Friday, November 13, 2015

Words of Comfort: Own understanding.

An atheist (Mike) asked: "How do you approach the evangelism side of life in light of Proverbs 3:5-7? It explicitly tells you *not* to rely on your own understanding. Even if you claim you are 'just a messenger of my god's understanding' you are *still* using your own understanding of scripture in order to say that." 

Ask anyone the color of the sky and most will say that it's blue, when it's not. Ask them if they have seen water shimmering on the road on a hot day, when it's just a mirage. Ask someone from the Northern Hemisphere to point "up" and then ask a New Zealander to do the same, and he will point in the opposite direction. Each does so because he trusts his natural senses--his understanding. 

During World War 2 a plane was found in the deserts of North Africa containing a dead crew. Their death was a mystery because they were miles off their course. After investigation it was found that they didn't know they had a strong tail wind, and when their instruments told them that they had arrived at their destination, they didn't believe them. Instead , they trusted their own natural understanding and kept flying until they ran out of fuel, and it cost them their lives. 

This is what Proverbs 3:5-7 actually says (in context): "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil."

Human understanding is fallible. It is easily fooled and it's often wrong, so Scripture says not to trust it. It even says, "He who trusts his own heart is a fool." It instead tells us to trust the infallible Creator. Think of it like this. You find you have brain cancer. A gifted neurosurgeon believes that he can save your life and explains to you that he can use the craniotomy technique. He then uses words such as "acetylcholine" and "hemianencephaly." He's talking way over your head, so you say, "You need not tell me anymore. I don't understand what you are wanting to do, but I trust you. I trust you with my life." You trust him with all your heart, and you don't "lean" on your own understanding.  When you figure out that principle--that "trust" means to let go of your fallible understanding, then you have got to square one when it comes to knowing God. 

This "trust" has nothing to do with His existence. We all intuitively know the Creator exists. It means to trust Him with your eternal salvation. The One who made the birds (male and female--all bring forth after their own kind), the flowers, the trees, the unspeakably amazing human eye, the seasons that come around every year, the life-giving sun and stars, the dimension of time, the life's blood that flows through your body (and the flesh that holds it in) and a million other things, is infinitely above human understanding.  Trust Him with all of your heart, and He will never, ever, let you down. See 

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