Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. —Proverbs 3:5
The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but the things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all of the words of this law. —Deuteronomy 29:29
I have heard many people say that reading the Bible is confusing. They say, “I have tried to read the Bible, but I don’t understand what God is saying, and I end up feeling frustrated and confused.”
In seeking God’s guidance regarding this situation, I sensed Him saying, People keep trying to figure out everything. Tell them to stop trying to reason and explain everything. As the above verses point out, we cannot always rely on our understanding. There are some things that we are not meant to know or understand.
Moses understood this concept, and he explained to the children of Israel that there are “secret things” known only to God. He pointed out that when God revealed His will—making things clear—those were the words they should obey.
It really is that simple. Like the psalmist, we can say, “Give me understanding, that I may keep Your law; yes, I will observe it with my whole heart (Psalm 119:34). We must ask God to show us what to do, and then we must not question it when He reveals it to us.
Too often people try to reason things out, but that can be dangerous. When we start trying to figure out why God says or does something, our first mistake is thinking we’re smart enough to understand the mind of God.
Reasoning can also move us in a particular direction that, although it may seem logical, may not be the will of God. A biblical account found in 1 Samuel is a good illustration of this point.
Saul, the first king of Israel, made a decision to offer sacrifices. As a part of the tribe of Benjamin, it was unlawful for him—even as the king—to offer sacrifices. The king and his army waited several days for Samuel, the high priest, to arrive. But eventually Saul grew impatient (or perhaps fearful) and offered sacrifices just before the holy man arrived. When Samuel rebuked Saul for doing such a thing, the king had what he believed to be a reasonable explanation: “I thought, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord. So I forced myself to offer a burnt offering” (1 Samuel 13:12).
Samuel rebuked the king, told him he had acted foolishly, and said the Lord was going to strip him of the kingdom.
That was Saul’s mistake. He reasoned that it would be wise to sacrifice, and he didn’t wait to hear from God.
The human mind likes logic, order, and reason. We like to deal with issues we can wrap our understanding around and come up with solutions that make sense to us. We have a tendency to think small because we are limited creatures, and we don’t have the perspective to understand from God’s point of view. We tend to put things in tiny, neat compartments in our minds, telling ourselves this must be right because it fits nicely there.
By contrast, we read the words of the apostle Paul: “I am speaking the truth in Christ. I am not lying; my conscience [enlightened and prompted] by the Holy Spirit bearing witness with me” (Romans 9:1). He was making the point that he was doing the right thing—not because he had figured it out or analyzed the situation, but because his actions bore witness in his spirit.
That’s the attitude you need in your life. You need to depend on God to show you things in such a way that you know—with an inner certainty—that what has been revealed to your mind is correct. You must not allow yourself to reason with your mind, searching for logical solutions. Instead, you must say, “My trust is in the Lord, and whatever He tells me to do, I will obey.”
Dear God, thank You for loving me more than I can even comprehend. In the name of Jesus Christ, I ask You to help me love and honor You so much that when You speak, I will have only one thought in my mind, and that is to obey. Amen.