On Earth...

In Matt. 6:10, Jesus calls us to pray with words like this: "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven." "On earth..." messages are the reflection of various local writers sharing common experiences in daily living and then guiding renewal of the mind and spirit from God's Word. It is scheduled to appear on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Here Am I, Send Me

A Trilogy for Triumphant Living

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[November 21, 2007]  There was a point in my life when I began to focus on my frustrating inability to accumulate enough savings for retirement. I just could not see how my wife and I could save enough to retire and live comfortably. Then my circumstances took a severe turn for the worse.


Worry spiraled downward into suffering and all sorts of distress as no one wanted to hire someone my age. While I was panicking, my faith-filled wife was redecorating our bedroom. (You heard me right.) She seemed oblivious to the direness of our situation.

About that same time, a wise older sister gave me a gift, a beautifully scripted depiction of Proverbs 3:5-6. I remember thinking at the moment that there were a lot of things I needed more than a picture (like a gift certificate to the local grocer).

The picture/Scripture was received with appropriate joy by my wife as it just fit into a frame she wanted to use in the redecoration of the bedroom. The Scripture was immediately hung on our bedroom wall such that it was the last thing I saw before I went to sleep and the first thing I would see when I awoke. This is what I saw.

Proverbs 3: vs 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart. And lean not on your own understanding; vs 6 in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.

One morning I awoke and there it was, as always. Except on that morning I could not stop meditating on the Scripture. I suddenly realized that contained in those two verses is a Trilogy for Triumphant Living.


1. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. The phrase all your heart made me pause. The writer was obviously expressing the type of overwhelming love that puts God before self. This same type of total love was expressed by the writer of Deut. 6:5: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength." Loving God the way Jesus loved us is the goal. The sequence of events is:

God is the fountain of all good.

He has made us intelligent creatures dependent upon himself.

He requires us to be conscious of that dependence.

He commands us to believe his promise and look for its fulfillment.

And to do this without doubt, fear or distrust: "with our whole heart."

2. Lean not on your own understanding. The verb "lean" is used here as a "don't." Don't depend or lean on your own ability to understand. For me this has been the most difficult to assimilate. If, during your whole life, one relies on his intellect and ability to reason and deduce, giving that up is a big deal.

The fact that our own deductions seem to make so much sense is contrasted to the awareness that sometimes God's plan doesn't seem to make any sense at all. Sometimes God's way of doing things makes about as much sense as "spitting in a blind man's eye." Losing my job without cause made absolutely no sense to me.

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Holding on to our own understanding of things is at the core of sin because it goes to the notion that I can be like God and make my own decisions. My learning how to "lean not to my own understanding" involves waiting for God, waiting to see God move, controlling my impulsiveness to decide, and having a time and a process to talk and to listen and wait for God to speak. When God speaks to me, it is usually after a time of private prayer or mediating on Scripture, and he speaks to my heart. I cherish those times.

3. In all your ways acknowledge him. The first two instructions are reinforced in verse 6 by the instructive to acknowledge him. Complementary to relying on God rather than your own sense of things is to then acknowledge that God is the driver in your life, that he gets the credit for planning your life.

God is not a God of coincidence or happen-chance. God has a plan! He did not set the entire cosmos in motion to sit back and wonder where it would go. He has everything all planned for all time. God has a plan for our lives, and it's a good plan. Giving God the glory should become a part of our public vocabulary.

So the "Trilogy for Triumphant Living" is:

  1. Trust in God with your whole being.

  2. Don't try to figure out things with your own sense of logic. Wait for God.

  3. Give God the credit for who you are and where you are going.

If we follow the instructions, God promises us a fantastic blessing. The blessing promised is, "He will guide your path." In one translation it says he will "set you on a straight path." Think about this wonderful promise. God, the creator and sustainer of the universe, will be the one directing where you should go. Incredible!

The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years. Scholars say if they had taken a straight path, their journey would have been over in 3 1/2 weeks! When it comes to accomplishing the goals of your life, are you on the 40-year plan or the 3 1/2-week plan?

More and more, I am allowing God to guide my path, to make my path a straight path, to make my way easy. When I lie down at night, my sleep is sweet. (Proverbs 3:24)

Eventually, I joined my wife in her business, and it is now flourishing to the point where I no longer worry about our future security. What looked like a loss turned out to be a wonderful blessing. My wife and I enjoy our business together and have time to support a local ministry.

God, I am not sure what tomorrow holds, but I plan to trust you with my entire being and continue to let go of my need to understand. I am going to daily praise you and give you the glory in all that I do, and then, God, I am going to hold you to your promise. Please just tell me where to go and what to do because I know you will send me down the right path.

[Here Am I, Send Me]

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