By Maggie Swofford, Marketing Assistant
Excerpt from and personal reflection on Slaying Your Giants by Kent Crockett
“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.” (Proverbs 3:5–6 NLT)
“God knows things we don’t. He sees the outcome of every choice down the road. He’s aware of future factors that aren’t observable in our present situations. That’s why He tells us to trust Him with our entire hearts and to not depend on our limited, human logic in making decisions.” —Kent Crockett, Slaying Your Giants
A few summers ago, I was faced with a scary and disheartening situation that left me worrying all the time. My brain was going crazy trying to rationalize the possible outcomes and all the different “What if?” scenarios. There was nothing I could physically do to make it better, but that didn’t stop me from wondering what would happen. As you can probably guess, all the worrying and paranoia did not do me too well. After a short while, I was burned out and exhausted from the sadness. It wasn’t until a friend of mine came to me and suggested I memorize Proverbs 3:5–6 that I began to see the error of my ways and truly wrestle with trusting God. After reading the verses over and over again, I was faced with a decision. Either I keep worrying and allow myself to stumble down this steep and slippery slope away from God, or I close my eyes and fall straight into the Lord’s arms, believing in my heart that, despite what seemed like a grim outcome, he has a plan for me.
When I surveyed these two routes and read the passage in Proverbs, I was bombarded with many questions. Most of the questions involved God’s command to put aside our “understanding” and use our hearts as our guiding force instead. I was confused because before reading that passage, my heart had been the mode of decision-making that I approached with the most caution. I thought to myself, “I can barely make a cognitive decision between white and wheat bread, so how could I entrust my heart with even more significant judgments?”
And still, the Word of the Lord is perfect and true, and he expects us to follow his commands with nothing but the highest faith and trust.
I think our answer lies in the very text that illuminated the issue in the first place. It is written, “Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take” (Proverbs 3:6). When it comes down to it, what the Lord ultimately wants is for us to seek him. But here’s the key: he wants us to pursue him both emotionally (with our hearts) and physically (with our minds). Although the head and heart are viewed as opposites, they are united together. Without one, we would not be able to function.
What the Lord is asking from us, then, is merely to come at our decision-making from a new angle, an angle that we as humans tend to turn away from. As Crockett explains, our minds and “human logic” are flawed just as much as our hearts can be. This proves that we can’t always depend on our physically driven brains to follow a God who is inherently not physically present. These verses in Proverbs are God’s reminder to us that he wants every part of us, not just our brains. He wants our love in an emotional, intense way. The path to that kind of love is rooted in the faith that is not birthed in our brains, but in the most sensitive parts of ourselves: our hearts.
If we can follow and trust the Lord with our hearts, then we will be able to pursue him with our minds even more than before. My favorite part of all this is wonderfully explained by Kent Crockett: “God knows things we don’t. He sees the outcome of every choice down the road. He’s aware of future factors that aren’t observable in our present situations.” The Lord asks us to follow him with our hearts because he knows what is going to happen. The Lord wants us to trust him and love him with all our hearts because he has beautiful plans in store for all of us. It’s like a little boy on Christmas day. He doesn’t know for sure that there will be presents underneath the Christmas tree, but he sure does believe that there will be. Because of his pure faith and trust, when the child wakes up on that glorious day and scurries down the stairs to look underneath the decorated tree, the moment of joy is amplified when he sees the presents.
With that example ringing in our ears, let’s try to keep a Christmas attitude when it comes to the Lord’s providence in our lives. Even in the darkest of moments, the Lord is waiting just around the bend with plans for our lives that we cannot even dream of. We may not know what is going to happen, but, in trusting and believing in the Lord’s faithfulness with our hearts, we can remain joyful and blissfully reliant on him.