Proverbs 3:5-6 – “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. NKJV
Life is full of decisions that we have to make. My least favorite decision to make is , “What are we going to eat?” I mean think about! As a wife and mother I have had to decide on three meals a day for over thirty years. That’s over thirty thousand decisions about food I have had to make over the years. Quite frankly, it’s not a decision I look forward to. I really like it when someone else makes the decision about the meal and take care of the details. Better yet, let’s go out for a meal, or two, or three! Seriously! One thing I miss during this pandemic is going out to eat! If only all of life’s decisions could be something to laugh at!
In our text today, we want to look at the phrase, “in all your ways acknowledge Him”. Did Solomon really suggest that we should acknowledge God in all of our ways? He did! However, I know we don’t! It is not my practice to say, “Lord, what should I cook this time?” Although, in desperation over trying to figure out the next meal, I have prayed it!
When Solomon told us to acknowledge God in all of our ways, he used the Hebrew word, “yada” which means “know” and carries the idea of “being aware of”. This thought goes beyond asking, “Lord, what do you think,” in way of acknowledgement. It, in essence, suggests that when we acknowledge God, we are aware of who He is and how He operates and our ways are filtered through that knowing.
Adam and Eve knew God, and yet they did not “know” Him as they partook of the forbidden fruit. Had they taken the time to know what He would want in regards to them talking with the serpent and taking of the fruit, they would have left that fruit alone.
Joseph, on the hand, knew God as he conducted business in Potiphar’s home. When Potiphar’s wife tried to get him to spend some ‘time’ with her, (I have a few young followers), he knew God, was aware of God, and ran for all he was worth.
David, one of my favorite people, knew God and yet, he didn’t acknowledge God in all of his ways. When he saw Bathsheba bathing, all sense of knowing God and His ways went out of his head, leading him to make some horrible decisions that were life and kingdom altering. It can happen to the best of us!
Acknowledging God isn’t a once in awhile thing to do. It’s not even a last minute thing to do, or what we do when we’ve gotten ourselves in such a mess, we are out of options. Acknowledging God, knowing Him, and being aware of Him as we go through life’s path is the only smart choice.
I think of the picture of the maze that I found, which I could never imagine walking through, and having to find my way around. The walls look tall enough that I probably couldn’t see anything but what is directly in front of me; and when I get to an opening, I am clueless in which direction I should go. Do I take the stairs, go through the door, or keep looking for an exit? It can be overwhelming! Just like life! That’s why we are to acknowledge Him in all our ways.
As we travel through this maze, called life, with walls higher than we are, and more twists and surprises than we can count, we need a guide. Imagine going through this same maze with the architect of the maze, or the owner who has spent countless hours navigating through it? It would certainly take the fear out of going through it, and the worry of making the wrong decisions. God is the architect of our lives. He knows the plans He has for us and the expected end for our lives. When we acknowledge Him, and are aware Him, as we have decisions to make, He takes the fear out of them!
There are so many areas of our lives that we could benefit from by being aware of God: getting married, raising kids, career choices, relationships other than marriage, purchasing expensive items, getting involved in business deals with others, and a host of other things. This reminds me of Joshua and the leaders of Israel.
They had a mighty victory at Jericho. God brought the walls down as they shouted, then they went in and took the city. The night before, Joshua was in prayer before the Lord and had an angelic visitation. God gave him instructions and he followed them. But after that great showing of force in Jericho, they thought they were quite the warriors and went against Ai without God’s counsel. That didn’t work out so well for them.
And if that wasn’t enough, they had some visitors from Gibeon. These visitors told Joshua and the leaders of Israel that they had come from a far country. They even showed them molded bread, old wineskins, old garments, and old sandals explains to them that everything was fresh and new when they left home. The Israelites made a treaty of peace with the Gibeonites without acknowledging, or being aware of God, during the process, and were deceived. Yes! Even our hero, Joshua, didn’t acknowledge God in all of his ways.
The good news is that even when we blow it, we can get back on track. That’s what Joshua did both times. After the failure of the battle at Ai, he went to God and God told him there was sin in the camp. Deal with it and all will be well. He dealt with the sin and went back and destroyed Ai. With the Gibeonites, there was no getting out of the treaty. They were stuck. They had to honor the treaty and ended up having to save the Gibeonites from destruction. But had they just acknowledged God in the beginning they would have avoided this.
Great point to make! Some fixes God will get you out of, but some of those consequences you are going to have to live with. And if you are aware of Him during the process of living with those consequences, He will turn things around in your favor. He’s just good like that!
Which way Lord? What should I do now, Father? What are you saying here, God? These types of questions only take a few seconds to whisper but can save you from a life of unnecessary heartache! Make a decision today to acknowledge, be aware of, and know what He is saying and where He is leading, and see how He takes the “fear” out of traveling through the maze called life. Wonderful Jesus!