He knows the future – we do not

He knows the future – we do not

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” (Pro. 3:5-6).  Has an individual ever approached you with a question like whether they should change the security of a job for the uncertainty of a better-paying one somewhere else?  Maybe they wanted to know if they should leave a dating partner because they have violent tendencies or are suspected of infidelity.  Did you sit them down and give them the best advice you can think of, only to have them ignore you?  Did you find that annoying?  It is even more annoying when it is one of our children.  We have lived through the things they are experiencing, and we want to protect them.  We want to pass on our wealth of lessons learned in the “school of hard knocks,” but they don’t listen.

They do not trust us because they think they know better.  They may even agree with us when we are handing out the advice, but no sooner do we leave than they resort to their own “understanding” – sometimes with disastrous results.  Who of us does not find that incredibly annoying?  If only they had listened, if only they had not been so arrogant as to think they know better, if only they trusted our wise words of wisdom.  Maybe they would have been spared the pain if only they had listened to our sound advice.  How many times have you asked God for direction, only to ignore it because you did not like the answer?  “God,” you say, “I think you may have misunderstood the question, so let me ask it again.”  When the answer does not change, we throw out the Creator’s advice and “go it alone” – sometimes with disastrous results.  The fact of the matter is that we tend to mistrust any advice that does not match our desired solution.

It seems safer to lean on our own understanding, to do what we think is the best for us.  After all, who knows better what is best for us than ourselves.  We only ask others, including God, for their advice to affirm what we already intend to do.  So, when we do not receive the desired answer, we think they do not understand the question, do not see it from our perspective, or worse still, are trying to harm us.  Trusting our parents or friends takes a leap of faith, but trusting God takes an enormous leap of faith because we do not physically see or audibly hear Him.  But, His advice, given to us through the word, our conscience, or common sense, is always the best because He sees what we do not.  If our parents know more than us because they have experienced the things we are currently going through, how much more does God know?  Did he not create our parents?  Was He not around from the beginning of humanity?  Is He not omniscient (all-knowing)?

God wants to direct our paths because He has a plan for us.  Jeremiah 29:11For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  If we believe in God, surely, we should be able to trust that He has the best solution.  Do we not believe that He knows what’s best for us because He knows the future and we do not?

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