TRUST IN THE LORD AND
NOT IN ONES OWN UNDERSTANDING
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and not unto your own understanding” (Prov.3:5).
We must place our trust in the Lord with all our hearts and this should be ahead of everything else, continually remembering Him as our one and only great Benefactor He is the pure and only Source of all our ability to think, to love and to have correct understanding. All material things of this world will one day be gone and only God and our personal relationship with Him will remain. God must be the most important focus of our entire lives for He alone is our bountiful Creator and most glorious Benefactor.
If we indulge in our own understanding more than likely we will find ourselves in the depths of illusion, delusion and falsehood. If our understanding of God’s teaching is minimum and if we place our hope and trust in our own understanding will endanger our entire well being, but if we trust in God it will firmly establish us on the proper course of life. If we fail to recognize this at the present time we may realize it when it is too late, and this life passes by quickly. The days rapidly pass by and the years keep sliding by. There are limits already set for the end of our lives, and we have little or no idea when that day will come. Where are witnesses to this truth which is so important to our well being? That is found in the Orthodox Church and in the New Testament. Everyone of us had a beginning or starting point in this life when we came from our mothers’ wombs, and all that has a beginning necessarily has an end. The end of our lives as we all know are unpredictable and there are many who are shy away from any discussion involving the subject of death. But when we see our deaths with the light of divine understanding we will give more attention to Holy Scripture, which says in the Psalms: “Man’s days are as grass as a flower of the field so shall he flourish . . . For a spirit passes in him and no longer will he recognize his region.” When we begin to fully understand God’s wonderful and glorious purpose for our lives then our souls will jump with great joy and delight and thanksgiving, knowing that He has a great desire to grant us eternal life, for He is good and the Lover of man.
Our understanding needs to be rid of all that polluted it from being filled with worldly knowledge especially much of what wwhat was taught in schools, the public press and in entertainment. The apirit of the world teaches us to just enjoy life, accumulate goods and money for old age and then just die and disappear. But the truth from God elevates man to a very high destination. It tells us to prepare our lives here for the judgment of God that will confront us at the end in the end of this life. Radio and television has brought the world’s ideas into our minds which is designed to rouse our many desires. Though TV may seem innocent because we watch only “good” programs, it is not benign for it is among the greatest distractions by taking our minds and hearts away from the majesty and greatness of God.
From history we learn that before the advent of mass communication, years ago among western Christians in Europe, there were many discussions on the streets and a major subject was death and dying, which shows that at that time this was on minds of many people. Death would be followed by judgment and man did not come from some animal. God created man in His own image and all life comes from God and thus is sacred.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and not in your own understanding.” We must read the New Testament frequently as it is filled with what our souls really need to understand, for example, Christ says: “When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory; and before Him shall be gathered all nations; and He shall separate them from one another as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats; and He shall set the sheep on His right hand but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say to them on His right hand, Come you blessed of my Father inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thristy and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me. Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying< Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and gave you drink? Or when did we see you a stranger and took you in? Or naked and clothed you or when did we see you sick and in prison and come unto you? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Amen, I say unto you, inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of my brethren, you have done it unto me” (Mat. 25:31-40). This divine teaching is so formed that it may remain in our souls preserved in memories.
We Orthodox Christians will do well to repeatedly study these and similar words of Christ in Holy Scriptures so that the laws and commandments of Christ will be imprinted into our intellects and our hearts, for they are alive and filled with divine grace. Then by trusting in the Lord’s words and with a clearer understanding, we will gradually transform our relatively poor comprehension, replacing it with a rich and divine understanding. We will find that when we live the life that God has established for us that our souls will be filled with a deep longing for the goodness and beauty of having His life within us.