August 10, 2023

Approaching Scripture and Leaning on Divine Understanding

Scripture is meant to be experienced, but we can’t experience it (and run the risk of shallow spirituality) if we’re simply reading it and moving on.

In this episode, Casey and Whit dive into Proverbs 3:5-6. They challenge our approach to Jesus, address the pitfalls of rigid thinking, and reveal the importance of acknowledging God’s presence in the everyday, mundane moments.

Check it Out:

How Should You Approach Scripture?

Approaching scripture demands thoughtful consideration. It’s something to mull over, to meditate on, to digest. You’re meant to read the familiar words over and over again.

The true richness of wisdom and insight is revealed when you give yourself the time to absorb and contemplate its meaning. Neglecting this can lead you down a path of spiritual shallowness, limiting your spectrum of emotion, feeling, and thought.

Genuine wisdom, or the right application of knowledge, hinges on a fundamental element: trusting that someone has greater wisdom and insight than you do. To enter into a space where you’re willing to meditate on the words of others is itself an act of trust

People often aren’t willing to go deep because it can be difficult and uncomfortable. But to truly get the most out of scripture, or anything you read, your desire to learn has to exceed your desire for comfort.

How Should You Approach Jesus?

Approaching Jesus requires a perspective shift. It doesn’t make sense to treat someone who claims kingship over the entire universe as a casual buddy or friend. Embracing Jesus as king can sometimes be uncomfortable, because it challenges preconceptions.

Think about a life-altering event like winning the lottery; that experience would redefine your entire reality. Similarly, Jesus shouldn’t just be a part of your life, but a transforming force. When you meet the real Jesus, everything is different.

Yet, this can be a challenge for people raised in the church.

Familiarity breeds complacency, reducing Jesus to a commonplace presence who’s easy to compartmentalize. Just like a marriage doesn’t stay in the honeymoon phase after two decades, sustaining effort and recognizing the gift are essential. It can be easy to take for granted how deeply your most important relationships permeate every facet of your life.

In light of how we should approach Scripture and Jesus, let’s take a look at Psalms 3:5-6:

“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.”

Leaning On Your Own Understanding

Proverbs 3:5-6 urges to “lean not on your own understanding.” When you lean on your own understanding, you’re putting your weight on something that can’t support it.

In the digital age, it’s easy to get siloed in your own viewpoints, hardening categories of belief and rigidity. Rigidity often forms as a defense mechanism against perceived threats to established thinking. But underneath the rigidity is a fear of loss and harm. Change is scary, and there’s a comfort in certainty.

To give up a strongly held perspective or opinion can feel like a little death, and leaning not on your own understanding puts you in a vulnerable and humble position. But if God is trustworthy and good, whatever fear you have, you can take to Him and know that He will take care of you.

What are the parts of your life where you’re leaning on your own understanding?

Acknowledging God in All Your Ways

Life with God means seeing life through a different lens and inviting Him into even the seemingly mundane. When you see God for who He is, it changes the way you see everything else.

Acknowledging God means fostering an awareness of Him in every moment, stripping away the tendency to compartmentalize Him.

Ask yourself, if I were to invite God into this space, how different would my life be?

Awareness Is One Thing, but How Do You Talk to Him?

People often view prayer as a formulaic or formal practice, but its much simpler than that. It starts with awareness and evolves into an ongoing conversation – a continuous dialogue with the Divine.

“When I pray coincidences happen. When I don’t, they don’t.”

It’s easy to forget to pray about the small things – the things you think you can handle. But God wants to reveal Himself in the tiny details of your life. 

He Will Make Your Path Straight

You can trust God with all your heart when you remember the promise He has made; that the end of your story will be paved with glorious redemption and communion with God.

It’s in light of this promise, you can remember that the goodness of God transcends momentary suffering. His limitless capacity to transform a surrendered life is astounding, often exceeding your wildest expectations.

Even if the immediate circumstances of your life don’t look the way you think they should, you can know that your ultimate destination promises a fulfillment beyond measure – a reality far richer than you can fathom.


Show notes:

Watch the Message:   Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart

In this episode, Whit mentions the book Jesus the King by Timothy Keller


Check out another blog on approaching Scripture:

Pursuing Justice With Wisdom and Compassion



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