trusting in God against the grain of our own understanding

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

If there’s one stronghold that can bind me perhaps more than anything, I would say in a certain sense the desire to figure out or think through issues, and particularly problems so that I can make good, informed, wise decisions can dog me and actually turn against me. A synonymous name for this in my case is worry.

This is the case once again of a good thing becoming bad, of a blessing becoming a curse. God has given us our minds, and God wants to give us wisdom and understanding, insight for living. There is a difference however between trusting in the insight God has given us, and trusting in God himself. That may be too subtle for us to figure out, but it can play out something like this: We prayerfully read up on something which we have to do and in spite of what decision we would make based on our own understanding, something like the Lord’s peace seems to lie in the other direction. Or having asked God for direction, we make a decision only to later sorely regret it because it goes against the grain of our own understanding.

This is indeed tricky territory, not easy to negotiate no matter what. The question ends up being are we going to rely on God when making decisions, or on our own reasoning? It is not like our mind is suspended. God works with and through our minds, and to some extent they are likely processing in most every situation. Yes, we often have to make the best decisions on many things great and small, hopefully all the while looking to God for wisdom and for his leading.

In the end we have to trust the outcome of everything into God’s hands. That is part of the whole. The Lord may help us see something down the road which may more or less alter our course. Our responsibility is to work at it, rest in the decision made, and remain open to more light, in all of this trusting in and submitting to God. We can be sure that at least our lives can become more in sync with God and God’s will in Christ through this.

All of this part of the way of wisdom for us in Jesus.

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