Beyond Our Understanding

In my prayer time this morning, I asked the Lord for a “word for the day.” This is what came to my heart: “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” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Now, I ask myself, “How can I ‘lean not’ on my own understanding”? So much of my life is made up of “common sense” decisions. I have invested years in classes (both learning and teaching) trying to learn to think maturely and godly. Am I to toss aside all I think and reject or hold suspect all my thoughts as being opposed to God’s thoughts? I believe what Proverbs is teaching me is this: I must trust God above myself. What God says in His Word and what God speaks to my heart in the circumstances of life is more important than what I can figure out on my own. In fact, sometimes my thoughts, which I may consider sound and right, may actually veer me away from God’s will. Consider Joseph, the husband of Mary. When he learned that Mary was expecting, and knowing he was not the father, “he had in mind to divorce her quietly” (Matthew 1:19b). From Joseph’s understanding, divorcing Mary quietly not only made sense, but showed the quality of godly mercy. But, God’s thoughts were higher than Joseph’s thoughts! In a dream, the Lord revealed to Joseph his need to trust God ahead of his own logic and reasoning. And, because Joseph obeyed God, he experienced the wonder-filled life of living with Jesus, the Son of God! So, when it comes to our common sense and natural thinking, God doesn’t judge this as always bad and evil. After all, He is the one who gives us the ability to think and reason. However, our thoughts and understanding must also come under His Lordship. We must give Him the right to “overrule”. All of us will face times when our reasoning is tested by God’s will. At these times, may we receive His grace, enabling us to trust Him, even when we can’t “figure Him out”!

Pastor Mark Boucher

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