Lean Not to Your Own Understanding

There is a song that was written after Proverbs 3:5-8 which says “trust in the Lord
Yahweh with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding.  In all your ways
acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.  Be not wise in your own eyes, fear
(reverence) the Lord Yahweh and depart from evil.  It shall be health to your navel,
and marrow to your bones”.  This is good advice, it not only tells us what not to do, but
it tells us how to accomplish it.  Lets look at some biblical examples:

Ten of the twelve spies returned from spying out their promise land, which God had
told Moses that He had given to Israel, and they agreed that the land was a land
flowing with milk and honey, but they looked at their own natural ability and fear set in
“they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched to the children of
Israel, saying, the land through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eats up
the inhabitants thereof, and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.
And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants, and we were
in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.  And all the
congregation lifted up their voice, and cried, and the people wept that night” (Numbers
13:32-14:1); but Joshua and Caleb put their trust in the Lord Yahweh and said “let us
go up at once, and possess it, for we are well able to overcome it” (Number 13:30).  

The ten spies never made it in to the promise land and they caused all Israel 20 years
old and up to wander in the wilderness 40 years until they died out.
But Joshua and Caleb did go in, even though they had to wait the 40 years, they were
still strong and went in and took their land, because their trust was in the Lord
Yahweh, not in their own ability.

Naaman was a captain in the Syrian army, but he was a leper, his Israelite maid said
to her mistress “would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria for he
would recover him of his leprosy” (II Kings 5:1-3).  The king of Syria sent him with a
letter to Israel, he went to the king first, but after he was told that it was Elisha the
prophet who would heal him; he came to Elisha’s house and Elisha sent a messenger
to him, saying, “Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall come again
to you, and you shall be clean”.  But Naaman was angry, and went away, and said,
behold, I thought, he will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of
the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place and recover the leprosy” (II Kings
5:9-11).   Naaman the leper almost lost out of his blessing because he was leaning to
his understanding, thinking that the river of Jordan was worse than all the rivers of
Syria.  “His servants came near, and spoke to him, and said, my father if the prophet
had bid you do some great thing, would you not have done it?  How much rather then,
when he says to you, wash, and be clean?  Then went he down, and dipped himself,
seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God, and his flesh came
again like to the flesh of a little child, and he was clean” (II Kings 5:13-14).

Joshua at the wall of Jericho received direction which the Lord Yahweh told him.  “The
Lord Yahweh said to Joshua, see, I have given into your hand Jericho, and the king
thereof, and the mighty men of valor.  And you shall compass the city, all you men of
war, and go round about the city once, thus shall you do six days.  And seven priests
shall bear before the ark, seven trumpets of rams horns and the seventh day you
shall compass the city seven times, and the priest shall blow with the trumpets.  And it
shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the rams horn, and when
you hear the sound of the trumpets, all the people shall shout with a great shout, and
the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man
straight before him” (Joshua 6:1-5).  

Joshua gave the command to his armed men and even though it seemed foolish, they
followed the commands and verse 20 says “so the people shouted when the priest
blew with the trumpets and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the
trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that
the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the

People are trying to accomplish what God tells them through their understanding, their
own strength, but the Bible says “not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says
the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6); also the Bible says “the natural man receives not
the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know
them, because they are spiritually discerned” (I Corinthians 2:14).  

Jesus gives a parable in Mark 4:26-29 which says “so is the kingdom of God, as if a
man should cast seed into the ground.  And should sleep and rise night and day and
the seed should spring and grow up, he knows not how.  For the earth brings forth
fruit of itself, first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.  But when
the fruit is brought forth immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest is
come”.  The seed is the word of God, and you plant it by saying it.  Jesus said “if you
have faith as grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, remove here to
yonder place, and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible to you”.

We are supposed to act on the word of God (James 1:22-25) “but be you doers of the
word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  For s any be a hearer of the
word, and not a doer, he I like to a man beholding his natural face in a mirror.  For he
beholds himself, and goes his way, and immediately forgets what manner of man he
was.  But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being
not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed”.  
As you look into the word, it says you are an over-comer, the head and not the tail,
above and not beneath

The problem is that people are saying what they have.  They are trapped in the world
system, which says “you have to see it to believe it”, but the kingdom of God does not
work that way, Jesus says “have faith in God.  For verily I say to you, that whosoever
shall say to this mountain, be you removed, and be you cast into the sea, and shall
not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he says shall come to
pass, he shall have whatsoever he says.  Therefore I say to you, what things so ever
you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them”
(Mark 11:22-24).  

Remember what Thomas said “except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails,
and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not
believe” (John 20:25).  And when Jesus appeared again in 8 days and said to Thomas
“reach here your finger, and behold My hands, and reach here your hand, and thrust
it into My side, and be not faithless, but believing.  Because you have seen Me, you
have believed, blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:

A good way is to accomplish this is to establish that the Bible is the true word of God,
because it is (I Thessalonians 2:13) says “for this cause also thank we God without
ceasing, because, when you received the word of God which you heard of us, you
received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God which
effectually works also in you that believe”.  Remember that all things are possible to
them that believe.

Don’t be like Eve, who was tricked of the devil, by questioning what God had said and
then leaning to her own understanding, by what she saw, and heard (Genesis 3:4-6)
“and the serpent said to the woman, you shall not surely die.  For God does know that
in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods,
knowing good and evil.  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food,
and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she
took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her, and he
did eat”.

The devil is still using the same tactics today, when you hear a word from God, the
devil will send someone you way to make you doubt, that you are worthy, or will
question how you think you can do it.  James 1:8 says “a double minded man shall not
receive any thing from God”.  If the devil can keep you in doubt, he can keep you from
fulfilling what God has for you.  

You will hear people saying, I know that the Bible says that, but this is what happened
to me.  Be careful not to fall into that trap.

So let us make the word of God the final authority in our lives, and lean not to our own
understanding; and see the glory of God.

Sermon by: Harriet Bond
Date: December 19, 2008
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