharaoh. Suddenly you see it. When you zoom out to the season with his family, the season of slavery and the season in prison... you can see the path. It was messy, painful, and hard but it was clear, God directed it and He made it straight.

Share With Me!

As I often say, always test anything I write against the Word of God! I am still learning and this is a space where I share some of those things. But this blog should never be the final authority! Always go to God and His Word for yourself.

With that said, I'd love to know: Which of these verses did you need to be reminded of most today?

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