July 21, 2020

Acknowledge Him


In Proverbs 3:5-6 we read these familiar words, 
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
What does it mean to acknowledge the Lord in all your ways? I think in the text we see an action and an attitude. But before we look at those, we'll look at another action that we find elsewhere in the Bible.


Prayer

The first action that comes to mind in regard to acknowledging God is simply to talk to him. I remember when I was just out of high school and considering joining the military. I had a couple of meetings with the recruiter and was planning on moving that direction. One day I talked to my grandmother about this and she mentioned to me how hurt my grandfather was that I hadn't talked to him about it at all. He had served for over 20 years in both active duty and the reserves, and therefore would have had a lot of helpful input and wisdom to share. But I hadn't acknowledged that. I hadn't spoken with him.

The apostle Paul urges in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, pray without ceasing. We should consistently and even constantly being demonstrating a moment-by-moment dependence upon our heavenly Father by speaking with him.


Heed the Word

We should also heed the word of God. Back in Proverbs 3, in verses 1-2 we read, 
My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. 
In prayer we come to God and acknowledge him by declaring our dependence and asking for help. In coming to the word of God, we are asking him to speak to us. What should we do? There's an answer in the book. At times that answer takes the form of a direct command, or a clear implication. She I cheat on my wife? Thou shalt not commit adultery. Should I hold a grudge against someone? Do not let the sun go down on your anger. 

But very often the "answer" takes the form of a pair of glasses. What do I mean by that? When our minds are conformed to God's thoughts by the process of constant exposure to his word (through private reading, hearing the word preached publicly, studying with other believers, etc), we gain the right lenses through which to view the world. 

It is to this end that Moses points in Deuteronomy 6:4-9, when he tells the people that the word is to be daily on their heart, taught to their children, spoken of in the home and while traveling along the way, upon laying down at night and rising in the morning. Expose yourself constantly to the light of God's word.


Humility

Both of those actions assume an attitude of humility. A posture of submission to God. We have to realize that we aren't as wise or good as he is, and therefore we stand in need of him. Thus we read in Proverbs 3:7-8, 
Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.
There is joy and refreshment to be found in humbling yourself before God and acknowledging your need of him. Acknowledge him, humble yourself before him, and he will make your paths straight.  

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About Me

Follower of Jesus. Husband of one. Father of four. Pastor at Remsen Bible Fellowship (remsenbible.com).