If there is one thing I’m not really that good at it’s diddly-dallying! So, because I’m just bubbling over with “let’s get goin’! …. let’s just jump right on in to today’s lesson! (sorry for the use of “!’ but, this is when the unbridled joy takes over these hands on this keyboard and they are just goin’ to town!!!) haha!
Ok, so let’s go to Proverbs 3:5-6 and underline the 3 exhortations, or rather the specific instructions that we find in telling us what we are to “do.”
We should have underlined, 1) trust in the Lord, 2) do not lean on your own understanding, and 3) submit to Him. If you are printing these lessons of to work through them, then here’s the verse for you to underline those 3 instructions.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
I do like to go to the Message bible from time to time when I’m studying simply because it’s not a biblical translation, but it’s a biblical paraphrase of the Scriptures written by a man named, Eugene Peterson. I’ve read other books of his and also know the story behind why he spent 7 years studying the bible verse by verse in it’s original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Why he labored in prayer with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, in writing a paraphrase of the verses into a modern language that his grandchildren and the generations coming up behind him would understand. He labored to keep the “truth and message” of the Scriptures in context and compiled The Message bible to be a paraphrase that simply took the thought and meaning of the verses and express them in today’s language. Here is Proverbs 3:5-6 from The Message.
Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
It happens in all our lives. It’s happening in mine right now as I am typing this out … we all try to figure stuff out on our own. We get that disturbing phone call. We look at our bank accounts. We listen to our children’s issues and problems and want to fix them ALL! We see our husbands have personal struggles. We know our loved one is hurting undeservedly. We have kinks in our business. Cracks in our foundations. Bills left unpaid. Debts that seem to grow over night. Medical hardships. Aging parents. Loss of loved ones. Wayward children. Estranged from siblings. Feeling unwanted. Afraid. Unsure. And then it always happens — we look at it all from the perspective of, “I gotta’ figure something out. I just need to “do” something to correct all this.” Or to at least hide it, suppress it, ignore it, handle it, deal with it, or what most of us women tend to do…FIX IT!
This happens to me more often than (I can honestly tell you) I WANT to admit. I see problems and that little “fix it fox ” in me just starts wagging its little tail. I’m ready to figure it all out and get it handled. Approach it head on. And at times, that is a good thing…If you know that the Lord has given you a sound mind about it.
What I mean by that is, take for example…the Lord has taught me and Rip that we are only stewards of what He has given us. We own nothing. But everything He gives, is ours to manage. Take care of. Be wise in how we use it, etc. So, when bills or debt is in front of us, we don’t have to pray and ask, “Lord, here’s this debt. Do we just pay the minimum payment due or do we do whatever it takes to get that debt gone?” (However the debt got there is not really what I’m talking about here, but it’s the issue of ‘having” debt). Well, for Rip and I, we know what the Word says about debts….however they may have been accumulated…the Bible says, “get rid of them.” Let’s look at just a few verses on this –
Read Romans 13:8 – “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”
Now let’s look up these verse and see what they say about debt:
Deuteronomy 15:1-9; 31:10
2 Kings 4:7
So, this is definitely an area where we don’t need to lean on our own understanding or try to figure something else out … it’s already been figured out. It’s already understood clearly how we are to obey the first part of Proverbs 3:5 that says “trust in the Lord with all your heart.” FIRST, we trust Him as we cancel all debts. Doing WHATEVER it takes! THAT is how you and I walk on “the old path.” And that is when we will live what we saw in Deuteronomy when the Lord says He wants to use use as FREE GIVERS!! His children are to be those that He can freely give THROUGH! Debts are in the way of that.
The old path is debt-free living.
