Today: Proverbs 3

Proverbs  3 contains one of the best-known and oft-memorized verses in the Bible, Proverbs 3:5-6. Living out verses 5 & 6, however, depends on how we do with verses 1-4. And if we do live out Proverbs 3:5-6, we will receive the blessings in life God promises in the rest of this chapter!

If we want God’s guidance and want to know his will, we start by storing his commands (his Word) in our hearts (vv. 1-2) and we remain loving and faithful (vv. 3-4). These show us how to trust God with all our hearts. For followers, these attributes actually become part of our being, written on our hearts.

Warren Wiersbe says, “The word translated ‘trust’ in verse 5 means ‘to lie helpless, facedown.’ It pictures a servant waiting for the master’s command in readiness to obey, or a defeated soldier yielding himself to the conquering general.” Trusting God means letting go of my own way of doing things. It means surrender of my own will for his. It means acknowledging that he is the Leader of my life … and, just as importantly, I’m not.

Leaning on our own understanding simply means doing things our way or being wise in our own eyes (see v. 7). We can’t trust in God and lean on our own understanding at the same time. It’s an either-or proposition. God wants us to trust him with all our hearts. He is totally trustworthy.

Acknolwleding him (v. 6) means acknowledging that he is in charge, he is God and I am not, he is the Creator and Master of everything. When I acknowledge him, I acknowledge that his Word is true and his ways are best.
The promise, if we follow him, is that he will make our paths (our life) straight. That does not mean life won’t sometimes be hard or an uphill climb or even treacherous. But God will guide us on the path of life and we’ll be secure in him.

God may even discipline or rebuke us when we begin to wander off his path (vv. 11-12). Sometimes this “discipline” is the natural consequence of our choices and leaning on our own understanding, but other times it is God’s direct pruning of us (see John 15:1-2) to help us live more fruitful lives for him. This proverb tells us to not despise his discipline, to accept it as part of his growth plan for us.

If you are facing difficulties, don’t ask Why? Ask, What are you showing me through this Lord? How can I grow because of this? Don’t forget that like any good parent, our Heavenly Father disciplines those he loves!

Look at all the blessings in verses 13-35 for the follower who trusts God with all his or her heart! These verses also provide a variety of life lessons to live by (proverbs). Which one do you need to live by today?
Share what jumps out to you from Proverbs 3 or what you want to put into practice in your life today.

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Michael Mack has led Small Group Leadership full-time since 2012, but has been involved in small group ministry for more than 25 years.

He lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. Their family small group, which includes their four young adult children, has much potential (and much anticipation) for future growth and multiplication. Michael enjoys mountain and road biking with a group of great friends who participate together in various charity rides.

See the “About Michael Mack” page under About Us for more about him.

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