Trust in the Lord Wholeheartedly

Let’s continue in our Covenant Sunday verse:

Proverbs 3:5–6 (NIV) — 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Trusting leads to a feeling of confidence and peace. Trusting makes us feel safe and secure and that’s what God wants for us. The alternative is worry and fear both of which are antithetical to the Gospel and both lead to unwise and destructive decisions.

Today I want to turn to the next phrase at the beginning of verse 6:

Proverbs 3:5–6 (NIV) — 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

This is the second time the author has used the term all – all your heart and all your ways. Our trust has to apply to all areas of our life. Every path we take must be trusting God.

Here are a couple of other translations both bring out that this trust us all-encompassing:

Proverbs 3:5–6 (The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language) — 6 Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.

Proverbs 3:6 (NCV) — 6 Remember the LORD in all you do, and he will give you success.

That means home, work, school. That means our finances, our jobs, our relationships. On the field of play. On the road. Every aspect of our life is lived trusting in God. Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, "Unless Jesus is Lord of all, He is not Lord at all."

This all-encompassing trust is not just a feeling. It demonstrates itself in obedience. Trust is hardly trust if we don’t act on it.

“There would be no sense in saying you trusted Jesus if you would not take his advice.” - C.S. Lewis

Have you ever had people ask for your opinion and then totally ignore it? You wonder why they asked in the first place. Calling Jesus Lord and not obeying Him is illogical. Trust implies obedience. The Lordship of Christ implies obedience in everything.

This is a thought throughout the Old Testament that carries into the New Testament. Paul develops this theme in his letters – everything we do is to glorify God.

1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV) — 31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Colossians 3:17 (NIV) — 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Romans 12:1 (NIV) — 1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

In the letter to the church in Ephesus Paul connects our salvation with our everyday lives. He addressed husbands and wives, children and parents, slave and free. This faith applies to all these relationships. And then gives this summary statement.

Ephesians 6:7 (NIV) — 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people. 

I want to play off that word wholeheartedly and take you to Numbers 13 and 14

Numbers 13:1–33 (NIV) — 1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.” 3 So at the LORD’s command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites. 4 These are their names: from the tribe of Reuben, Shammua son of Zakkur; 5 from the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat son of Hori; 6 from the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh; 7 from the tribe of Issachar, Igal son of Joseph; 8 from the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun; 9 from the tribe of Benjamin, Palti son of Raphu; 10 from the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel son of Sodi; 11 from the tribe of Manasseh (a tribe of Joseph), Gaddi son of Susi; 12 from the tribe of Dan, Ammiel son of Gemalli; 13 from the tribe of Asher, Sethur son of Michael; 14 from the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi son of Vophsi; 15 from the tribe of Gad, Geuel son of Maki. 16 These are the names of the men Moses sent to explore the land. (Moses gave Hoshea son of Nun the name Joshua.) 17 When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. 18 See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. 19 What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? 20 How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.) 21 So they went up and explored the land from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob, toward Lebo Hamath. 22 They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, lived. (Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23 When they reached the Valley of Eshkol, they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs. 24 That place was called the Valley of Eshkol because of the cluster of grapes the Israelites cut off there. 25 At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land. 26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.” 

Numbers 13:30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” 

31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

They didn’t trust God. They allowed fear and inadequacy trump their trust in God.

As we move into chapter 14 God wants to destroy the whole nation but Moses reasons with God. He will forgive but they will not enjoy the Promised Land with an exception – Caleb. And the reason he is exceptional is because he follows God wholeheartedly.

Numbers 14:24 - But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.

Or as another translation renders this verse, Caleb is “fully after” God!

Numbers 14:24 (YLT) — 24 and My servant Caleb, because there hath been another spirit with him, and he is fully after Me—I have brought him in unto the land whither he hath entered, and his seed doth possess it.

Are you fully after God? Do you follow Him all the time? Do you trust him to provide even when the odds seem to be so much against you? Are you willing to stand up among people and declare your trust in Him?

This is what Proverbs 3:6 is saying – in all your ways acknowledge Him

Here’s a truth. When we fail to trust God we fail to enter the promised land. Are there promised lands God is waiting to give you but you have not trusted him enough to follow him? Are fear, doubt, self-sufficiency holding you back?

The half-hearted die in the wilderness. The wholehearted enjoy the promised land.

May this be our resolve:

Psalm 119:80 (NIV) — May I wholeheartedly follow your decrees.