The old path is one that does not live above their means, but obeys the Lord in how to view and approach debt. For the life of a Christian, debt that dishonors the Lord is ongoing, accumulating, and treated as though it’s just no big deal. Debt IS a big deal to Him. If you owe a friend anything, pay them back. If you owe a family member, be sure to pay them back. If you owe on a loan, a bill, on any extended cash advance, etc. be sure that is in your daily radar to cancel out all debt owed. That is not leaning on your own understanding, it’s trusting the Lord and submitting to Him while walking on the old path. THAT is where you will find rest for your souls.
But is this the mindset of many folks today? Would they be willing to do whatever it takes to get rid of debt? Would they be wiling to scale WAY down in the size house they live in? Change neighborhoods? Start a home-based business? Start cutting home costs through menu-planning, coupon using, and turning up the AC while everyone is out of the house during the day. (Just a suggestion 🙂 But honestly, when you know that you know that you know that the debt in your life is not the will of God, then it’s to trust Him and ask this question:
“What is Your will, what is it that you want me to do to get rid of the debt in my life?”
And then, submit to whatever He says. Be sure to wait now, and listen for Him to show you…because HE will. Trust me on this. He wants you living in financial freedom!!! Because if we aren’t living in financial freedom, there is a degree of spiritual freedom we can never experience. These two freedoms are hinged on the same door!
So, here’s what I want us to do – take out a sheet of paper and if there is ANY debt in your life, (and yes, I’m also referring to the home mortgage), write it all down. Every debt, not your monthly bills, but the debts.
Then place your hand on top of that list and girl, you pray. You pray and ask the Lord to enable you to submit to Him in “however” He leads you in getting rid of that debt. THAT is living on the old path.
Oh, the new path….the path that you will see the majority of your friends living on is one that looks so wonderful…beautifully decorated homes, private schools, designer clothes, exotic vacations, name brand “everything,” top of the line, living the Instagram life…and y’all, because I see it week after week, the debt you do not see in order for THAT lifestyle is tremendous! No, this is not the case for everyone. There are some that are living debt free, but I can tell you that the majority are not. They struggle and struggle financially, and begin to believe “this is just the path for us.” For some….
The new path over glamorizes the “things of this world.”
The new path makes a $100.00+ tube of mascara seem like a necessity.
The new path makes a $400.00+ car note seem like a need.
The new path makes the lifestyles of the famous become the “bar” raised for us all.
The new path seems to have a mind that is set on earthly things, not on things above.
The new path is fast and furious.
The new path takes comfort in all that it owns.
The new path also admits to not being able to afford to tithe.
The new path has marriage strife.
The new path has relationship hardships.
And it is a path that leads to destruction…every. time!
They are on this new path that accumulates debt or just keeps paying the minimum payment each month and the interest alone is extending that debt into the next several years of their life.
So, make your list. If you are married, make it with your husband and together y’all not only pray about this, but block off INTENTIONALLY the next year, 2 years, 3 years… with the mindset of doing whatever God brings to you to do in getting that debt gone!
If you will do this, THEN you will experience rest for your souls. Go back to Proverbs 3:5-6 and now put a circle around the promise at the end.
HE WILL MAKE YOUR PATHS STRAIGHT! (NIV)
HE IS THE ONE WHO WILL KEEP YOU ON TRACK! (THE MESSAGE)
And the rest of Proverbs 3 in the Message says this:
Don’t assume that you know it all.
Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor God with everything you own;
give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst,
your wine vats will brim over.
But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline;
don’t sulk under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that God corrects;
a father’s delight is behind all this.
Will you start today…right now…standing at this crossroad? One path leads to rest for your souls and the other path leads to who knows where, but one thing we do know it is not that path that leads to His promise to direct our life and bring us the blessing of rest.
I’m praying for you…I’m here for you…and just so you’ll know… Rip and I are on THIS path right now! And like you see in the featured photo, we are running like gazelles together on this old path, too!
We’re doing everything we know He has brought us to do (as a direct answer to prayer) so that we live WELL below our means. So that all debts are paid and we are living in the rest and freedom He has for our life.
Living on the Old Path Together,