People often ask me, “What is Proverbs 3:5-6” because it is a scripture close to my heart. And without any thought, I usually just recite it off the top of my head, rarely considering whether or not I am applying it to my life. I think so many times we take familiar Bible verses just as words to be recited—and not life and truth to be received. We use them when convenient and rehearsed, missing the power behind the words. I’m guilty of this myself and I can’t even count how many times I have recited my “favourite” verse without contemplating the profoundly solid and practical truths in such a verse.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.Proverbs 3:5-6
Now let’s break down the verse into smaller sections…
It begins with “Trust in the Lord with all your heart”—meaning place your heart at the Lord’s feet. This surrender leaves no room for our own anxiety or worry, but completely entrusts our “being” to God’s sovereignty. Having faith in God is the fountainhead of all that is good – and it pleases our heavenly Father, for without faith it is impossible to please Him.
The next part of this verse reads “lean not on your own understanding”. It means to lean completely into the strong arms of God’s holding and not rely on ourselves. Essentially letting go of what we think we know and letting God take the helm of what He perfectly knows. Trusting God unreservedly is the centre and circumference of all wisdom because He is the beginning and the end of all knowledge.
And lastly, “in all your ways submit to him”: not some ways or on some days, but always with all our ways. This means to admit the existence, reality, and trustworthiness of God. To acknowledge Him as Lord [and your own personal saviour] and to give Him full access to sit on the throne of our hearts.
Here are three practical ways to apply this scripture to your life:
1. Put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ
The first step toward trusting the Lord with all our hearts is to accept His free gift of eternal life [see Grace blog post]. Scripture tells us, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. To “believe” means to put our complete trust in Him; knowing only He can provide eternal life.
2. Live a life of surrender to Christ
The greatest hindrance to trusting the Lord with all our hearts will probably be the desire to live for ourselves instead of the Lord. If we are going to trust the Lord with all our hearts, we must give ourselves completely and unreservedly to Him.
3. Stay close to the Lord and allow Him to continue building your faith in Him
Romans 10:17 tells us the real source of our ability to trust the Lord with all our hearts, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” God Himself is the source of that trust and He provides it through His Word. If we desire to trust Him with all our hearts, we must make a commitment to study His Word and to follow His direction.