Lean Not To Your Own Understanding

The Church as a whole has come to a place where there is no longer a clear and concise understanding of the Gospel Fundamentals. All sects or denominations have adopted customs and traditions passed down through the generations and have begun to teach them as doctrine. These denominations have taken scriptures to fit a certain agenda and because of this, their doctrine has spread their truths to the flock. Church members have built on the foundation of their denomination and have created a new standard for themselves.

There are teachers of the word who paraphrase scripture in their own minds, and then teach from their own understanding. These methods of teaching and preaching have caused the gospel to be distorted, skewed, and in many ways, watered down. Scripture warns that this would be the case in the last days.

“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.
2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,
3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,
4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.”

2 Timothy 3:1-5

Our Ways, Our Understanding

We are all guilty of practicing these methods from time to time. Without doing our scripture research, we quickly believe everything we are taught. Reasons vary from the sermon sounding good to us or just simply trusting every word the preacher utters. We trust him so much that anything he says, we blindly accept. Whatever the reason may be, there are scriptures that tell us to be alert and be vigilant at all times. Jesus instructed us to search the scriptures and believe on Him as the scriptures have said. Therefore, we must always turn back to the scriptures to know if what we have been taught is scripturally accurate.

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

Proverbs 14:12

God warned us that there would be ways that seem right unto a man but in the end would be death. If you consider what this verse is saying, you will recognize that what we think in our own hearts to be good can sometimes lead to the opposite direction. When we decide what we do is pleasing to God rather than seeking God’s approval, we speak in place of God. This makes us a false prophet before the Lord.

Have you ever been told to stop doing actions not pleasing to the Lord? I have many times in my life. My first reaction is to find justification for all my behaviors. The last thing that I want to do is to remove something that I have enjoyed for so long. I begin to think of different verses I can use to justify my actions. Some verses include: “I can do all things” or “all things are lawful unto me.”

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Philippians 4:13

“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.”

1 Corinthians 10:23

When we single out verses such as these and believe them for face value, our interpretations begin to skew their deeper meaning. At face value, we might read the verse to say we can decide for ourselves what things are expedient and what things are not. The thought is that because these verses do not explicitly say what is beneficial, then we must be free to decide for ourselves. These verses are not stand alone verses, but are part of a larger truth. While these verses by themselves do not specifically list out things that are not beneficial, the rest of the book does.

His Ways, His Understanding

From the beginning of time, God has set standards for His children to follow. He knows what is best for us considering He created all that is. When God created the first man on the earth, He explicitly commanded the man to continue in His word and all would be well with him. The man, Adam, decided to lean to his own understanding and he took heed to what his wife, Eve, said. We know the outcome of that decision. It seems we are not too far from where Adam and Eve were. Our natural desire to please ourselves can override the will of God many times until God cannot direct our paths any longer. Solomon understood this when he wrote Proverbs 3:5-6.

5 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

Think about the outcome of your actions if you began to solely trust in the Lord and not lean to your own understanding. Once your heart is redirected to the will of God, every sermon you listen to will be filtered through the Word of God, every song that comes on the radio will be scanned with the Gospel scanner, and your understanding of the scriptures will be a reflection of God’s understanding of the scriptures. To learn how to get your heart to direct to God’s heart, check out the article “He Shall Direct Your Path.” Verse six of the passage above states that if we acknowledge Him in all our ways, He shall direct our paths. What direction do you think God will lead us in if not His own?

God the Father is ready to direct us in the way we should go if we are willing to lean to His understanding. God made it clear for us on what we should do. In Deuteronomy chapter 30, we find God addressing this very matter.

15 “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity;
16 in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the LORD your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it.
17 But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them,
18 I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it.
19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants,
20 by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

Deuteronomy 30:15-20

In Closing

If you are asking yourself, “How does one know what decisions to make?”, you ask a great question. The Lord did not leave us ignorant to this fact. God tells us that His thoughts are not our thoughts and our ways are not His ways. Therefore, whatever we do, it must be according to His ways and thoughts. If we feel inclined to feel a certain way about God and the feeling does not match what the scriptures say about Him, we fall short. Let us cleave to God’s words found in Deuteronomy 30:16, “to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee.”


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