5 Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. Ė Proverbs 3:5-6 AMP
The words here are very clear. With all our heart and mind we are to trust and be confident in the Lord and not rely on our own personal insight, opinions, perceptions or understanding. In everything we do, we are supposed to know, recognize, and acknowledge God, and then He will not only direct us, but He will also make our paths straight. Sadly many of us out there would rather travel the crooked road to reach our every destination.
Generations ago the Interstate system was created here in the United States. In the fifty plus years since its inception, these highways have become a labyrinth of asphalt and concrete designed to move motorists through metropolitan and rural areas alike at speeds that used to lead people straight to traffic court. In some parts of the country, bustling towns that once benefited commercially from the old highway system found themselves turned overnight into proverbial ghost towns, as the new interstate bypassed them and left them only a vision of yesteryear. They became ghost towns because travelers would rather take a straight shot to their destination with little interruption than to take the long drive along the crooked road.
But Christians today are the exact opposite as they approach their faith. Rather than stay on the straight path to our destination, we take the long way around. We choose the crooked road because we believe that our way is better than Godís way. This is a problem that I, as well as many other Christians have struggled with for years.
The trials in my own faith have come about over the years because of my choices. Whether I tried to use the Word to justify my sin, or sought worldly solutions rather than godly solutions, my path was never straight. And the few times in my distant past when the path was straight, I never recognized that God was at work in my life. I did what everyone else did: when I got things right, I patted myself on the back for a job well done and turned off onto a different crooked road called pride. God was trying to show me the way to the interstate, but I stopped at every stop light in every small town along the crooked road.
Itís time for Christians to get off the crooked road and find the super highway. Today these old crooked roads offer a look at our nostalgic past, but we should stay off these roads where our faith is concerned. A crooked road in our faith leaves us mired in our sins. The crooked road leaves us stranded, asking for directions. The crooked road has speed traps, stop lights, and potholes around every turn that are there to wreck our faith and keep us where we are.
But the super highway is different. Godís way is straight and plain. Just as the interstate is designed to move you along a straight path, God has the same plan on His path. And to get to Godís straight road has very simple instructions.
Todayís passage says to trust and be confident in God with all your heart and mind. How many Christians actually do that? Itís easy to trust in God at church and around our fellow believers. But do you trust Him at home when you are paying the bills? What about at work or at the grocery store? And how many Christians have enough trust or faith in God to be confident in Him? Do you really know that He will do what He promises?
But there is just a bit more in Godís straight path than trust and confidence. We also have to know, recognize, and acknowledge Him in all of our ways for our paths to be straight. How will anyone be able to do that without first having trust and confidence? Is your trust in your own resources rather than Godís? Are you more confident in your own abilities than anyone elseís? If thatís the case and you succeed in your current endeavor, whose way will you acknowledge? And where will God be left? Heíll still be over on the straight path, waiting for you to find your way off the crooked road.
To get off the crooked road we have to first place our trust and confidence in God. But we must also know, recognize, and acknowledge Him in all we do. Whether itís in a ministry at church, getting a raise at work, finding our favorite cereal on sale at the grocery store, or even being able to avoid a traffic accident, we have to recognize God at work in our lives. Only then will we be off the crooked road forever.