As a young man growing up my Father would always encourage me and say, “LeRoy, use your head! That’s why the Lord gave you one!” Now, you just need to know my father was a devout follower of the Lord and reverenced [“feared”] the Lord. He wasn’t encouraging me to strike out on my own and make decisions independent of the Lord… He wasn’t saying that I should trust my own cognitive, problem-solving abilities without seeking God’s guidance or living by Godly principles… He was saying that good, godly decision making is a healthy interplay between God given abilities and a Scripturally trained mind and God’s direction, leading and will.
Proverbs 3:5-6 puts it this way [Bartel’s expanded paraphrase based upon the original languages]… “Trust the Lord completely – with everything within you! Don’t try to figure out everything on your own. In every decision you make be able to say, ‘God, I put You and Your will first! And when you do that, He’ll lead you, guide you, and work out all the details – in fact, He’ll turn the rough trails you have to navigate through life into a super highway!” (Check it out for yourself… that seems to be what is being said in those verses!) It was one of my mother’s favorite verses… she’d quote it often to her sons!
Today, during my devotions – “Coffee with the Lord” – I read a passage that seems to support that “human – Divine interplay” in decision making! The passage? Deuteronomy 1:9-18. The Children of Israel are on the border, ready to enter the “Promised Land” and receive what God had promised them. God told Moses, “Break camp and advance!” Moses felt overwhelmed and cried out to the Lord saying, “These people are too heavy a burden for me to carry alone!” So he used his problem solving ability and proposed a solution – a solution that involved delegated leadership to “thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.” Moses then charged them to use God’s commands and Biblical principles to help him govern and judge God’s people. God’s (and the people’s) response? “What you propose to do is good!”
Hey, the road of life is too tricky and filled with dangerous potholes, to navigate all by myself! I need the Lord leadership and guidance! I need to follow the Biblical principles He has established! But I can also hear the echo of my father’s advice, “LeRoy, use your head – That’s the reason God gave you one!” I also recall the wise counsel of Scripture repeated over and over to the Bartel boys by our mother, Proverbs 3:5-6! (Hey, find it in your Bible and underline it!)