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Most of us have a little stubborn streak somewhere in our character. That is not all bad, because there are certainly times when we need to think for ourselves and stand our ground. And yet when we're deciding what is the right thing to do in spiritual matters, there is an opposite problem we need to avoid, and that is the problem of subjecting what God has said to our own sense of what seems right. If we're so headstrong that we will not listen to God and let His wisdom guide our path, then we're in serious trouble.
"Faith" is a thing that is important in many ways. Obviously, faith in the truth of God's word is essential if we are to be saved from our sins. But also, faith in God Himself is vital. We have to trust not only what God says but the character of God as a Person. We have to believe that He is dependable and will never lead us astray. That is hard to do when what God says runs contrary to our opinion of what should be done. When such a conflict arises, we ought to have faith. We ought to trust that God's will is the best path to follow. This week, let's make that our theme.
Many Bible texts speak of the need to trust God's wisdom rather than our own. Proverbs 3:5,6 is one such passage: "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." Listen to these verses in the Contemporary English Version: "With all your heart you must trust the Lord and not your own judgment. Always let him lead you, and he will clear the road for you to follow."
One reason we study the Bible is to seek God's "advice" on the questions that confront us from day to day. We are not merely looking in the Scriptures for interesting information; we are asking for God's help in our decision making. In effect, we are saying to God, "I need help with these decisions. What does Your wisdom indicate is the best way for me to go?"
The mark of a truly humble person is not just that he has a moderate view of his own abilities, but also a moderate view of his own wisdom. If we trust God and are willing to rely on His higher wisdom, we will grow in true wisdom. God knows best. Let's have the faith to follow His lead.
Monday: Jeremiah 10:23
Key Idea: We do not have the ability to know what is best in every situation.
Questions for Family Growth: What is meant by the expression "the way of man"? Why is that "way" not in man himself? If the way of man is not in himself, where is it? What was Jeremiah's request in v.24? When the Lord corrects our faulty wisdom, what should be our attitude?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 14:22.
Tuesday: Proverbs 16:25
Key Idea: What seems to be the right thing to us may, in fact, be the wrong thing.
Questions for Family Growth: What is the problem this passage is dealing with? Should we never pay any attention to our own instincts or intuition? How can we avoid the problems that are inherent in human reasoning?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 14:23.
Wednesday: Isaiah 55:8,9
Key Idea: God's wisdom and understanding are much higher than ours.
Questions for Family Growth: What are some ways that God's thinking is different from ours and therefore better? Does this mean that God's will is illogical or contrary to reason? In practical terms, what does it mean that God's thoughts are "higher" than ours?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 14:24.
Thursday: Proverbs 3:5-8
Key Idea: God is perfectly able to direct our paths.
Questions for Family Growth: Why should we not "lean" on our own understanding? How do we "acknowledge" God in our various daily activities? In practical terms, what does it mean that God will "make straight your paths"?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 14:25.
Friday: Psalm 37:5,6
Key Idea: We should entrust ourselves to God and His will for us.
Questions for Family Growth: What does it mean to "commit" our way to the Lord, and why is that a difficult thing for us to do? What promise is made to those who commit their way to the Lord? In regard to following God's path, what can we learn from Jer. 9:23,24?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 14:26,27.