March 7, 2020 • Life for Leaders
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NRSV)
The 66 books in the standard Protestant Bible can be broken down and categorized by themes. The Old vs New Testaments are segmentations commonly referenced by pastors, teachers, and clergymen. Not so commonly known are the other nine categories: Law, History, Wisdom, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets, the Gospels, Paul’s Letters, and the General Letters. I was in an adult biblical studies program hosted by a local church the first time I heard that some of the books in the Bible were classified as poetry. You may know these by their actual names, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.
The Book of Proverbs, mostly accredited to be the writings of King Solomon, son of King David, is one of my favorite books in the Bible. It is 31 chapters of timeless philosophical teachings ordered as one liners as if the greatest rapper or poet of all time dropped them line by line, bar by bar. In the summer months, a group of my close friends and I embark upon what social media has titled the #ProverbsChallenge. Each day, for the 31 days in the of month of July, we all read The Book of Proverbs, one chapter at a time.
Every year, this challenge gifts me a new harvest and spiritual growth beyond my expectation. I have come to see the Book of Proverbs as a great resource for spiritual nourishment, key principles on wellbeing, and a reliant tool for yielding success in one’s life. Growing up, my family instilled in me a cultural proverb of their own, “a wise man learns from the mistakes of others, and a fool from his own.” I am grateful that King Solomon, one of the most beloved and successful kings in the holy book, left us with a canonized version of the thoughts and principles he cherished and lived by.
Chapter three is one of my favorite chapters. As a woman committed to flourishing in life according to God’s grandest idea about who I am, I am often stepping into unfamiliar territory. As far as I know, our destinies and callings don’t come with a comprehensive road map. Sometimes God prefers to lead us forward into the miraculous promised land step-by-step just as he did with the Israelites and Moses in the desert.
I was a young professional in Finance when God spoke to me about ministry, leadership development, and creative media. This was a decade ago, and I had no idea how I would navigate the way forward after accepting God’s call for my life. My biblical studies helped me to not feel alone in my uncertainty and unknowingness. I was assured, particularly by the arc that Noah built and the legacy that Sarah birthed, that my ignorance would make space for God’s favor to move on my behalf.
I have learned that coming to the end of our own knowingness is how we make room for providence and the power of God to leap us forward. The mountains needing to be moved beyond our capacity, knowingness, and control are God’s molehills. This past leap day, February 29, I had the great honor to attend Oprah Winfrey’s 2020 Vision wellness event. For eight hours, my husband and I workshopped with 13,000 people our intentions for wellness in 2020 and beyond. I left this event thinking deeply about God’s call on my life and how I could leap forward onto a new level of effective and excellent service in the body of Christ.
I reckon this is something all vocationally minded people wrestle with often. We are deeply inclined to measure our impact, analyze the state of our reality in alignment with our call, and to adjust accordingly. Sometimes, however, we lack clarity or knowledge about our next best step to evolve, grow, and scale our mission.
King Solomon offers some of the best advice when we find ourselves, beyond our own capacity to interpret and shape our own realities. Proverbs 3: 5 – 6, tells us to acknowledge him.
In part two of this devotional series, I will further expand on what it means to acknowledge God in all our ways, and how I have seen this act miraculously trigger leaps forward to destiny and calling.
Something to Think About:
Are there any situations or obligations in your life that require a knowledge, wisdom, or understanding beyond your capacity and truth?
What has God called you to pioneer in this season that scares you or makes you feel ill equipped?
Something to Do:
Take some time to confess your unknowingness to God and to yourself. Release yourself from the demands of society that shout at you the expectation of knowing all things well. Tell yourself, sometimes it’s okay that I do not know, because God always knows.
Heavenly Father, give us the peace that passes all understanding. We live in a society so overwhelmed by data, information, and arrogance. Help us to accept our weaknesses that you may be made strong and bring forth our victory in all our circumstances. Thank God for your blessings and your mercy.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online
Introduction to Proverbs
Clarissa Joan Middleton is an artist and business consultant committed to making media for social change.
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