“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:6 NLT)
Anytime we demonstrate faith, we’re relying on something. When you sit in a chair, you’re relying on the chair’s manufacturer to produce something that will hold you up. When you’re on the freeway, you’re relying on every other driver around you.
Faith in God means we rely on him and depend on his reliability. Having faith means realizing that God is bigger, greater, and better than me – and he loves me greatly.
Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death” (NLT). That's the problem with relying on yourself. We’re often wrong. Human intuition is not always reliable. In fact, it’s just good enough to make us think we’re right – even when we’re not.
Genuine faith is relying on God's direction and on who he is. God is reliable. He knows what you need, and he wants to meet those needs. Unfortunately, we think we know better. We think we have a better plan. We want to use our logic and get to the answer in a way that makes us look good – and doesn’t require risk. But God wants us to grow, so he takes us a different way.
Many times in Scripture, God asks us to do what doesn’t make sense to our logic. For example, Mark 10:43 says, “Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant” (NLT). To most people, that verse doesn’t make sense; you’d think great people would have others serving them. Jesus says it’s the other way around – the great people are the ones serving others. I need to trust what God says about greatness, not what I think.
God also says we’re to honor him by giving the first 10 percent of our income back to him. By our reason, that doesn’t make much sense to us. But we’re to lean on God’s understanding, not our own.
Because we trust him, we obey what he says – even if it doesn’t make sense to us.
Tom Holladay is a teaching pastor at Saddleback Church and author of The Relationship Principles of Jesus.
Saddleback Resources offers a small group Bible study related to these devotionals: The Invisible War-Winning the Battle of Temptation.
© Copyright 2011 Tom Holladay. Used by permission.