Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.
Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
Then you will have healing for your body
and strength for your bones.
— Proverbs 3:5–8 NLT
This is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. I wish I could tell you that I love these verses because they paint a clear picture of where I am in my spiritual maturity, but that would be a big fat lie. I’ve embraced these verses because I need to remind myself of them daily.
I am a do-it-yourselfer, and by it, I mean everything. I tend to be kind of a loner. The great thing about keeping to yourself is that you’re often the smartest person in the room. The flip side of that, however, is you’re also the dumbest.
Fools think their own way is right,
but the wise listen to others.
— Proverbs 12:15 NLT
I often jump into things without consulting others, and without consulting God. Ask me how that usually works out for me. (Spoiler alert: not super- great.) A lot of times, I don’t even consult myself. By that, I mean that I don’t think critically about what I’m doing — I just take my first idea and barrel ahead. As a result, I make things much harder than they need to be. Sometimes it feels like I’ve exiled myself to the wilderness.
This tendency shows up in my work, in my personal relationships, in how I spend my time and, unfortunately, in my obedience to God. I sometimes go through seasons where I seem to forget that, as a redeemed follower of Christ, I’m no longer a slave to sin. Instead, I follow my flesh. True to form, I follow my first impulse and barrel ahead. This makes my sanctification harder than it needs to be, landing me in the wilderness when my Promised Land — the abundant life God has planned for me — is just out of reach.
Fortunately for me, and for the Israelites, God is still with us, even when we’re in the wilderness. As believers, even though we may feel lost at times, we have true freedom in Christ, including the freedom to run back into the loving arms of our heavenly Father.