Not True

We are forgetful critters. We are eager to make our case with God but often forget to acknowledge Him with thankfulness. We cannot give Him anything but our hearts. We can only give Him what we acknowledge in our hearts to be rightfully His. And this can only be done in submission. We can perform the greatest acts of solemn worship but if we are doing it our way and not under God’s guidance then it is performance and not true worship.

“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” [Proverbs 3:6] There are two great dangers in life: One is our utter dependence upon human counselors who are fallible and two, the deceitfulness of our own hearts. “The beginning of all wisdom is in the recognition of God, in personal submission to Him, in diligent obedience to all His directions.” [The Bible Illustrator] God wants us to be on the right path. He wants us to understand that we need to begin, continue and end everything we do in plans and work, with Him. When we take our own path, we are choosing self sufficiency and self dependence. From Adam until today, the grand plan of all men everywhere is to endeavor to live independently of God. Case in point right here on our doorstep: we are doing our best as a society to divorce God from our country.

Wisdom teaches that we can only find peace inside His standard of living. His standard for living is learned only by learning the practical surrender to His ways. The laws that govern our known universe are the laws of set in motion by the Creator. Everything inorganic known to man moves according to a law set in motion for that inorganic object at its creation. Wisdom of this world may bring us gold and precious stones. They can be put into the grave with us but they are not allowed beyond the grave. They cannot follow our eternal destiny. Human derived wisdom laughs at God-things and believes that if he does the right thing he will probably get to the “light.” And even if you do wrong and it causes yours or someone else’s death, a popular show on TV will convince you that there will be a second chance to make things right and eventually someone earthly who can hear and speak with you will sort it all out and you will be able to go into the ‘light.’

When God encourages us “in all our ways acknowledge Him” He is not talking about some flimsy theoretical acknowledgement. He is talking about engaging our whole being and all of our energies. When we are about to take on something, do we stop and ascertain whether it is in accordance with his Word? That is the first step. That takes an act of will on our part. When God promises that if we consider by reflecting on Him and what He has told us first [Matthew 6:33] then He will level out our path, in all things earthly and spiritual.   The prophet Jeremiah said that “I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.” [Jeremiah 10:23]

“In all your ways acknowledge Him” … comprehend every action we do with our mind, body, soul and spirit from the perspective of when we are face to face with the eternal God.

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Another Wisdom

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. [ESV]

There is wisdom that a man needs in order to just get along in this world. It that same wisdom as the book title claims: All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, published twenty-five years ago by Robert Fulghum. It has become a simple credo known around the world. It is the wisdom of the world that says that the only real confidence is self-confidence. It claims that we are the creators of our own futures and therefore we must lean on our own understanding. Do not get me wrong. I am not advocating that we not use the grey matter that God has given us. He expects us to plan with discretion. He expects us to use our heads in our living out life. We mistakenly prop up ourselves with our own wisdom. What God expects is for us to use a companion wisdom that we learn to depend on as an overriding protection. Left to our own wisdom, we do an incredibly poor job of practicing unconditional love, unbiased justice and non-situational righteousness. [Jer 9:24]

The real issue is that we fail to comprehend on our own the limits of our wisdom. History and science teach us over and over again the foolishness of leaning only on our own understanding. We also fail, without input from our Creator, to understand how brief our live is with its corresponding experience. It is impossible to drawn right conclusions that go beyond our experience and life-span.

There is another wisdom that has eternal value, which puts us in right relationship with our creator. It realizes that self-confidence goes only so far. This is the wisdom that only can come from listening to God and not our own understanding. If we say that we ‘trust God’ then He understands it to mean that we depend on Him for everything that we need and preserving us from evil. The judgment calls that we exercise in our hearts are the result of our being persuaded that God is the only object of confidence. We learn to become more and more satisfied with His power and faithfulness. Everything in our minds that contradicts God promise, that needs to be condemned.

“Not in a creature, the best, the holiest, and the highest;

Not in any creature enjoyment, as riches, strength, and wisdom;

Nor in any outward privilege, arising from natural descent and education;

Not in a man’s self, in his own heart, which is deceitful;

Nor in any works of righteousness done by him;

Not in a profession of religion, or the duties of it, ever so well performed;

Not in frames, nor in graces, and the exercise of them;

No, not in faith or trust itself: but in the Lord, the object of all grace, and in him only;

In Jehovah the Father, as the God of nature and providence, for all temporal blessings;

And as the God of all grace, for all spiritual blessings, and all the needful supplies of grace;

And for eternal happiness, which he has provided, promised, and freely gives.

Trust in him at all times…” John Gill, Exposition of the Bible