My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; 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. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. – Proverbs 3:1,5-7 BSB
The doctrine of Sufficiency is a true believer’s struggle. If you DO NOT believe the BIBLE IS SUFFICIENT to meet all of our needs, then you might want to examine yourself to see if you are in the Faith! This is a command from one of the greatest ‘livers’ of the Christian Faith, Paul the Apostle. GotQuestions.org writes this about this pertinent belief: “The doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture is a fundamental tenet of the Christian faith. To say the Scriptures are sufficient means that the Bible is all we need to equip us for a life of faith and service. It provides a clear demonstration of God’s intention to restore the broken relationship between Himself and humanity through His Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior through the gift of faith. No other writings are necessary for this good news to be understood, nor are any other writings required to equip us for a life of faith. When discussing Scripture, Christians are referring to both Old and New Testaments. The apostle Paul declared that the holy Scriptures “are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:15–17). If Scripture is “God-breathed,” then it is not man-breathed, and, although it was penned by men, those “men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). No man-made writing is sufficient to equip us for every good work; only the Word of God can do that. Furthermore, if the Scriptures are sufficient to thoroughly equip us, then nothing more is needed.” Do you believe this? Are you willing to believe this? Lord, help me with my unbelief! See Matthew 9:14-25.
Leader, we have all heard this instruction from Proverbs 3. I would recommend reading the entire Chapter because it contains a “NUT’ of scripture. Nuts are ‘nutrient dense’ organisms. There is much in that little substance! The Bible is: Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth. Inside the Bible are 66 books, written by 40 authors, but inspired by Yahweh. The books of the Bible are like puzzle pieces of the great Mosaic, that God painted for His children. It is said that the book of Romans is Paul’s theology in a “nutshell”. If you only had one book of the Bible to share the Good News, Romans would be that book. More specifically, the 8th chapter of the book of Romans is considered the one Chapter in the Bible that you could take someone from NON-BELIEF to BELIEF- if that is all you had. The New Testament contains four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These books tell the stories about Jesus’ life, ministry, and death. These are 4 friends, followers, disciples documenting their journey with Jesus. The book of John is considered the ONE GOSPEL, that if you had to give someone only 1, it would be the book of John, which is also called, the book of Love,. The other 3 gospels are called the “synoptic gospels”, because they basically say the same things, and cover the same material. However, the book of John is supposedly in the 90th percentile of its content being only found in its pages. One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is Deuteronomy 8, and the book of Deuteronomy itself is one of my favorite books of the whole Bible, it is all about REMEMBERING God’s goodness and that HE IS JEHOVAH JIREH! Deuteronomy is called the “2nd Law”, because it is the regurgitation of important facts of God’s love, deliverance, and provision. It is actually considered the book that was quoted most by our Savior, Jesus, while incarnate. All three of the temptations of Christ, were rebutted by Christ with scripture from the book of Deuteronomy. Proverbs chapter 3 is in this same “Hall of Fame” for its depth, abundance, and ability to satiate. In the book of Proverbs, we find the book of wisdom. It gives daily wisdom from Yahweh on how we can interact with others in the most Godly way. Within the book of Proverbs, is the 3rd chapter, and it is ANOTHER NUT! It is great wisdom needed for this journey that we Children of God are having in this fleshly body. We have the tendency to quote v 5-6 only, but the entire chapter is lucid instructions on how to live our lives as a foreigner in a strange land. As usual though, familiarity can make us lose the value of what is etched in this critical part of scripture. Hear the Word of the Lord: 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. (v5-6)
Conduit, having a Bible, having the WORD, and reading the word are different. Reading the WORD and knowing the WORD is quite different. Knowing the WORD and APPLYING THE WORD, is vastly different. Leaning AWAY from our own understanding and TOWARD God’s- by acknowledging and following His will, His Way, and guided by HIS WORD- gives you a HEART AFTER GOD’S! This means that to actively pursue God’s will for our life, we must be doing things God’s way, instead of our way. God becomes the center of our UNIVERSE instead of US! This also allows us to LIVE with the confidence that God always does what is best, even when we can’t see it that way. As the prophet Isaiah prophesied to us; “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”. (Isaiah 55:8-9) To ‘lean not on your own understanding’ is really just another way of saying we need to live by faith. By example: Abraham was ‘leaning not on his own understanding’ when he and Isaac were walking up the mountain to offer a sacrifice to the LORD. Daniel was ‘leaning not on his own understanding’ when he was being led to the pit to spend the night with some hungry lions. Stephen was ‘leaning NOT on his own understanding’ when he was stoned to death for proclaiming Jesus as the Christ. You and I “lean not on our own understanding” when we suffer for His sake, and we suffer like Christ! God cares how we suffer! In closing, enjoy the MSG paraphrase of Proverbs 3:5-12; “Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen to GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to GOD! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor GOD with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over. But don’t, dear friend, resent GOD’s discipline; don’t sulk under his loving correction. It’s the child he loves that GOD corrects; a father’s delight is behind all this”. In all your ways acknowledge Him!