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 straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
It’s hard to say how many times I’ve tried going my own way instead of God’s. I’m sure it gets close to the number of grains of sand on the ocean shore. And just about every time, I’m brought back to this simple reminder, “trust in the Lord…not on your own understanding.” And just about every time I’ve gone my own way things don’t work so well. But in the times (or after shifting my leaning) things go much better, even often better than I had expected.
Leaning On Myself
Have you ever gone to lean against a wall or a chair, and all the sudden it wasn’t there. I don’t mean it disappeared, but it’s when you misjudge where it was at and where you were in relation to it. I’ve fallen flat on my face or side several times before because of misjudging. And yes, I do wear glasses. Leaning on your own understanding is kind of like that. It’s as if the wall wasn’t there at all. It’s as if I were trying to lean on myself. Go ahead try it. Just set up a video first so we can get the next viral video laugh going.
It doesn’t work. You can’t lean on yourself. And leaning on your own understanding is just as futile. Sure, God gives us intellect and brains. I’m not saying that you don’t do math on your own or the vast majority of daily tasks. I’m talking much more about those big decisions, the crossroads that come along. Which way do you go? Which way do you lean?
If we try to make the big decisions in life on our own that’s typically the recipe for failure. Who should I marry? What college should I go to? Do I take the job in Detroit or Boston? How do I tell that person that things just aren’t working out? Those are then’t even half of the big decisions that we’re faced with, and if we were to try and tackle them on our own it’s almost certain that we’d fall flat on our face.
Leaning on God
So the alternative is leaning on something solid. Actually leaning on the wall which often takes seeing the wall first. Instead of just assuming that the wall is where we think it is and initiating the lean we need to take a look first.
With God, He’s there. He is that immovable wall in this sense. He’s not going anywhere and He’s as solid as the Great Wall of China. But do we just assume that we’re close enough to Him when we are faced with these big decisions? Or is there a way to take a better look and make sure that we’re not going to fall flat on our face.
Moving Closer to the Wall
This has all been a reality for me personally and perhaps for our community (though I don’t want to speak for all of them). The big thing on the horizon for Veritas Community and Veritas Academy right now is find a property to rent. This space will be primarily for the school and we’ll use it for worship on Sundays and perhaps a few other small things for the church side of the ministry.
But I was leaning quite a bit on my own understanding. We’ve run budgets, looked for residential property that we could use, and figured out a lot of logistics on our own. But I have failed to pray. I’ve failed to make sure that I’m close enough to Jesus through this process. I’ve been in the Word a lot and I’ve been chatting with God a lot, but I haven’t really sought Him out for direction in this one big thing. Big face plant, I know.
We recently hit a road block where we found that we can’t use a residential home as the school or the church building. It was a brilliant idea that my wife had to do this as it would have saved a lot in our budget and would have given us a great warm, homey feel for both the school and the church (something we’re hoping for). But as soon as this hit, it helped me realize this whole failure on my part and take a look at what I was leaning on. There wasn’t much underneath me. I immediately started moving closer to God and realized that I needed to lean on Him.
God never moved. He was never far from me, I was far from Him. He is solid and capable. I’d love to give you a huge “IT WORKED!” kind of story at this point, but we are right in the middle of this. This literally happened a couple days ago and brought me back to this huge revelation: I need to lean on God not my own understanding.
Leaning on Others Leaning on God
I’d love it if you’d join us in prayer about this pretty big step in our journey. We’re praying for God’s presence and direction in this. We are praying that He goes above and beyond our plans and understanding so that at the end of the day we step back and see that this was Him working and not us. Pray that in the midst of this shift in focus (from residential to commercial) that He makes budgets work and provides in incredible ways in order to make it work.
It feels good to be leaning on Him. It’s solid. He isn’t going anywhere and I know that this will work out how He sees that it should. In the end, I’m confident it will be better than I could have imagined it. We’ll keep you informed here on how things are going, but if you would join us in prayer we’d appreciate it!