Big Picture Faith
Updated: Oct 3, 2020
“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
Let’s begin by pondering a familiar passage which happens to be my original life verse. A scriptural companion I have relied on to shape and navigate my life for more than twenty-five years. Clinging to four little lines for so long you’d think I would know all there is to know, but as I dug a bit deeper, low and behold, I found more treasure down below. Nuggets of truth gleaned from a new perspective. God’s Word never gets old!
May you find a piece of treasure to pocket as your own.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart...”
Trust is given to those we can rely upon with confidence. My God IS trustworthy, He has proven it time and again. Yet I have moments where I hesitate to jump in with both feet and trust with my whole heart. Moments when my flesh is afraid because I cannot see the big picture, haven’t been given a detailed game plan, or my circumstances look contrary to what God is asking me to believe Him for. In short, they are weaknesses on my part.
So I am learning to empty my heart of all the struggles and obstacles I can see in prayer conversations with God, seek His perspective, and ask Him what my heart needs to know. When God speaks truth to the heart -- truth echoed in His Word -- lack of understanding and unbelief are overcome, and truth gives way to trust.
“...and lean not on your own understanding;”
My own understanding. Now that is the culprit! The one I just mentioned. The one that stands in the way of my heart fully trusting God on things. My understanding is representative of my limited knowledge, limited insight, my pinhole view. It is limited to the pieces of the puzzle I can actually see. That is why I have to lean on God and His big picture perspective. He sees the beginning and the end, and all the details in between. He sees what’s going on behind the scenes.
Take the beautiful picture painted with the story of Abraham and Isaac for example: Abraham must have been in turmoil. His flesh panicking. Anxiety through the roof. God was asking him to sacrifice his only son on the altar. Genesis 22 doesn’t make us privy to the emotions he fought through. It implies he stayed strong for his son, encouraging him that God would provide the lamb. Abraham was willing, but I can only imagine how weak his flesh must have been. Abraham trusted God to the last second, knife in hand, ready to die to personal preference and all reason, and accept the shattering of his own heart. That’s when the lamb showed up. Little did he know as he made his way that day, provision had been coming up the other side of the mountain. He couldn’t see the bigger picture, but God had every intention of being faithful.
Abraham was tested. I have been tested. You will be tested. Will we choose to believe God over our limited perspective? May God grant me big picture faith! Faith that trusts God with my whole heart regardless of what I can see, believing Him faithful to come through.
“...in all your ways acknowledge Him,”
“All my ways” sums up all the things I do in a day. To acknowledge God is to remember He is always with me, ever-present, and never leaves me. When I remember that, I am more apt to seek His wisdom in everyday moments. I can ask Him questions throughout my day to seek His best, for guidance in what to do in a situation, and whether I should choose this or that. I can ask Him how He wants me to spend my time, what I should eat for optimal health, or what items on my to do list are His priority for me that day. That is seeking and acknowledging Him in “all my ways”.
“...and He will make your paths straight.”
This is really the latter half of an if/then statement. “If” I make it a point to acknowledge God and seek His wisdom throughout my day, (a.k.a. yielding myself to the Holy Spirit), “then” He will make my path straight. He will make it smooth. He will remove the obstacles in my way. Sometimes, that obstacle is me. The desires of my flesh get in way of God’s best.
I can’t know the right path if I don’t seek it out. I can’t expect my path to be smooth if I’m not willing to obey His direction. When I choose to operate in the spirit instead of the flesh, I hear God’s voice directing my steps and leading the way. Then it’s up to me to do whatever He tells me. He is not going to steer me off course or take me down a dead end road. That’s what happens when my flesh takes the lead. God in His wisdom leads me into paths of righteousness.
We've been cast as supporting roles in a big picture. Our life and circumstances are part of a grand design, God's masterpiece. We may never see the finished work, and yet we choose day in and day out whether we are going to trust the Master with paintbrush in hand. His highest aim is that my little life, and your little life, would bring glory to His name.
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Little did I know when God asked me to start writing blogposts again, He would have divine purpose for me personally in posting the first entry today. With forethought, He would time this relaunch, have me write about the first life verse He gave me - one that has been my anchor for my soul - on the very day COVID-19 would push pause on my husband's job for at least the next three months. Praise God, in doing so, He enabled me to say out loud moments after the call, "Lord, I trust You." I trust His plan is good and His ways are best. That He will order our steps. Taking hold of our right hand, He will see us through.