Discovering God’s Will – Proverbs 3

Discovering God’s Will

“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.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

The verse in Proverbs starts with the word “trust”. “Trust in the Lord.” It does not say to “Cheer for the Lord.”

God does not want fans cheering Him on from the stands, He wants devoted followers participating in His work here and now!

I am a fan of MMA. I enjoy watching guys like Brock Lesnar and George St. Pierre fight. As a fan, I cheer them on when they fight. I applaud their victories. I like to watch fights with others. I like to analyze techniques and speculate on who will win a fight. I even follow Brock Lesnar on Twitter!

While I am a fan of some MMA and the fighters, I am not a follower. Nothing about my day to day life changes as a result of them. I don’t change the way I treat people because of Brock Lesnar or GSP. I don’t change my exercise routine because of them. I don’t change my way of living because of them. As a fan, I enjoy the sport and the fighters, but I am only entertained by them. I don’t have to “trust” them because I don’t have my life or decisions affected by them.

God does not want people who are simply fans of His that will stand on the sidelines and cheer Him on. He doesn’t want people who are content being just a part of the crowd. God wants His people to be committed followers. That is what Jesus called us to do. He did not call us to be fans of God, but followers.

While fans are ok, the problems with fans are that when their sport team or athlete does not perform the way that the fans want them too once cheering fans begin to boo them! If a sport team, athlete, or entertainer has a poor performance, they get booed! If we are fans of God and He does not meet our expectations, we will begin to boo Him too. If we are followers, we will remain faithful and continue on with Him regardless.

A fan is a spectator, but a follower is a participator. By the way, the world is not changed by fans of God, but it is changed by followers of God. The Lord wants committed followers who live out Proverbs 3:5-6. He wants me to be a follower and not a fan!

As I read Proverbs 3:5-6, I recognize that it is important to know that submission to the known will of God comes before revelation of the unknown will of God. Proverbs shows me that as I live a life committed to do all that I know God wants me to do, THEN He promises that He will make my paths straight.

God does not reveal His will in order for me to simply consider it. He wants me to be committed to Him first. He wants me to trust Him first. When it comes to trying to figure out God’s plan for my life, there are two questions that I can ask.

The wrong question to ask is: “God, what’s your plan for my life?”

The right question to ask is: “God, what’s Your plan, and how can my life fit into it?”

I am learning these days that the challenge in discovering God’s will for my life is not God’s unwillingness to communicate. The problem is my unwillingness to follow through. The problem I often run into is that I want God to speak so that I can take His instructions and “consider” if that is what I want to do or not. The problem with that attitude is that God does not reveal His instructions for my consideration, but for my participation. There are times that I’d like for God to say in Proverbs, “Trust in the Lord with some of your heart…” Other times I’d like the verse to say, “5 Trust in the LORD with part your heart.” When I read the verse though, it says says, “5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart” (emphasis mine).

In other words, Proverbs is saying, I should not lean on my own ability to figure things out according to how I see it because I am not that smart!

I need to trust God with ALL of my heart and submit ALL of my ways to Him. An author named Philip Yancey says, “I do not get to know God and then do His will. I get to know Him more deeply by doing His will.” I guess today’s devotion can be summed up like this. To have the unknown will of God revealed to me, I need to submit to and obey the revealed will of God. God promises to reveal His unknown will if I would obey His revealed will.

Holy Spirit come. What is Your plan, and how can I fit into what You want to accomplish? Show me not what Your will for me is, but how I fit into Your plans Lord. In the precious name of Jesus Christ, amen.


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