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Worry To Wise - Godly Wisdom

Worry To Wise  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Choosing Godly wisdom over our own understanding

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Well some of you might have thought that this day was never going to come but here it is, the very last message in our series in Proverbs and so this morning I am going to wrap up and summarize by looking at what are perhaps the key verses in the entire book,
Let’s open up in our Bibles to see what it says
Proverbs 3:5–6 NIV
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.
Over the past few months we have taken a look at a lot of different areas of life and how the wisdom of God applies in a practical sense
But realistically apart from these couple of verses the rest of the book is of very little consequence
What I mean by that is unless we take these verses seriously and apply them in a practical way to the way we live, the likelihood of us applying any of the rest of the book diminishes significantly
So just as we have done so many other times, let’s break this verse down and see what it is saying to us and I want to do that with 5 points
Now don’t shut me out already, they won’t all be long points
But even if they are it’s okay because we have the potluck after service so you don’t have to rush home to get dinner ready
Let’s begin with Solomon's opening statement here, “Trust in the Lord” what does it mean to “trust in the Lord”?
Well let’s start with the English word, Dictionary.com defines “trust” as a noun meaning “reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing”
That is such an awesome definition and says so much about what Solomon is calling us to here in this passage
To rely on the Lord, to rely on His integrity, to rely on His strength, to rely on His ability, to rely on the surety or the certainty of God
Trusting God is so much more than just believing that the chair is going to hold you up (and I know that you have all heard that illustration before) trust is total reliance
However the original Hebrew word takes the concept of trust much deeper than what we get out of the English word
The Hebrew word used here is “baw-takh” and in addition to the idea of reliance it conveys a sense of taking refuge
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance says this about the word, “A verb indicating to trust, to be confident. It expresses the feeling of safety and security that is felt when one can rely on someone or something else.”
“ It expresses the feeling of safety and security ...”
By now you know that my second favourite hymn of all time is It Is Well With My Soul
“When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll. Whatever my lot Thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well, it is well with my soul.’”
Only this kind of trust can produce that kind of result where our situation does not define our security but our reliance upon God and His ability is where we take our refuge.
There is no source other than God who is worthy of such trust or has proven to be capable of such refuge.
And that is why Solomon qualifies this to say that not only aught we to trust the Lord, but that we should trust Him with ‘all of our heart’
The Godly wisdom of this book, and indeed all of the scriptures is not only worthy of our complete allegiance but requires it if it is going to have the necessary impact upon our lives
The Hebrew word here for heart speaks of more than just the physical organ that pumps blood through your body, it speaks of your feelings, your will, your intellect
In Hebrew culture the heart is considered to be the “seat of of one’s inner nature” and as such it is the core of your being
That’s why we are taught to ask Jesus into our heart
You do know that Jesus doesn’t really take up physical residence in your heart and that if a Christian gets a heart transplant from a non-christian they don’t don’t lose their salvation
To give Jesus our heart means to give Him all of ourself, to hold nothing back but to make Him king of every aspect of who we are
Our choices, our decisions, our emotions, our actions, our intellect, our time, our priorities…everything
That’s what Solomon is getting at here, to trust God with every fiber of our being
To trust Him with our career, with our family, with our finances, with our emotions, with our decisions
To take refuge in the fact that in all these things and more, God is more than capable of bringing about His good will and His purpose
We don’t get to pick and choose what we are going to trust Him in taking this and leaving out that which brings us around to our third point this morning, “Do not lean on your own understanding”
You see here’s the problem with leaning on our own understanding, our understanding is incomplete
Contrary to popular belief, we don’t know it all, we don’t have all the answers, we don’t see what the future holds or what the results of our decisions may be
God does but we don’t
Let me take you back to Strong’s once again to show you the impact of this word “lean”
“The idea conveyed here is simply that of resting one’s weight against something to give it support, “ so far so good, however Strong’s continues, “but not all things leaned upon will actually support.”
Have you ever leaned upon something that you thought was solid only to find out that it wasn’t nearly as solid as you thought?
What happens?
Yup as your weight transfers and the object gives way you find yourself coming crashing down quite unexpectedly
That’s the word picture that Solomon is painting for us here that if you trust in God you can take refuge in your choice but if you choose to trust in some other thing, be it in any area of your life, you’re going to come crashing down because that thing you put your faith in is not going to be able to support the weight
It might not happen the first time, and maybe not even the second time but eventually as you put more weight on it, it WILL collapse
Only Godly wisdom can be trusted to hold up under the weight of this life, only God’s ways have stood the test of time and have proven that they won’t collapse
Post-modern Christianity might try to persuade you that there is a new way of doing Godly things
That’s because God is immutable which is a fancy way of saying that He doesn’t change and whereas worldly systems will come and go, He is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, the one who was and is and is to come, the same yesterday, today and forever
Solomon said later on in Proverbs,
Proverbs 30:5–6 NIV
“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.
Proverbs 30:5-6
It doesn’t matter what you are faced with or what life throws at you if you will remain steadfast in Him and not lean on your own understanding of things, He WILL hold you up
Isaiah 41:10 NIV
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Let’s move on, point 4, “In all your ways acknowledge Him”
Oh your going to like this one, Solomon tells us to make sure that we “acknowledge Him” in every area of life
In our marriage, in our finances, in our entertainment, in our speech, in our down time, in our driving, in our thinking, in our…well I think you get the idea
But what does it mean to acknowledge?
Back to Strong’s, “Yaw-dah” “ A verb meaning to know, to learn, to perceive, to discern, to experience, to confess, to consider, to know people relationally, to know how, to be skillful, to be made known, to make to know”
So in everything that you do, perceive God, experience God, confess God, consider God, walk in relationship with God, make God known
Can you do that at work? Can you do that at the grocery store? Can you do that in every area of your life?
Can you live in such a way as to experience and know God in everything that you do so that you can make Him known to others in everything that you do?
Because if you will make the necessary effort to do that Solomon ends our text with this promise, that God “will make straight your paths”
Do you comprehend the full weight of that promise?
In Solomon tells us,
Proverbs 16:9 NIV
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
When you look at that in light of what he says in our text and you realize that the promise that Solomon makes is that if we will acknowledge God in everything that we do, we can reasonably expect that God is going to keep on the straight and narrow, that He is going to keep our feet on the path and prevent us from stumbling and falling
We can reasonably expect to experience God’s favour in the things that we undertake because it is God who is guiding our steps along the path to accomplish our goals and our dreams
Solomon’s Dad David put it this way
Psalm 37:3–4 NIV
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:
Do you understand now why I saved this passage to wrap up our series in Proverbs?
At the very core of everything else Solomon teaches in this book on wisdom is this passage
proverbs 3
Proverbs 3:5–6 NIV
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 we can just grab a hold of it and apply it bringing into line with it all the other wisdom of God, can you just imagine the life changing impact it could have upon us?
Let’s Pray
#391 Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus
#390 Trust and Obey
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