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.
Probably two of the most memorized verses in the Bible, their message – which includes 3 commands and a promise – is so well known.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart” is the first command. If anything of eternal value and good is going to happen in our lives, it will begin with trusting God, and half-hearted faith won’t cut it.
“Lean not on your own understanding” is the second command. I call these two commands “mutually exclusive.” If we practice one, we will not be practicing the other – you can’t trust in the LORD and lean on your own understanding at the same time!
“Acknowledge Him in all your ways” is the third command. To experience God’s empowerment is to know (“acknowledge”) Him at work in every part of our lives. There is really no difference between the sacred and the secular. He is always there, working all the time. When we can see that on a regular basis we will experience His empowerment in a special way.
“He will make your paths straight” is the promise – in response to all this obedience! He will clear out a straight path ahead for us. God knows where we are, where we need to go, the best way to get there, and even what time we need to arrive!
These three commands are the Biblical basis of Steps 1-3 of the 12 Steps. Step One reminds us how powerless we are – no need to “lean on our own understanding.” Step Two reminds us that only God can do for us what we really need – so “trust in the LORD with all your heart.” Step 3 points to our need to commit our will and our lives to Him – “acknowledge Him in all our ways.”
I have a shortened version of these 3 commands and the first 3 Steps: I can’t, He can, so let Him. It’s honestly that simple!