Look to God for Direction
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
One night my husband and I were sitting with our next-door neighbors on their patio. We’d recently moved into the neighborhood, and they’d invited us over to get better acquainted.
Our cat, Ginger, decided to join us when he heard our voices. As he approached, he couldn’t see the neighbors’ two dogs. They sat inside the house, their noses pressed against the sliding glass doors that opened onto the patio.
The moment Ginger strolled into the dogs’ line of vision, they began to bark. Ginger immediately stopped, hissed, and glared at them. Then he looked over to me as if to say, “What are we doing here?” Apparently, he detected that I was neither afraid of the dogs nor uncomfortable in their presence, so he strolled over to me instead of retreating to the safety of our yard. He didn’t look at the dogs again. For the next hour Ginger lay calmly beside me even though the dogs barked when they caught sight of him.
Ginger knew me and trusted me; therefore he looked to me for direction in an unfamiliar and potentially dangerous situation. The English word acknowledge* used in Proverbs 3:6 originally meant “to look to a superior for direction”—specifically to seek the guidance of someone a person knew intimately and trusted completely.
God asks us to trust Him as Ginger trusted me. Moving to a new state has forced me and my husband to look to God for direction in numerous situations. On many days, I’ve felt like Ginger must have felt: Are you sure, God, that this is where we are supposed to be and what we’re supposed to be doing?
God assures us that we can always depend on His direction. The phrase “straight paths” doesn’t refer to the unobstructed view provided by a long, straight road. It means that when we reach the end of the path, we’ll see that it was the best route to take (see Proverbs 3:7-18).
No matter where God’s path leads, our job is to focus on Him and to ignore the “dogs” that seem threatening. We can relax as long as our Savior is near. His presence is the guarantee that no “dogs” will devour us.
You may have memorized Proverbs 3:5-6 when you were a child, as I did. But have you read the rest of chapter 3 lately? What kind of mindset and deeds indicate that we are trusting the Lord with all our heart?
How can we know that we’re on God’s path? Consider what Solomon says about the right path and the wrong path in the following verses: Proverbs 2:6-15 and Proverbs 4:13-19.
A “dog” is anything that keeps us from staying close to our Savior and relying on Him. Read David’s list of “dogs” in Psalm 37 and then claim the promise of verses 39-40.
Denise K. Loock
*A derivative of knowledge.