DON’T LEAN ON YOUR UNDERSTANDING

WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL

JUNE 28, 2024

TOPIC: DON’T LEAN ON YOUR UNDERSTANDING

BY T. O. BANSO

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6 New King James Version).

Naturally, as someone matures, he becomes less dependent on his parents. As he matures, he begins to have a mind of his own and does some things without depending on his parents or requiring their input. On the other hand, as someone matures spiritually, he becomes more dependent on God. As He grows spiritually, he sees more of his need of God. He sees more how weak and empty he is without God. He sees that, without God, he can do nothing, as Jesus said (John 15:5).

The more mature someone is spiritually the less he trusts his judgment and the more he seeks to know and do what God wants. He doesn’t assume that He knows but seeks to gain understanding from God. He wants to find out and do the will of God in every situation rather than going ahead to do what he thinks is right.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says,Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (New King James Version). Note the phrase “lean not on your own understanding.” It means “Do not rely on your own understanding” (Holman Christian Standard Bible; GOD’S WORD Translation). It also means “Never rely on what you think you know” (Good News Translation), “On your own intelligence do not rely” (New American Bible), and “Do not rely on your own insight” (New Revised Standard Version).

Don’t lean on your understanding. Don’t assume that your intelligence is excellent or insight is accurate. As Proverbs 3:6 says, in all your ways acknowledge God and He will direct your paths. This means “In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (New International Version). The Good News Translation says you should remember the LORD in everything you do, and He will show you the right way. Don’t lean on your understanding; lean on God. Let Him show you the right path you should follow. What appeals to someone may be a miserable road to an unfortunate end.

Ask God who knows everything for direction or solution. The beginning of Verse 7 of Proverbs 3 says, Do not be wise in your own eyes” (New International Version). There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25).

David, in his military campaigns, didn’t lean on his understanding. Rather than assuming he knew what to do, David always enquired from the LORD. This helped him to be victorious. 1 Samuel 23:1-5 says,Then they told David, saying, ‘Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah, and they are robbing the threshing floors’ Therefore David inquired of the Lord, saying, ‘Shall I go and attack these Philistines?’ And the Lord said to David, ‘Go and attack the Philistines, and save Keilah.’ But David’s men said to him, ‘Look, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?’ Then David inquired of the Lord once again. And the Lord answered him and said, ‘Arise, go down to Keilah. For I will deliver the Philistines into your hand.’ And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines, struck them with a mighty blow, and took away their livestock. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah” (New King James Version). Note the phrase “David inquired of the LORD.” David succeeded in this war because he followed God’s direction.

When Saul wanted to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men, David found out from God, through Abiathar, with the aid of an ephod, if Saul would come and if the people of Keilah would hand him over. The LORD answered in the affirmative. Therefore, David and his men fled Keilah (1 Samuel 23:6-13).

If David had leaned on his understanding, he would have assumed that the people he had helped would not betray him, and, therefore, would have seen no need to ask for confirmation from God. The natural thing is for one to repay one’s benefactor with good. Why would anyone hand over someone who saved his life to another person who wanted to take his life? But the people of Keilah never thought that way. They planned to hand over David to Saul. David was saved because he did not lean on his understanding but sought to find out and do the will of God.

On another occasion, after Saul had mourned the death of Saul, he inquired of the LORD and followed His direction.It happened after this that David inquired of the Lord, saying, ‘Shall I go up to any of the cities of Judah?’ And the Lord said to him, ‘Go up.’ David said, ‘Where shall I go up?’ And He said, ‘To Hebron.’ So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. And David brought up the men who were with him, every man with his household. So they dwelt in the cities of Hebron” (2 Samuel 2:1-3 New King James Version). Again, note the phrase “David inquired of the LORD.” He didn’t only enquire but followed God’s instruction.

In 2 Samuel 5:17-19, David again enquired of the LORD: Now when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. And David heard of it and went down to the stronghold. The Philistines also went and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. So David inquired of the Lord, saying, ‘Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?’ And the Lord said to David, ‘Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand’” (New King James Version). David leaned on God, not on his understanding. What God said determined his actions.

But did David enquire of the LORD in Bathsheba’s case? No. He enquired about Bathsheba from people but did not enquire of the LORD. 2 Samuel 11:3a says, So David sent and inquired about the woman” (New King James Version). That was after she had seen Bathsheba bathing. David didn’t enquire of the LORD. If he had, there is no way the LORD would have asked him to send for Bathsheba and sleep with her. David followed his sinful emotion and acted foolishly. He impregnated Bathsheba and eventually killed her husband, Uriah, with the connivance of Joab, and married her (2 Samuel 11:2-27).

David also conducted a census without enquiring from the LORD. He leaned on his understanding. He relied on what he thought he knew. But he didn’t realize that Satan was moving him. 1 Chronicles 21:1 says, “Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel” (New King James Version). Some people have taken some actions based on the dreams or visions that were supposedly from God, not knowing that Satan moved them. Not every dream or vision is from God. Don’t lean on your understanding. Enquire of the Lord.

David, moved by Satan, did not listen to the counsel of Joab not to conduct the census. If David had enquired of the LORD, he would have discovered that the census was Satan’s project, not God’s. Unfortunately, from Dan to Beersheba, seventy thousand people died from the plague that God inflicted as a punishment for David’s sin (2 Samuel 24:15).

Don’t lean on your understanding. This means you shouldn’t trust in yourself but in the Lord.If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success” (Proverbs 3:4-5 Living Bible). Note the phrase “Trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself.” God knows everything; you don’t. Put God first. Let Him lead you, and He will crown your efforts with success.

Don’t lean on your understanding also means don’t trust in your judgment. Instead, trust the Lord with all your heart.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” (Proverbs 3:5-6 Contemporary English Version). Let God lead you; don’t lead yourself. Put God first in everything you do; He will direct and help you to succeed.

TAKE ACTION!

If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. Take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself.  I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You must join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: Father, I shall not be wise in my eyes. Holy Spirit, help me not to lean on my understanding or rely on what I think I know or my intelligence. Let me not depend on my judgment. I shall always cooperate with God to lead and clear the road for me to follow.

(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).

 T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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Email: cedarministryintl@yahoo.com,
cedarministryng@gmail.com
Website: www.cedarministry.org