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[updated: 1/9/19]

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. – Proverbs 3:5-8 (ESV)

You know what I want to do?

I want to trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean on my own understanding. Doesn’t that sound like a more balanced approach?

I mean, come on. God knows a lot, but it’s not like He knows everything!

Oh wait. He does.

And we do not, so leaning on our own understanding often gets us into more trouble than out of it. This doesn’t mean that we don’t use our brains, that we just go with our “heart” (whatever that means). It means…

If God’s word is clear, you go with that.

When my wife, Julie, and I first started contemplating adoption through the state foster care system, there was nothing on paper that could make that appear logical. We already had three delightful kids and a happy, healthy home. If it ain’t broke…you know what they say.

But we began to suspect that God had given us such a strong home base so that we could give peace, discipline and security to a child or two that had never known such things.

Of course, it was a risk. In fact, so far it has proven to be a far greater risk than we ever imagined. If we would have leaned on our own understanding we would have never chosen to take such a risk, and we certainly would never have stayed the course when things turned ugly. (We refer to our two years of waiting for the adoption to go through as foster SCARE instead of foster care.)

Following Jesus just doesn’t always make sense. But hey – Jesus himself set the example for us!

What kind of worldly sense did Jesus’ birth in a stable make? None.

What kind of earthly wisdom would conclude that Jesus should suffer a cruel betrayal resulting in a far crueler death, all to save individuals that are farther beneath Him than a microscopic parasite on an ant is beneath us? No earthly wisdom, but an immense spiritual wisdom we could never hope to grasp here, but which we’ll have all of eternity to explore. 

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:6-9 (ESV)


  • What do you think “seeking the Lord while He may be found” means?
  • Why does this passage call us to return to the Lord? What is the motivation given?
  • Do you actually live as though God’s ways and thoughts are really that much higher than yours?
[If this post resonated with your soul like a “sub-woofer of wisdom,” you need to know something. God has more to tell you! This is but a taste of the first book in our discipleship series: Beyond Sex & Salvation. It presents three critical life lessons for relational success; lessons best learned BEFORE you fall in love. Find out more or purchase the e-book book at this link.]

Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!

[originally published: Nov 8, 2012]