Wisdom Fruit: Journey in Proverbs 3

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Prov 3:5-6 NLT

This scripture was my mother’s favorite verses and whenever I read it, I hear it in her voice and it centers me- a soothing balm to my soul.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Trust is built on interaction & relationship -It is not transactional. Spending time with God in prayer, reading / studying the Word, and fellowship all help us to know Him and built trust in Him. The amplified Bible says it this way, “Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord” He is Our Father!

But the verse continues with ALL your heart. That’s ALL, withholding nothing. God seems to know our tendency to be distracted or unfocused, to not commit fully. But He wants our full attention. David prayed in Ps 86:11 “Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.” Unite my heart, make it whole so that I can wholly honor Your name, I God.

Then it says, do not rely, depend, lean on or trust in your own insight or understanding. We must heartily resist that independent streak to do things in our own strength, or through our own filter or perspective. It’s one of those instructions that say “Do this AND STOP doing that.” God wants to liberate us from our limited understanding to focus on His limitless opportunities.

Seek His will in ALL you do – again that means everything- especially those things that you really don’t want input on. lol. And He WILL show the path to take. This is a promise from God! As we seek His wisdom in the affairs of life, He will show us what to do, and where to go. Isaiah 30:21 makes it more explicit “Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.”

Help us, O Lord, to trust You with our full attention and heart and not trust in our limited understanding. Help us to seek us in everything we do, knowing that You will direct, lead, guide us and show us what to do.

God’s Thoughts & Plans: Hope & Destiny

I first discovered this scripture Jeremiah 29:11 at an all night prayer meeting of my former church when the church was just getting started a few months after I graduated from college. I remember with great clarity when the Lord revealed this great promise to me personally, but it was a word for this new ministry barely a year old. We were mostly in our 20s, in college or just out of it and starting our careers. Our prayer ministry was about 20-25 strong on a Friday night, committed to seek Jesus and strengthen our Christian faith and fellowship.

The Pastor had asked me earlier that day to prepare my heart to speak prophetically that night, and that he would let me know when to share. Well, I prayed and prayed all that day, and nothing came to me before prayer started later that night. I had to completely trust God for what He wanted to say to us.

As with most gatherings, the night of prayer started off with praise and worship. Out of that worship, the prayer points and following exhortations began. In one of the quiet times of prayer I literally heard or had a strong impression to read Jeremiah 29:10-15

The words leapt off the page, and I knew that this was the word of the Lord for the church! As I prayed this scripture and meditated on it, the Pastor called me up about 15 min later to share what God had placed in my heart to share to our church members. It was such a great word with following instructions in the next verses.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.”
Jeremiah 29:11-14 NKJV
http://bible.com/114/jer.29.11-14.nkjv

It was so powerful because we were all ready calling upon Him in prayer and this scripture let us know that He was listening! But God goes further- we seek and find Him when we search for Him with our whole heart! God wants our undivided attention.

Ps 86:11 says “Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.
http://bible.com/114/psa.86.11.nkjv

God has to “unite our hearts” so that we can worship and seek Him wholly – with our entire beings. We need His help to us stay focused, to reign in our thoughts, needs, desires and “cast down” those things that seek to exalt themselves over His word and plan for our lives.

Every time I read Jeremiah 29:11 now, even 30 years later, I am reminded of my first time seeing it- how comforting and exhilarating it was to know that we are in God’s thoughts and He has specific plans for a hopeful destiny! Even though we might get confused or unfocused, God is not confused.  HE KNOWS what the plan of action is. Wow! What a word for a young Christian in a young ministry. What a word for me today!

As we grow older, we think we may know the plan or we may confuse our plan with God’s plan, and He has to give us course correction. We have demands of careers, family, community and life events that may pull our attention. He unites our heart and refocuses our attention back to Him.

When we seek him with our whole hearts, we find Him and He unfolds His plans for our lives. He gives instructions on next steps. He gives a word of grace to bring healing and hope so that we can walk in truth and in the destiny we are called to fulfill with great excitement and joy.