TRUST IN THE LORD
(Proverbs 3:1-8)

by Matt Keef

PROVERBS 3:1-8 

Trust in the LORD with All Your Heart

 

[1] My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments,

[2] for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.

[3] Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck;

write them on the tablet of your heart.

[4] So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.

[5] Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

[6] In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

[7] Be not wise in your own eyes;fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.

[8] It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. (ESV)

No doubt we are all experiencing something we have never seen or been through before. It reminds me of the scripture in Joshua 3 when the Israelites broke camp at Shittim and ended up at the Jordan. The command goes out in v3, “As soon as you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God being carried by the Levitical priests, then you shall set out from your place and follow it." The people of God had the Presence of God go before them to show them where they ought to go V4 "Yet there shall be a distance between you and it, about 2,000 cubits in length. Do not come near it, in order that you may know the way you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.” The Lord wants us to rely on Him to lead us through this time of 'we have not passed this way before'.

 From Proverbs 3, I believe the Lord wants to bring us into a new understanding of trusting Him. The instruction in v1 is 'do not forget teaching'; keep his commandments; hold onto steadfast love and faithfulness' Bind them around your neck and write upon your heart”  Col 3:16 says, 'Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly' We need to be intentional about not conforming to the patterns of this world and renewing our minds (Rom 12) by not forgetting what the Lord has promised and what the Lord has done. Dudley (who started the NCMI movement) said once: 'do not forget in the dark what you learnt in the light' So now is the time we need to be vigilant in remembering and holding on to what the Lord has done and said He will still do. 

May I refer to the account we have read of Abram and Lot in Gen 13 (Please get in touch with us if you are not getting these devotionals daily) The time has come for them to part ways and Lot considers his own interest and as he looks at the land to decide which way he will go, he chooses his direction based on how the land (circumstances, situations, conveniences) looks. Abram is left with what does not look appealing, easy, comfortable, sustainable etc. Abram was brave enough to let Lot choose first - Could it be that he carried in his heart an understanding that no matter what he has or is left with, God has promised an inheritance? 

I want to ask three questions: 

1) What do you see? 

In this time of lockdown, it all revolves around the Corona virus - we see businesses closing, loss of income, loss of jobs, crippled economy, provision threatened, sickness, isolation, and maybe (probably) when the lockdown lifts, we may even see desolation. (Of course our prayer is that the Lord will protect and intervene in all circumstances and for all people). The challenge for us is as we gaze at a land of 'desolation', can we hold onto the promise of our Father? 

2 Kings 6:17-20 Elisha says to his servant: 'don't be afraid, those who are with us are more than those who are with them' - Elisha asks the Lord to open his servants eyes - While we are locked down, let us ask the Lord to open our eyes to see what He sees.

2) What do you believe? 

Coming back to Abram, Gen 12:2 the Lord called Abram and promised him an inheritance.

  • What has the Lord promised you? What has He said to you? This is a time to seek the Lord and remember what He has said and promised.

  • Do you not know what the Lord is saying? GET INTO HIS WORD!! 

  • 1 Tim 4:13 Paul encourages Timothy to be devoted to public reading of scripture, exhortation and teaching. Interesting how teaching is differentiated here with public reading of scripture

  • There is a work that the Holy Spirit does when we are in the scriptures.

  • The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of revelation, so as we read, He opens our eyes.

  • Jesus said the Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth - Rom 10:17 says “faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of Christ”

  • Are we believing the Words of Christ as written and recorded for us in scripture? 2 Tim 3:16 'all scripture is Breathed out by God'  

 

3 ) What do I do? 

Back to Proverbs  3 

 

a) Determine to trust 

  • Isaiah 12:2Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”

  • Psalms 91:2 “I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” 

    • Say to the Lord you trust him, call on His name, remind Him, put your hope in Him.

 

b) Lean into understanding God 

Prov 3 says lean NOT on your own understanding. Again we need to gain understanding by devouring His Word and allowing the Holy Spirit to show us what He is doing and is going to do. 

  • We are encouraged through the Word to put off the old self and put on the new self Eph 4:22-24 

  • There may be areas in our understanding that the Lord is wanting to renew, be transformed by the renewing of the mind (Rom 12).

    • Outwardly we are fading away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day (2 Cor 4:16) 

c) Acknowledge Him in everything 

  • In this time allow the Lord to show you where He is not acknowledged in your life.

  • Ps 16:8 says 'I have set the Lord always before me' 

  • In everything we need to set the Lord before us 

  • Gen 13:4 when Abram had arrived at the Jordan the Word records that 'Abram called upon the name of the Lord' . So in this time too, let it be the name of the Lord we call upon (acknowledge) in all things, in every area of our lives

The wonderful promise here in Prov 3:8 is 'It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.' The Lord wants to bring healing and refreshing as we are found in His presence. Enjoy this season and may you be refreshed!! 

Discuss the following and pray for each other: 

a) Is there any of the old self that still has its place in me? 

  • Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal, then through repentance, turn away from the things He reveals 

b) What is really my perspective of the land (our country, our circumstances etc)? 

  • Now ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what He has in store for you (your  inheritance) and pray into what He reveals 

c) Have we acknowledged the Lord in all things? 

  • family, finances, work, relationships, goals and dreams and my plans