Lately I’ve been confronted with all the times God uses the word “all” in His Word. I’ve read the word a million times in His Word, but only recently have they started to stick out in my mind.
For example, just the other day I was reading Proverbs 3:5, because I grew up Baptist (heehee) I can’t think of or say Proverbs 3:5 without adding verse 6. In those two short verses God uses the word “all” twice. Once in each verse.
Yeah, I’m a rocket scientist in my spare time.
Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. (emphasis mine)
I think so often we forget we have to trust Him with all of our heart. We think as long as we’re trusting Him and acknowledging Him, He is obligated to make our paths straight. He is required to make sure we don’t go astray, that we don’t get lost along the way. Our paths can’t be too twisty, bumpy or have too many curves and absolutely no switchbacks.
It just doesn’t work that way because of the little word “all” in there. It doesn’t matter what version you use, what language it was translated from, all means all. Absolutely every last one. No one is excluded. Nothing is left out. All is all.
If we are not fully trusting, if we’re leaning on our own understanding even a little, if we’re refusing to acknowledge Him in some area of our life, He does not have to make our paths straight. Does that mean if we trust Him with all our heart, if we don’t lean at all on our own understanding, if we acknowledge Him in everything, our lives will be perfect and problem free?
Not on your ever-livin’ life. Paul penned in 2 Timothy 3:12, “all who would live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” and Jesus says “the world hated me so it will hate you too.” (John 15:18) So it won’t be a perfect life. But we are assured that He will guide us, He will direct us. We will know we are on the right path. It means when we experience the ups and downs of life on this spinning planet we know God is leading. We don’t have to sit back and worry that we’re on the wrong path, that we’re going the wrong way.
I know I don’t always fully trust Him with all my heart, it is my desire. Oh how I want that. And I know that He takes the trust I have, sees the desire to trust fully, He hears my, “LORD, help my unbelief!” cries and He does! He increases my trust. Every time I have to completely rely on Him and I get to watch Him take my little and make it big, my trust grows. That is grace. Because He doesn’t have to do any of that. He does because He loves. He does because He desires my trust. And He knows I’m just human, not that I’m using it as an excuse at all. But He knows I’m not infallible, I’m feeble. I’m weak. I’m prone to wander. But when I, through my studying and communing with Him, come to a fork in the road and I ask Him which way to take. He answers. And He is pleased when I listen to His voice in my ear saying “this is the way, walk in it.” He is honored when I obey. He grows my faith through my obedience.
And that, folks, is good news!