Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Lean not on Your Own Understanding

 By: Rebekah Hargraves

Photo Courtesy Of: Zuzana Ruttkay

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

And lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He shall direct your paths."

~Provebs 3:5-6

If you were to ask me what the Lord has been teaching me lately, I would say He has been teaching me quite a lot lately about not leaning on my own understanding. 

This began when He was pointing out to me months ago that I had wrongly been relying on my own faulty understanding when thinking that if I took extended amounts of time to pray, that that would mean I wouldn't have time for the other God-given pursuits and responsibilities in my life. 

He showed me that this was faulty thinking, that obedience in one area of my life (i.e. prioritizing prayer!) would never render it impossible for me to follow God in other areas of my life. 

Having right priorities would not render me incapable of living out other priorities God had given me. This was faulty thinking, for what God calls me to, He will give me the time for. He might do this through miraculously expanding the time (which I have seen Him do in my life before!) or else He might show me that I'm actually not called to all the tasks I think I am. Either way, I'm to not lean on my own understanding, but instead to trust in Him and believe that He will direct my paths (see Proverbs 3:5-6).

I've been noticing ever since the Lord first started opening my eyes to this reality the past few weeks, that the concept of not leaning on my own understanding keeps popping up all over the place!

There have been times when I am arguing with my husband and am so convinced I'm right, but then the Lord suddenly begins to show me that I'm actually not necessarily right, but am instead just operating out of a place of fear of what might happen if we don't do things *my way*. In these instances I have seen that I'm leaning on my own understanding and not relinquishing fear. Now, this is not to say that we just give in to our husband's every whim - sometimes conversations need to be had and give and take needs to happen. Sometimes the Lord will show our husbands that they need to bend, and sometimes we will need to, and sometimes we both need to. But I am simply sharing what the Lord has been teaching me in the specific scenarios that have arrived the past several weeks. 

When I find myself thinking that I *must* mark off this work task from my to-do list when my children are making it evident that they need my attention, I have had to be reminded by the Lord to not lean on my own understanding, to remember again what right priorities are in any given moment (sure, sometimes the kiddos do legitimately have to wait, but sometimes they don't!). He is teaching me to walk by the Spirit who is convicting me in the moment, trusting that if He has called me to also accomplish the other work on my list, it will happen! It just might happen in a different order or at a different time.

When I find myself storming the gates of heaven in prayer, desperate that a prayer is answered in a particular way, I am reminded again to not lean on my own understanding, to remember that the Lord knows best, He has the bigger picture, His character is good and He does good, and I can submit to His will at the end of the day, fully trusting Him instead of leaning on my own understanding. 

Can you see how much this lesson of "Do not lean on your own understanding." has been popping up for me lately? 

I hope this proves helpful to you on this average Tuesday. May it inspire you to prayerfully consider areas where you, too, may be leaning on your own understanding rather than trusting in the goodness and sovereignty of God. And may you find freedom in relinquishing your own understanding and resting instead in the guidance of your God. He is good. He does good. And He wants good for you, my sister. Rest in that today. 

Reflection Questions:

1) What stood out to you from what you just read? What does the Lord seem to be saying to you?

2) In what area(s) of your life are you leaning on your own understanding? What can you do to change that?

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