Monday, June 24, 2013


      When severely challenged, our minds begin to devise ways to deal with the issues that confront us.  In some cases, our need to respond is so immediate that we must act without hesitation.  Other matters, however, give us time to consider the proper response.  Concerning the former scenario, we rely on God's grace as revealed through prayers offered in the past for His provision.  The latter circumstance calls us to deliberately seek our Lord in accordance with His prescribed path of faith.

     "Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy steps" (Proverbs 3:5-6).

     First, note that Solomon does not call us to ignore our understanding.  He rather commands that we not lean upon it, that is, we must not depend upon it.  We expect God to lead us in His wisdom and knowledge, but also with the understanding that such leading most often results from His enabling for reasoned and thoughtful consideration.  Indeed, it is a dangerous thing for believers to disengage our minds, allowing them to go blank in hope that the Lord will imprint His thoughts upon us.  This leads to deception and fanciful notions far more than to truth.  Our Heavenly Father created the wonder of our brains for their decisive use and engagement.  "Think on these things" wrote the Apostle Paul of our calling to use our minds with confidence in God's promised leadership and enabling, as opposed to depending on our own wits and supposed brilliance (Philippians 4:8).

    In the aforementioned challenges that allow for deliberation, we begin by trusting the Lord to lead us, as He promises.  We proceed to renounce trust in our ability to independently think our way out of trouble.  Upon this dual basis of faith and acknowledgement of our weakness, we then expect the Lord to lead and enable us to think in accordance with His truth and will.  Again, we use our minds.  We do not, however, lean upon them in the sense of trusting in ourselves.  We "acknowledge Him," as Solomon commanded, expecting Him to faithfully guide us through our challenge with provision, protection, and most of all, His abiding presence.

    As we often mention in these messages, the Christian life does not require brilliant thinkers (a fact for which I remain most grateful!).  It does, however, require thoughtful deliberation and an active mind.  Genuine faith involves knowing God's truth well enough to specifically apply it to the issues of life.  Sometimes "Lord, I trust You!" seems like all we have, and our Heavenly Father surely responds on such occasions.  The norm, however, involves pointed remembrance and affirmation of correctly applied Truth to the challenge we face.  This requires thought, thought on which we do not lean, but which we do exercise in order to consciously and effectually walk with God along the pathways of life.

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God."
(II Corinthians 3:5).

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
(Philippians 4:8)

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