He Will Direct Your Path

Most of us are familiar with the apparel, signs, and wristbands that read WWJD. This acronym, or question, “What Would Jesus Do?” was created to help individuals make the “Jesus Choice” for a variety of life’s choices. While this is a great reminder that we are to follow Christ's example, the wristband and t-shirts rely on the amount of knowledge one has about Jesus and His character.  

In Proverbs 3:5-6 Solomon writes: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." ESV  [some translations read “he will direct your paths.”]

In 1 Kings 3:12 we read that God blessed Solomon with a discerning and wise heart. One that the world had never seen before nor would ever see again. Solomon, in his wisdom, tells us that if we want God to direct our path we must do a few things.

The first thing Solomon tells us we must do is to trust God. Trust doesn’t always come easy. Personally, if I am going to trust someone or something I want to know more about that person or thing. The more information I have, the easier it is for me to decide whether they or it is trustworthy or not. We have a lot of information that God has revealed to us about Himself. In general revelation (creation) we see His eternal power and divine nature. In the special revelation (Word of God) we see a historical record of how He has dealt with the world and mankind; from creating all things to showing His wrath and mercy. Not only do we see His character laid out for us in Scripture, but we also see His character lived out in and through Jesus. As we gather and study all the information we have about God it becomes easier to trust Him.

The second piece of advice Solomon gives us is to not lean on our own understanding. While the Bible tells us much about God’s character it also has several things to say about humanity.   In Proverb 14:12 he says "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death".  1 Corinthians 13:12 tells us that we can’t see clearly and we don’t have to know all that God is doing, but we must trust him. If we rely on our own understanding we will make decisions based on an understanding that is tainted by sin, full of impulsive decisions, faulty emotions, and limited knowledge.

Lastly, Solomon pointed out that in all our ways we are to acknowledge Him. The word "acknowledge" is not what it appears to mean. When artists, professionals, or performers give an acceptance speech you will hear them give God the credit for their accomplishment. We think of it as "acknowledging Him". Or when we are faced with a tough decision, we think as long as we acknowledge God as being with us in whatever decision we make, then He has directed our path. The word “acknowledge" [דָעֵ֑הוּ] in Hebrew is translated as “know.” Solomon says In all our ways we must know God. This goes back to trusting the Lord. The more we know God, the better we can trust Him. The more we know God, we can trust that He will direct our paths. We’ve all been in a situation where we say “if Mom or Dad were here they would say [fill in the blank] or do [fill in the blank]”. That is because we have a knowledge of them. The more we know about God the better understanding we have of how He would respond in any given situation or decision.

As we face the multitude of decisions that come our way every day we can be confident that God will direct us to the best choices if we will take the time to know Him and trust Him while not relying on our limited and fallible reasoning skills.

Jeremiah 17:7-8

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”