#159 Proverbs 3:3-6 Lean Not On Your Own Understanding

Joy:
Episode #159 Proverbs 3:3-6

Welcome

Amy:
Welcome to The Christgazing Podcast. We are so glad you are here! I’m Amy Burgin.

Joy:
I’m Joy Burgin.

Amy:
Christgazing, kind of like stargazing, is the act of looking steadily and intently at Jesus. If you are anything like us, you desire to fix your eyes on Jesus amid the distractions and troubles of this world. This podcast makes room for us to do that. Amid a world of many words, we slow down here and make space for the God-breathed Words, the best words, the ones that rightly comfort, correct, and lead us. Each week, we read a portion of scripture several times and create stillness after each reading so we might also be still and know God more.

Pour Out Your Heart to God

Amy:
Before we read, take time to share your heart with God. Maybe you have a list of questions for which you need answers—or a heart filled with grief, joy, desire, gratitude, anger, peace, or a mix of some of these things and more—whatever is on your mind, name it, and bring it to God in the next minute.

[Pause and pour out your heart to God]

What Does This Passage Say About God?

Joy:
As I read today’s passage, consider the question: what does this say about God?

Proverbs 3:3-6
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
    in the sight of God and man.
5 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.

Again?

Proverbs 3:3-6
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
    in the sight of God and man.
5 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.

Take the next few moments to consider what this says about God.

[Pause and know]

What Does This Passage Say About People?

Joy:
As I read the passage again, consider the question, what does this say about people?

Proverbs 3:3-6
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
    in the sight of God and man.
5 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.

Take a minute to consider what this says about people.

[Pause and know]

Lord, What Would You Have Me Know Or Do Today?

Joy:
As I read for the last time, ask God, “Lord, what would you have me know or do today in response to this passage?” If it helps, put yourself in the narrative.

Proverbs 3:3-6
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
    in the sight of God and man.
5 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.

Take a minute to ask God, “Lord, what would you have me know or do in response to this passage?”

[Pause and listen]

Blessing

Joy:
Christgazer, the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. And may you keep your face turned toward Jesus today and know him more.

One Response

Amy:
I’m reminded of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, which defines love for us. It says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” We people are prone to forget the definition of love.

Our own understanding often leads us in the opposite direction of love.

Love is patient, but we find good reason to become impatient.

Love is kind, but we can find good reasons to become inconsiderate, aloof, insensitive, harsh, and rude.

I hear God’s kind voice and his teacher’s heart, “Sweet listeners, let love and faithfulness never leave you. Trust in me with all your heart, with your innermost being.”

In the original text of Proverbs, the word heart comes from the Hebrew word lēb (pronounced lave) to describe a human’s innermost being. His mind—his knowledge, thinking, reflection, and memory.  His will—his inclination, resolution, and determination. The human heart is described as our seat of desire and appetites, our seat of emotions and passions, our seat of courage.

God says, “Trust in me with all your heart.”

What does that mean? We can break it down using the definition of lēb.

I hear God saying, Trust in me with your mind. Trust in me with your knowledge, your thinking, your reflection. Deteronomy 6:7-9 comes to my mind. It reminds us to talk about God’s ways when “you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and behind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

I hear God saying, Trust me with your memory.  Psalm 77:11-12comes to mind. It says, “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”

I hear God saying, Trust me with your will—your inclination, resolution, and determination. I hear Joshua’s voice from Joshua 24:15. Joshua said, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” I feel a tenacity rising up in me when I hear these words. I think of the chalkboard on my kitchen table. When I feel my patience is running out and I’m not overflowing with love, I go sit in front of my chalkboard. For the last two years it has had God’s definition of love written on it. “Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not easily angered.” I sit there and preach to my soul, Amy, you love God. You love his ways. You know his ways are better than yours. Walk in this. Sometimes I need only stare at it and preach to myself 30 seconds. Other times, I need five minutes or more before I can stand up and act like I truly trust God’s ways are better than mine.

I hear God saying, Trust in me with your seat of desires. Psalm 37:4 comes to mind, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 145:16 comes to mind, “You [God] open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.”

I hear God saying, Trust in me with your seat of emotions and passions. I’m thinking about how we are made in the image of God. Our God has a heart. He has a seat of emotions and passions. We see his emotions and passions played out most clearly in the walk of Jesus Christ. As I close my eyes and think of his emotions, I’m reminded of many encounters,including his encounter with Mary when her brother Lazarus died. John 11:32-36 gives us a glimpse of the seat of God’s emotions and passions,

When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

Jesus wept.

Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

I hear God saying, Trust in me with your seat of courage. Sometimes acting on God’s ways instead of our own ways requires much courage. I can’t help but think of Joshua 1:9 when God injects Joshua with courage through a promise to always be with him. God said, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” 

And that reminds me of Psalm 139:7-10 with which I’ll close.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    If I made my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.

This is the Trustworthy Word of the Lord.

Closing

Amy:
You can find a transcript of this episode and all our episodes at amyburgin.com. Joy and I will be back next week to go Christgazing together. Until then, don’t forget, when you put your trust in Christyou are one in whom he dwells and delightsa dearly loved child of God. You are royalty in his strong and unshakeable kingdom. Though trouble abounds, Christ prevails, and so do you.

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