I used to memorize Scripture in Sunday school for stickers (and, let’s be real, for also the bragging rights for said stickers). I don’t remember any of those specific Scriptures from that time except for one: Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not on thy own understanding. In all thy ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths straight.” (Yup, that was straight up the King James Version—the OG of translations.) As a nine-year-old, the promise of straight paths stuck with me. At the time, I didn’t fully grasp all that this passage encompasses, but I knew it was a key. If I wanted to follow God all my life, I needed to trust God (easier said than done during some moments of my life) and somehow “acknowledge” God in everything I did; these movement steps would lead to God’s path for me. With tiny shoulders hunched over and eyes shut tight against the light, I found myself on my knees at the front of the church altar sincerely praying for God’s help and for those promised straight paths. I’m convinced those prayers as a child helped me stay true to God and to myself throughout my adolescence and into adulthood. Before we make goals for 2020, let’s prepare ourselves by following Proverbs 3:5-6.
- Reflect on how God showed up in your life in 2019.
Sometimes trusting God is challenging. Doubt has a way of seeping through the cracks of our hearts and minds. One way to combat this and truly see how God is working in your life is to remember your stories—stories of God answering prayers, showing love in specific ways that are meaningful to you, speaking to you through the Bible or Christian women and men in your life. Write these stories down! Then you’ll have a record of God’s love in your life, and you can read these to remind yourself of God’s goodness and faithfulness when things get challenging.
- Memorize (in your favorite translation) and pray Proverbs 3:5-6 over your life in 2020.
Proverbs 3:5-6 has so many layers of meaning and application for our lives. Even if we can’t fully imagine how this passage will work, we can still pray it over ourselves. Our prayer can be as simple as, “God, I trust you. Help me to trust you, even when I don’t understand. I want to follow your lead in every area of my life—relationships, career, finances, serving my community, bringing your love and salvation to others, dreaming for my future. Keep my paths straight to you. Amen.”
- Continue to invite God into “all thy ways.”
This step will take some time. Don’t rush it. Consider the various areas of your life. How much have you allowed God to be a part of your job? Your romantic relationship? The way you love and serve your neighbors? You may want to list out all the key areas in your life that you want to invite God to be the lead. Pray and ask for God’s direction in these areas. Listen. Then do. You may want to set up a weekly or at least month rhythm in which you continue to invite God into “all thy ways.”
In the next month, we’ll look at three different relationships Women Disciples have—relationship with God, relationship with other Jesus followers, relationship with people in the world. We’ll consider how we can set goals to nurture these relationships in 2020 through the lens of Proverbs 3:5-6.
Movement Step: After you’ve done the above, reach out to a couple of friends and share with them how you’re preparing for 2020 with Proverbs 3:5-6. Ask them to pray for you as you trust God and invite God into every area of your life.