Figuring It Out

Proverbs 16:9
Proverbs 16:9 (Photo credit: Kevin Shorter)

Why do we always try to figure everything out? Because we want control over our situations? Because we worry and fret if we don’t understand what’s happening? Because in order for something to be right, it must be logical? One thing I know is this: It’s not inherently wrong for us to try to figure things out. Proverbs 25:2 says, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter” (KJV). It is a natural human tendency to search out the hidden matters of God. We like to figure things out. And God likes for us to figure things out . . . to a point.

However, the boundary line has been crossed when we begin to be consumed with relying upon our own understanding. Proverbs also tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” (3:5). It’s one thing to try to search out the deep mysteries of God out of motivation to know Him more and gain a greater, more accurate understanding of Who He is. Yet, it’s another thing to try to figure out what He is doing when it is not our business to know. God is God, and we are not. God’s ways are higher than our ways (Is. 55:9).

So many of us try to make everything about life make perfect sense. Yet, if we are constantly trying to do that, we should ask ourselves why we are even Christians. Think about it. Being a Christian makes absolutely no sense in the eyes of the world. We worship a God we cannot see. We believe in a God who died, but also rose again. We believe that this act saved us from the eternal punishment of sin if we will believe in Him. This also requires us to believe that we actually are sinful and need someone to save us. Does this all sound ludicrous? In man’s eyes, it is. Yet, every Christian believes this. Why, then, do Christians not believe other aspects of God’s Word which, in my opinion, are far easier to believe than what I just described above.

For instance, we often have such a hard time believing God actually can and will provide for our needs. Yet, if He cares about our eternity, do you not think He also cares about our daily lives? We have a hard time believing He can heal us of our diseases. Yet, which is more difficult: to heal someone physically or to heal someone spiritually? For those who are in Christ, He has already brought healing to our spiritual lives. The proof is that once we were dead, but now we are alive in Him (Eph. 2:1–5). Not only is this an act of divine spiritual healing, but it is a full-blown act of resurrection power!

My point is this: Why can we believe in the doctrine of salvation (which is foolishness to the world [1 Cor. 1:18]) but not believe that God cares and works sovereignly in the more minute aspects of our lives? The reason we do not always believe this is because it doesn’t make sense in our natural eyes. We still see life through the eyes of “every man for himself.” Somehow, we have to think through everything and make sure it makes sense to us before we act on it. Yet, if the foundation of our belief system is foolishness in the eyes of the world, what makes us think that the rest of our lives have to make sense to the world? If our foundation is foolishness to the world, then our whole lives should, in a sense, be foolishness to the world.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t use wisdom, logic, or sound judgment. God clearly calls us to use wisdom all throughout Scripture. The book of Proverbs is a primary example. Yet, we must not confuse godly wisdom with the wisdom of the world. The wisdom of the world “does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (James 3:15–17).

My challenge to you today is this: Learn to distinguish the difference between the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of God. Live according to God’s wisdom, not the world’s wisdom. God’s wisdom causes you to seek Him out in order to gain a deeper understanding of Who He is and how to live for Him. Man’s wisdom causes you to lean on your own understanding and figure everything out apart from Him. Don’t live that way. Choose God’s wisdom today and every day.


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