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. (Prov. 3:5)
When I was in high school, sometimes a tall boy would stand beside me, lean his arm on my shoulder, and remark that I made a good PLP — Personal Leaning Post.
This proverb challenges me about my own PLP — or rather, PLPs. Over the years, I have learned to lean on God. But I’m still struggling with un-learning to lean on my own understanding.
My understanding may be adequate to lean on when I want to tweak a recipe, or figure out the best buy at the grocery store, and other routine things that are part of everyday. But that self-leaning so easily extends to the decisions, big and small, that should be made in consultation with or under the leading of God.
In high school, I was a candidate for a PLP because of my small stature. God’s stature is infinite; yet He is the only PLP that adapts to fit every individual person. He adjusts to my need as I continue to adjust my tendency to lean more on him.
How can I do this more consistently, more completely? How can I become less conscious of leaning on myself and more conscious of leaning on God?
First, I can begin each morning with a conscious decision and prayer that I will give God my day and everything it might contain. I don’t know about you, but I need to be intentional about this.
Having started with intent, I can move on to content. I want to be God-conscious throughout the day. I want to talk to Him, not to myself. I want to ask Him for direction, not follow my own. I want to be conscious of His prompts to call a friend, to stop and talk with a neighbor. I want to ask Him how to respond to a hard situation; or how, when and where to offer help. I want to ask Him how I should prioritize my time; which requests I should meet and which to decline.
Being God-conscious is my best reminder to lean on Him, to become dependent on Him. God-dependence will lift any sense of inadequacy I feel. As the late Dr. Selwyn Hughes put it: “The first Christians were so God-dependent that they took on the significance of the one on whom they were dependent. The consciousness that God is working in and through you, thinking in and through you, is one of the greatest annulments of inferiority and fear that I know.”
Finally, I can be consciously grateful for the extent of all that leaning on God brings to my life. Through no merit of my own, simply by accepting His free gift of salvation, I’ve been given the privilege of spending each day in the presence of the living God, privy to His leading and counsel, enabled by His power and grace. I choose to make Jesus my Lord; the Lord who is not only available, but eager to become my PLP, in all things, through all things, for all things. He will fit me for service.
Oh, Father, help me to be more conscious of my need to know Your mind instead of my own. Help me to lean on You, so I will be fit for Your service.