Pastor John has prepared brief devotions for the newsletter during each week of his sabbatical (July 1-September 30). Each passage is a favorite of Pastor John.
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. -Proverbs 3:5,6
I came to faith in Christ when I was sixteen years old. I had gone to church my whole life, went to Sunday School, participated in youth group from seventh grade on, and my family never missed a Sunday. But when I was sixteen, it all finally made sense to me, and I believed.
Almost immediately I was faced with a challenge. I was in my junior year of high school. My peers and I were all thinking about graduation and what comes next. And though I had not been a Christian very long, I knew my faith in Christ was a game changer. I spent years looking for something to help life make sense. I knew when I became a Christian that I had found the answer. Now, though, I wondered what difference my new faith would make in my future.
I was blessed to be mentored early by a Christian who encouraged personal Bible study. So, I read the Bible. It was wonderful! I loved it. It helped me understand who God is and who I was in light of God’s mercy. One thing I learned early on is that you don’t go scripture looking for answers to questions like, “Door A or Door B?” “The two-bedroom condo or the three-bedroom house?” “The Cayman Islands, or the cruise?” The Bible, and for that matter, God, doesn’t work that way.
What you will get is an attitude adjustment, a challenge to a bigger way of thinking. Somehow, in all the places of the Bible I could read, I stumbled on to Proverbs 3:5,6. Like many Christians, this is one of my favorite verses. This verse is not about parts of our lives – our jobs, our spouses, our kids, our choices. No, it is about the whole of our lives. Literally, this verse is saying, “Commit your way – the whole way, every part of who you are – to God. Then you will know where he is leading.” We were not saved in parts; we don’t belong to God in parts. And what we commit to God should not be in parts.
Another way to think about this verse is that life is not made up of parts, life is made up of life. Let God be Lord over that life.
Pastor John Bethard