Perhaps you’ve been told that as a Christian you must learn to trust in the Lord with all your heart; but this famous passage from Proverbs 3 contains more than just a general statement about living. Instead, you’ll find the steps you need each day to truly walk with God.
Follow these 7 daily steps to make sure you’re leaning on the Lord:
1. Don’t Depend On You
We live in a world where trust must be earned and seems to be in short supply. But Solomon, the famous king who wrote Proverbs, knew that trust is exactly where we must start:
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)
Most of us have faced disappointments, which have taught us that we can only depend upon ourselves. But living the life God has called us to means unlearning that lesson. Instead, we’re meant to rest in God’s understanding.
We may know in our minds that He possesses all wisdom:
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” Romans 11:33
But sometimes trusting Him completely like that can be tough. So, each day we must consciously lay aside our own plans and expectations—and surrender to His plans.
What if we don’t feel like we can trust Him like that? That’s where step 2 comes in…
2. Cry Out To God
Surrendering to God begins with our lips and our thoughts. We need more than a commitment to depend on Him; we need to cry out to Him to show that dependence.
“In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:6)
When we pray, we admit that His ways are higher than ours. We show that we’re leaving our troubles and burdens and dreams in His capable hands. In fact, the Bible promises that when we reach out to Him in prayer, He hears us:
“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” (Psalm 55:17)
We handed the keys of our lives to Him, and we know that He’s able to lead us. But in order for that to work, we have to…
3. Run From Evil
So much in this world can clutter up our relationship with God. John, the writer of the fourth gospel, describes them as the desires of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride in our lives (1 John 2:16). In other words, our blessings can easily become our stumbling blocks when we think of them as what we deserve or what we need to be happy.
Instead, life works best when we remember the true source of our blessings—God—and focus on the things that please Him:
“Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.” (Proverbs 3:7)
Sometimes, the only way to live the life God wants us to live is by separating ourselves from the bad influences that keep dragging us down. That works the best when we start pursuing something else in their place:
“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22)
Is that easy? Not at all. Fleeing from the evil desires that pull at us means spending a lot of time crying out to God and leaning on Him. But our Creator promises to honor our commitment to Him when we shun evil:
“It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” (Proverbs 3:8)
When we pursue Him, we find life—abundant life. Running from evil and pursuing God doesn’t come naturally to most of us. Instead, it means we have to make a serious change:
4. Put God First in Your Life
It’s easiest to put ourselves first. When something good happens, we want to congratulate ourselves with a reward. When something bad happens, we want to console ourselves or find someone to blame. In other words, we often have a “me-centric” starting place.
And when it comes to money, the struggle is even harder. But Solomon, who had quite a bit of wealth himself, knew that his money didn’t belong to him:
“Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” (Proverbs 3:9–10)
If we can trust God with the first of our wealth, we’re truly showing how much we depend on Him. Handing over the first part of our paycheck takes a huge amount of faith, after all. But doing so means being God-centric.
To get there, though, make sure you…
5. Check Yourself By God’s Word
Let’s be honest. We aren’t so good at evaluating ourselves. We will go to great lengths to excuse our behavior, our actions, and our sins. Who needs a defense attorney when we can pretty much find a reason for any bad thing we do? The prophet Jeremiah captures this very well:
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
If we’re ever going to truly trust in God and flee evil, we have to know exactly where we stand. We have to find an objective measure that tells us the truth. And that truth comes from God and His Word.
Of course, that doesn’t mean we’ll always like what we see or how we see it:
“My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: (Proverbs 3:11)
That’s right. Sometimes it takes something bad happening or seeing ourselves in a bad light before we finally admit that we need to change. And the more we’re in the Bible, the more likely this is to happen.
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11)
When we have Scripture planted firmly in our hearts, God will often use that to deal with us.
6. Listen To Holy Spirit
When Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to the church, He told His disciples that this Counselor would be their spiritual compass or GPS:
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26)
As we go through our day, this same Holy Spirit guides us, too. That means we don’t have to go it alone or hope we’re getting it right. No, the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth and protects us:
“That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.” (2 Timothy 1:14)
After all, the gift of the Holy Spirit to us believers reminds us that we can truly…
7. Rest in God’s Love
When we face a difficult world each day, we can sometimes wonder if God even cares. Why do bad things happen? Where is God when I need Him? Solomon reminds us that God never takes a break or leaves us to fend for ourselves:
“for whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” (Proverbs 3:12)
Even in the midst of turmoil, God sticks with us and uses those challenges to shape us. When we understand that, our perspective completely flips. No longer do we see our setbacks as failures; we see them as moments when God, as our loving Father, works on us.
And that’s exactly why we can trust in the Lord with all our hearts. He cares for us each and every day. He gives us what we need to thrive. He pours blessing after blessing upon us.
Of course, following each of these daily steps isn’t easy. That’s why Jesus said we have to deny ourselves and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). Trusting God takes a whole-hearted commitment from dawn till dusk. But we’re never alone in it:
“and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:20b)