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I’m just so overwhelmed by all the good stuff in Proverbs 3 that it’s really hard to know where to begin.
A verse or two at a time would be sufficient.
I could start with 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 will make your paths straight.
That would be a good place to start, because I feel like that was where the Big Bison and I started our marriage. When we first got married, I started attending Bible Study Fellowship. I think that was in 1990. I really wanted a study Bible, so I could enjoy the cheater’s notes at the bottom of the page. (Which BSF really doesn’t want you to use. But I wanted them anyway!)
So, for Christmas of 1991, my dear husband bought me a plum colored leather bound big honkin’ NIV Study Bible, large enough to club down any sinner given an impassioned enough swing.. And in the front of it, on the “Presented to” page, the BB penned the reference, “Proverbs 3: 5 – 6”.
So, I claimed it as a theme verse to our marriage. And I’m pretty sure that I can truthfully say that we have endeavored to keep it the theme of our marriage. Decisions we make together are filtered by prayer, and based on honoring God, and obeying what He says in His Word. I say this not to brag on us, but to give Him the glory for anything good that has come out of our union.
We may not be very smart, but we’re just smart enough to know that we’re not very smart, and leaning on our own understanding without consulting Him leads to bad decisions that sometimes have very long consequences.
On an individual level, my natural tendency IS to lean on my own understanding. I made pretty good grades in school, and have a fair amount of confidence in the abilities with which God has gifted me. So, it really IS a bending of my will to remind myself that I need to do a bending of my knee. On whatever the issue, at whatever point in the day.
Once, several years ago, A BSF group that I was a discussion leader for gave me a gift of a necklace. This necklace was a piece of “Scripture Jewelry” that a lady was making in Franklin, TN. The girl who purchased it for the group and presented it to me was a girl who was very tuned in to hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit. As she gave it to me, she told me she prayed before she chose a verse for me. My necklace contained the Hebrew word for “Blessed”, and the scripture verse it represented was Psalm 84:5, which says:
“Blessed are those whose strength is in the Lord.”
She said, “I know you, Susan, and the Lord impressed on me that you are very prone to lean on your OWN strength. But He wants you to lean on Him.”
Her words resonated with me. They came to me with deep conviction and with power.
One more time, the Lord was saying to me on a very personal level: “Trust ME with all your heart. Lean NOT on your own understanding.”
I still wear that necklace nearly every day, wherever I go, as a reminder to myself. I “bind it around my neck”.
So, anyway, that’s what I wanted to share with you today. And perhaps these words aren’t just for me alone. Perhaps the Lord’s Spirit might be whispering to you, too, right now.
I have to ask the Lord for the grace to help me remember that HE is my wisdom. And HE is my strength. And I NEED Him. Because on my own, I am perfectly capable of screwing up any good thing that comes my way.
May we all be blessed with the understanding of our deep, deep need for Him.