“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
One of my favorite professors in seminary was Dr. David A. Dorsey. He was always humble and full of grace when I struggled to grasp the meaning of Scripture and God’s calling in my life.
What became one of my most cherished verses in the Bible are these words taken from Proverbs 3:5-6. They were the words Dr. Dorsey signed on the inside cover of his book he had published, which we used in his class on the Old Testament.
He wished both my wife and I, in our walk of faith in the Lord, with those powerful words in Proverbs. They are words I have never forgotten in my struggles to run the race heavenward in Christ Jesus. They are words I believe we must always keep in mind when life can become confusing and the way ahead may seem cloudy or even dark.
Sometimes the doors of opportunity open up for us, and sometimes beyond our understanding, they don’t. “But for those who wait on the Lord, they will be lifted up on eagle’s wings” is another quote from the Bible which comes to mind.
After we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, are we acknowledging the continuing resurrected life Christ has given us when we receive Him in our hearts? True, the resurrection power of Jesus is beyond what we can understand. But that is why we must continually lean on Him.
“Lean not on our own understanding, but in all our ways acknowledge “Him” and “He” will make our paths straight,” we must remember. The key word in this verse besides first trust in Jesus is the word “make.” “He will make our paths straight.
It is a process of spiritual growth, stated for the present in the future tense, meaning we look to the future trusting in God every step along the way.
We love to recognize and celebrate Easter and so we should always celebrate. What about the days after Easter, Ascension Day, and then Pentecost?
In the Amish communities around which I grew up in Lancaster County, one of the most recognized days in the Christian year is Ascension Day. Our Lord walked 40 days with His disciples after Easter to open their minds to the Scriptures. Then Jesus told them to wait 10 days after Jesus ascended into heaven to go and be His witnesses.
Forty days plus 10 days takes us to Pentecost. That is another most important day of celebration for the Amish, the work of the coming Holy Spirit, when God would write His law in the hearts of believers.
We are aware of the Great Commission, “To go and make disciples of all nations.” But the word given to the disciples after Christ ascended was to wait for power from on high. It was God, through the Spirit who gave them wisdom beyond human understanding for direction.
In essence we start with Jesus: it begins with Jesus and it ends with Jesus. We wait only to be empowered by the Holy Spirit through prayer, study and loving relationships just as the disciples were doing in the upper room the day of Pentecost.
We must stay connected to the Vine and Jesus’ resurrection life in us, trusting in the Lord to make our paths straight. The days between Easter and Pentecost are not an afterthought. They are days we reflect on the significance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in our own lives for God’s glory. They are days where we don’t wait with indifference or do things based on our own understanding.
We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to have our minds opened to divine understanding, and our feet going and showing what the Lord has done. It is accomplished by the endless supply of trust in God’s grace and power poured into and out through our lives.