A “Grid” Passage for Wisdom in Determining God’s Will

JP: By Pastor John Hartog III. Used with permission. Read Part I. Read Part 2.

Studies in Proverbs 3:1-12 (PART THREE)

This passage contains couplets of verses (a “grid”): 1&2, 3&4, 5&6, 7&8, 9&10, and 11&12. A “grid” passage is an outline, framework, or list that might be used in order to understand and analyze a complex set of circumstances or a difficult decision. The “grid” provides a biblical way of thinking and can protect the believer from natural (old-man) ways of thinking. Another “grid” passage is 2 Peter 1:5-9.

(PROVERBS 3:5-6) TRUST GOD. “Trust [put confidence] in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding [discernment]. In all thy ways acknowledge him [know Him], and he shall direct [make straight, smooth] thy paths.”

Trust in = to “find confidence in.” Psalm 37:5 “Commit [roll] thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass [i.e., He will do it].”

Like Israel’s forefathers who placed their confidence in God, so that He delivered them; we ought to put our confidence in God, too. Psalm 22:4-5 “Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.”

All your heart. We should serve God with a completely willing and faithful heart. This reminds us of David’s instruction to his son, Solomon. 1 Chronicles 28:9 “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve [work for] him with a perfect [complete, at rest] heart and with a willing [desirous, finding pleasure in] mind [soul]: for the LORD searcheth [enquires, pursues] all hearts, and understandeth [discerns] all the imaginations [purposes] of the thoughts: if thou seek [enquire, pursue] him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off [reject] for ever.”

Do not lean upon your own discernment. Proverbs 23:4 “Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom [discernment].”

Be ever mindful of the Lord. Think about Him and His way. As we know God, really know Him, He makes His will known to us. Proverbs 16:3 “Commit [roll] thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.” Jeremiah 10:23 “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct [establish] his steps.” Philippians 4:6-7 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

God will direct [make straight, smooth] your paths.

  1. This can mean: God will remove the moral dilemmas. Proverbs 11:5 “The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.”
  2. Or, it can mean: God will make your path free from all obstacles that would otherwise hinder His purposes from being successfully accomplished in your life. Isaiah 45:13 “I have raised him [King Cyrus of Persia] in righteousness [to accomplish God’s righteous purpose], and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts.”
  • In our decision making, have we placed our confidence entirely upon God? Or, are we placing confidence in our own understanding/discernment?
  • “Common sense” is helpful for life, but mere human thinking, even at its best, is insufficient for ascertaining the Lord’s will. Prudence will not push us as far as faith.
  • Are we ready to go against our own natural, unregenerate way of thinking in order to have the mind of Christ?
  • Are we thinking about God and His agenda in all of our deliberations and life-plans so that His perfecting will might be accomplished?

© Pastor John Hartog III, Th.D

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