Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and He shall direct your paths.
The first time his son approached him for advice as a young man, dad was proud and honored. For his son to trust him with his life’s questions and ask for his insight and opinions warmed his heart. So it went that father and son would have these heart-to-heart talks more and more. They typically happened later in the evening when the house had quieted down. The two men would sit outside in the summer air and share their lives. What mattered most to dad was that his son trusted his discernment and guidance. What he did not expect was to see his son repeatedly seek that guidance yet make other choices. There was dad, the fountain of experience and wisdom, and the son refused to actually take a drink. In doing so, he showed that he did not actually trust in what dad had to say but preferred to make his own way.
If we are honest with ourselves, we know that we have approached God in prayer in the past asking for guidance that we also know we have no desire to take. Those are prayers which begin with a decision already made, simply looking for confirmation from God to follow the way we have chosen. The issue with that approach is clear from this passage. The Father does not want us to use our own understanding or man-made wisdom to direct our lives. We are to trust in him not with part of our hearts but with all, and that must affect every area in which we operate. Whether it is finances, relationships, career choices or ministry, God requires that we acknowledge him before He directs our path. We must come from a place of seeking him in prayer because we trust in his answer and will follow his guidance.
We have this limitless and perfectly appointed repository of wisdom from which to draw regardless of the question or issue we have. Every concern can be addressed by drawing from that well and listening to the words of our Father. It is pride that keeps us from taking a drink, foolishness that leads us to taste of this water then spit it out and seek other sustenance. If we want God to show us the way, we must submit all our ways to him. He wants us to acknowledge that we trust him with everything. If we have not reached that place, we will only cherry pick the guidance He gives us. He shows us all we need, but it is not for us to pick and choose what we follow and what we ignore. Father, increase in us that which we need to trust You fully with everything, the wisdom and humility to follow all your guidance.