What does Proverbs 3:5-6 mean?

Do you want to know the deep and wonderful meaning of Proverbs 3:5-6? If yes, then this blog is for you. Discover what it means and how it can change your life today!

What does Proverbs 3:5-6 mean? How can we understand Proverbs 3:5-6?
How can we understand Proverbs 3:5-6?

One of the most popular verses in the Book of Proverbs is Proverbs 3:5-6. In this passage we read:

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 problem with a popular verse is that we often forget what it really means. Sometimes, we can easily recite Proverbs 3:5-6 prayer and throw it around without really taking the time to see its deep meaning. Thus, I strongly believe that it is our Christian duty to study Proverbs 3 5 6 meaning and see how it applies in our lives today.

Proverbs 3:5-6 video presentation

Here’s a video that gives you a comprehensive and powerful explanation of Proverbs 3:5-6.

Proverbs 3:5-6 video presentation

Trust in the LORD with all your heart (Proverbs 3:5)

This verse alone is packed with so many life lessons that we should learn. Thus, let us dissect this verse and understand what it really means.

What does it mean to trust?

Proverbs 3:5 opens up with the statement, “Trust the LORD.”

Now, notice, this is not a request, but rather, it is a command. It is not something that is optional. It is mandatory.

What does it mean to trust? Google dictionary defines it as, “firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.”

I believe Google’s definition of trust is a good place to start our understanding of what it means to trust God.

Trusting God means that we have complete confidence in His wisdom, power, and goodness. It is the firm belief of God’s reliability, truth, ability, and strength, as Google puts it.

In Psalm 84:11, we read:

For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.

We trust God because we know that whatever He does and whatever happens in our lives, He is always in control. Everything He does is for our own good even at times when we don’t understand.

That’s the level of trust that we must have. It should be unconditional. We don’t just trust God in good times, but also in the bad times.

It is easy to believe God when all things are going according to plan. The real test happens when things are falling apart. When we don’t understand things, would we still trust God?

Yes, it is difficult to trust God when you don’t know what lies ahead. However, if you trust God, you will see once you’re out of the darkness and into the light, you can look back and gain a better understanding. You will soon see why things happened the way they are and all things will suddenly make sense.

As long as we trust God, we can count on Him that He will work all things together for good to those who love Him, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

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Who are we going to trust?

Now, who are we going to trust? It is the LORD.

But, who is the LORD?

LORD comes from the Tetragrammaton, YHWH.

Most scholars agree that this is pronounced as YAHWEH, which means the Eternal One. YAHWEH is the One who was, who is, and who is to come. It is the personal name of God. It is the name God used to introduce Himself to Moses and to distinguish Him from other false gods.

King Solomon, the author of Proverbs, says that we MUST trust NOT in any gods, but to the TRUE GOD – YAHWEH!

YAHWEH is the ever-living God. He is not dead. He is actively working in the lives of His people. He is the SUPREME RULER of the entire universe. He is the most powerful Being who is not limited by time, matter, and space.

Notice what the Prophet Isaiah has to say about God:

Remember the former things of old,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like Me,
Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure,’
Calling a bird of prey from the east,
The man who executes My counsel, from a far country.
Indeed I have spoken it;
I will also bring it to pass.
I have purposed it;
I will also do it.

Do you see now the power and might of YAHWEH?

With this mind, wouldn’t it be logical that if ever you have to trust anyone, it should be God?

When you trust God, it means that you are trusting the most powerful Being who loves you and takes care of you and you can’t get any better than that!

Related article: The Matthew 18 Principle: How to Deal with a Sinning Brother

How do you trust God?

We already know who should we trust and why we should trust God.

The next question is, “How do you trust God?”

Proverbs 3:5-6 sermon answers this question:

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart.”

We need to trust YAHWEH with ALL our heart.

We need to trust God FULLY and COMPLETELY.

Our trust in God is not just 50%, 75%, and even 95%. But it must be 100%!

We must not doubt, fear, and worry.

We can’t trust God half-heartedly, but whole-heartedly.

Again, if you know why you are going to trust God, then you will have a better understanding of why you can have the confidence to trust Him will all our hearts.

Lean not on your own understanding

After telling us what to do, King Solomon went on to explain what we must NOT do.

Now, that we are told to trust God, what must we do next? This is what we need to understand.

The word “lean” in Proverbs 3 5-6 devotion came from the word, “Shaw-an.” It basically means, to support one’s self.

The Bible is telling us we must not lean or support ourselves by our own understanding. We must not simply rely on how we see things. We must not simply believe what we see, think, and feel.

Trust in YAHWEH with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Proverbs 5:5-6 tells us that we must trust God above all things. We can’t trust in God and trust in ourselves at the same time.

It is either you trust God or yourself. There’s no middle ground.

It is a fatal mistake to trust in yourself, much more trusting your own understanding.

Jeremiah 17:9:

The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?

You might have already heard the popular advice, “Just follow your heart.”

No, by all means, don’t.

Don’t follow your heart. Instead, follow God.

Our heart, which could also represent our limited understanding, is deceitful above all things. Why then should we follow it, right?

It is true that as humans, we want to be in control. We crave for understanding, but sooner or later, we must accept the fact that we can’t know everything.

We are finite. We are limited. We are fragile. We can only see things on the surface. We can only see the present.

Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

With this in mind, wouldn’t it be more logical to follow God instead? Surely, it is!

God can see the whole picture, while for us, we can only see a tiny corner of that picture.

To put it in another way, we can only see the tree, but God sees the forest.

Thus, don’t lean on your own understanding. What you see, feel, and believe could be wrong. But God is never wrong. Our judgment could be flawed, but God’s understanding is perfect.

We might be worried about what the future holds, but God knows the future and He has already planned things out for us.

Walking in the Dark: Trusting God when life happens.

This book helps you understand what it really means to go through the valley of death and still trust God. It gives you encouragement and comfort when life gets hard and it doesn’t make any sense. (Check this on Amazon.)

In all your ways acknowledge Him

Proverbs 3:6 tells us that we must acknowledge God in all our ways.

Notice, God expects us to do this always. We need to acknowledge Him in ALL our ways and not just some. We can’t simply trust God in one area of our lives and not in others. We can’t rely on God when it comes to our careers and not in our family.

That’s not how it works.

It says in ALL your ways and that’s exactly what it means. We trust and dedicate God in our physical, financial, emotional, social, and spiritual life and all things in between.

But, what do you mean by acknowledging God?

Acknowledging God means to remember God in all the things you do. It means to recognize that He plays a major role in your life. Acknowledging God means that you rely on Him and trust Him.

Before you make a plan in your life, you ask God’s will to be done in your life. You always seek God’s purpose every time you make a decision. You don’t do any action without first seeking the counsel of God. You don’t ignore Him but instead, you make Him your Partner in life, be it in your career, relationship, and personal life.

You might be interested in reading, “What does it mean to be a Salt of the Earth?

And He shall direct your path

What happens then when you acknowledge God in all your ways?

God will then direct your path.

As you can see, God can’t direct your path if you don’t even seek His will and purpose in your life. He can’t teach you His wisdom if you don’t even want to be taught.

When you have the willing heart to follow God, naturally, God can now better direct your path.

Yes, God is powerful, but He will NEVER force us to follow Him. He won’t shove His way of life in our throat. He won’t treat us like robots.

In Deuteronomy 30:19, we read:

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.

God wishes nothing but good for us. We have a choice on how we must live our lives. We can either choose life or death, blessing or cursing. God’s desire is for us to choose LIFE!

When we choose the right option, what will happen? He shall direct our paths.

The best thing about God directing our path is that we can have the confidence that the path we are treading is leading to life. We don’t have to worry whether we are on the right track or not. As long as God is directing us, we are in good hands.

Final words

This is the deep meaning of Proverbs 3:5-6 reflection. It is my sincerest desire that you now have a better insight on what it means to trust God, not lean on your own understanding, acknowledging Him, and letting Him direct your path.

If you have something to add, please let me know in the comments below. As always, if you find this blog helpful and inspiring, please share this to your friends!

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13 thoughts on “What does Proverbs 3:5-6 mean?

  1. What does the Bible study meaning for a bird of prey will come from the east . I made from a far country will execute my council N it shall stand?

    • That’s a good question, Doreen!

      I personally don’t know the answer so I did a quick research.

      This is what I got from Barnes Commentary and it seems a plausible explanation:

      Calling a ravenous bird from the east – There can be no doubt that Cyrus is intended here (see the notes at Isaiah 41:2, Isaiah 41:25). The east here means Persia. The word rendered ‘ravenous bird’ (עיט ‛ayiṭ) is rendered ‘fowl’ in Job 28:7; ‘bird’ or ‘birds’ in Jeremiah 12:9; ‘fowls’ in Genesis 15:11; Isaiah 18:6; and ‘ravenous birds’ in Ezekiel 39:4. It does not occur elsewhere in the Bible. It is used here as an emblem of a warlike king, and the emblem may either denote the rapidity of his movements – moving with the flight of an eagle; or it may denote the devastation which he would spread – an emblem in either sense especially applicable to Cyrus. It is not uncommon in the Bible to compare a warlike prince to an eagle Jeremiah 49:22; Ezekiel 17:3; and the idea here is, probably, that Cyrus would come with great power and velocity upon nations, like the king of birds, and would pounce suddenly and unexpectedly upon his prey. Perhaps also there may be here allusion to the standard or banner of Cyrus. Xenophon (Cyrop. vii.) says that it was a golden eagle affixed to a long spear; and it is well remarked by Lowth, that Xenophon has used the very word which the prophet uses here, as near as could be, expressing it in Greek letters. The word of the prophet is עיט ‛ayiṭ; the Greek word used by Xenophon is ἀετὸς aetos. The Chaldee has, however, given a different rendering to this passage: ‘I, who say that I will gather my captivity from the east, and will lead publicly like a swift bird from a distant land the sons of Abraham, my friend.’

  2. Hi Joshua,
    After reading your site about Proverbs 3:5-6 I thank God first for this site . And thank you very much Joshua for an amazing way about God’s Word. And your hard in writing it for others to read about God’s Word.

  3. Hi Josh, could you please help me? Where you say: this verse is packed with so many life lessons? It’s been on my mind lately.

  4. Thanks for you thought provoking help in meditating on this verse. I lead a women’s biblestudy at work and your thoughts were so helpful

  5. Just what I needed, an understanding of the verses as I have chosen them for encouragement. Thank you.

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