“Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5–6, NASB95)

As the New Year approaches, with all of its promise, potential, and unknowns, a useful Scripture to keep in mind is Proverbs 3:5-6. This one of those "go to" verses we often put at the bottom of Christmas and Birthday cards but have you ever really considered what it means?

It describes the Christian life from the perspective of Total Trust: we trust in the Lord, not ourselves. Our prayer life is a useful barometer for how we are doing here. Our prayer life is outwardly what our faith life is inwardly. If we're not praying, it's really because we think that we have got this, we don't really need God's help.

The Christian life is also one of Total Intimacy, In all our ways we are to acknowledge Him. You might think of "acknowledge" as a simple act. The kind of thing you do when you walk into a room, tipping your hat to someone you know. But the Hebrew here goes much deeper than that.  It means to know someone, the way Adam knew his wife Eve and she conceived (Genesis 4). Following that line of thought, you might translate this verse, "In all your ways know Him intimately." Or, In all your ways, make knowing Him your top priority.

Lastly, the Christian life is one of Total Providence. "The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in His way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, for the Lord is the One who holds His hand (Psalm 37)." The LORD watches over our going out and our coming in (Psalm 121). He restores our souls. He guides us in the pathway of His righteousness for His Name's sake (Psalm 23). Praise the LORD, whatever the New Year brings, the LORD will not leave us to our own devices.

May the good hand of the LORD go with you all this year, fulfilling your every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power.