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Divine (not just human) wisdom for God’s will

May 8, 2023

Daily Scripture

Proverbs 3:1-7

1 My son, don’t forget my instruction.
    Let your heart guard my commands,
2     because they will help you live a long time
    and provide you with well-being.
3 Don’t let loyalty and faithfulness leave you.
    Bind them on your neck;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will find favor and approval
    in the eyes of God and humanity.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart;
    don’t rely on your own intelligence.
6 Know him in all your paths,
    and he will keep your ways straight.
7 Don’t consider yourself wise.
    Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Divine wisdom, pictured as a woman teaching in the public square (cf. Proverbs 1:20-21), spoke in today’s text. She pledged God-given well-being (verse 2—Hebrew shalōm) to those who fully trust God to guide them. “Don’t consider yourself wise” (verse 7) was not a critique of healthy confidence. “The opposite of trusting Yahweh is trusting in oneself, or leaning on one’s own understanding…. Proverbs invites us to lean on the arm of Yahweh that grasps us.” * (cf. Proverbs 26:12).

  • Scholar Paul Koptak wrote, “Proverbs 3:5-6 speak more about guidance in ethical behavior than particular choices such as career or mate.” ** Why do you believe God invites us to partner with him in making specific choices that shape the course of our lives? Wouldn’t it save us a lot of hard thinking about life choices if God simply told us exactly what to do in all cases?
  • Some writers suggest that “Trust in the LORD with all your heart” carried a sense like “bet your life” on God’s goodness and wisdom. In what areas do you actively trust that God’s way really is the best way to live? Have you seen evidence of that in your own life or the lives of people close to you? Are there parts of life where you want that trust to grow?

All-wise God, you gave me a brain, and you expect me to use it. But your wisdom forms a framework within which I can make the best choices for my life. Keep my mind always attuned to your wisdom. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Mindy LaHood

Mindy LaHood

Mindy LaHood serves on the Worship Experience team at Church of the Resurrection. She loves all things related to worship and enjoys working with our talented team of staff and volunteers. One of her favorite things to read about and study are stained glass windows, and she considers herself very blessed to work and worship in a place with such a magnificent window.

I remember it clearly…approaching high school graduation in the Spring of 1992. It was exciting and thrilling and utterly terrifying all at the same time. There was a world full of opportunities and experiences ahead of me. But I was so afraid of picking the wrong path and making a terrible decision and then I would be stuck in a lifelong series of regrets.

For months I prayed about where to go to school and what to major in. I talked at length, to my youth pastor and the youth volunteers who poured so much love into my life. How in the world was I supposed to know what God’s will was for my life? They made praying for God’s will sound so easy. In fact, they made it sound so simple, I thought for sure there would be some sort of clear sign from somewhere or someone that would tell me the right choices to make. I put so much pressure on myself eagerly and earnestly trying to discern God’s will for my life and never really understood exactly how that would be revealed to me. Never fear, I made it through college at Olivet Nazarene University with a degree in Elementary Education and Geology, and I only switched my major one time.

Even through all that, I still wondered if I was living out God’s will for my life.

Through the years, I’ve made so many decisions and choices. Some have been great, and some have been not-so-great, but I don’t think that means I’m living outside of God’s will for my life. As I have grown in my faith and in my relationship with Jesus, I’ve come to understand that God’s will allows for me to have choices, but the ultimate outcome or goal I should have in mind is that he is glorified in what I do and say.

Even when I make a bad choice, and I must suffer the consequences, God takes the rubble of that and forms something beautiful…and he is glorified.

At its core, Proverbs 3:5 is a call to surrender my thoughts and understanding to God.  It can be easy to rely on my own knowledge and understanding when I face challenges or difficult decisions, but this verse reminds me that true wisdom comes from God.  By trusting in him, I can have confidence that he will guide me and lead me in the right direction.

Trusting in God with all my heart requires me to let go of my own desires and plans and submit to God’s will for my life. When I’m willing to trust the Lord with all my heart, I am able to experience a sense of peace and joy that surpasses all understanding.  I can rest in the knowledge that God is in control, and that he will work all things together for good.

My prayer for you and for myself this day, is that we may find comfort and strength in the knowledge that he is always with us, guiding us along the path he has set before us.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* John Goldingay, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs for Everyone. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2014, p. 18.
** Paul E. Koptak, Proverbs in The NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003, p. 120.