Summary: Trusting God’s wisdom not our own understanding
Trust, Don’t Lean
Prov 3:1 - 8, Matt 22:37-40, Gal 5:17
September 3, 2002
I. Last week I talked about the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and I ended up with a passage of scripture that needs more explanation.
A. But first I want to read you a research report done by Barna Research.
B. Although there are fewer evangelicals than there are either atheists and agnostics or adults aligned with non-Christian faiths, these individuals have become a political lightning rod and are routinely caricatured unkindly by the media.
C. Despite such public slander, most evangelicals have a healthy self-image.
D. Evangelicals are almost universally "happy" (99%) And, they were by far the segment that was most satisfied with their present life at (91%).
E. This upbeat frame of mind may be related to the fact that evangelicals are the least likely to say they are "lonely" only (8%), "in serious debt" (9%) or "stressed out" (16%).
F. The percentage who admit to high levels of stress is less than half the level measured among adults connected with non-Christian faiths (33%) or those who say they are atheistic or agnostic (42%).
G. At the same time, evangelicals were also nearly unanimous in being "concerned about the moral condition of the country" (98%).
H. This is certainly connected to the fact that nearly nine out of ten (87%) say they are "deeply spiritual" and more than nine out of ten (94%) describe themselves as "absolutely committed to Christianity." In fact, nearly all of them (96%) say they possess "traditional or family-oriented values" and two-thirds of the group (64%) says they are "mostly conservative on political and social issues."
I. In spite of their moral concerns, they were the group least worried about the future (54%) and least likely to say they are "totally committed to getting ahead in life" (52%).
J. The poll by Barna Research Group showed evangelicals are the most conservative, most satisfied, most spiritually inclined and least stressed of all U.S. adults.
K. According to Baptist Press, the study said those who claim to be atheists and agnostics are more stressed out, lonelier and less satisfied with their lives.
L. George Barna said, "The more deeply committed a person is to evangelical Christianity, the more at ease they report being with their life circumstances." The study found that just less than seven percent of the respondents claimed to be evangelical Christians, and of that seven percent, 99 percent said they were "happy."
II. And that brings us to the verses that I was talking about.
(Prov 3:1 - 8 NIV) My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. 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. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
A. The book of Proverbs is a collection of writings that were compiled from about 950 B. C. to about 700 B.C., and they were used to train young men, and in training for government leaders, and Business leaders.
B. Proverbs is a practical guideline for living life, and the passage that we just read is a good parallel for the Christian life as it is laid out in the New Testament.
(Prov 3:1 - 2 NIV) My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.
C. Proverbs tells us that we are to keep the commandments of God this obedience is not to be nothing more than outward lip service, but it is to become central part of who we are.
1. A commitment to God’s standard is to be written on our hearts, in other words it is to be a part of what we are, and how we function in life.
2. Our obedience to God is to influence every choice that we make and every action that we carry out.
3. And with that obedience comes a promise, and the promise is that keeping these commandments will prolong you life and bring you prosperity.
4. It doesn’t mean that our obedience to God will automatically make us all rich, but it does mean that the quality of our lives will increase, because in following God we will make wise choices.