NIV – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”
The Message – “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life!”
As folks in the business world, how often each day do we encounter problems that need solutions? How many of those times do we stop to talk to God and ask for guidance? Are we truly “listening for God’s voice in everything we do?” I don’t know about you but in the fast-paced, microwave-society we live in today, I know I find it extremely difficult to get a moment of silence just to listen to God. God promises, though, that if we are quiet for long enough to hear him, he will “keep us on the right path” as it says in verse 6.
There are two things we, as businesspeople, need to take from Proverbs 3:5-8.
1) We need to make it a priority to schedule time to listen for God’s voice.
In my opinion, one of the most important ingredients for trusting God, which is made clear in the passage, is spending time listening to God’s voice. While it’s extremely difficult to listen to God’s voice when we are running 100 mph in our daily lives, we make time for the things that are most important to us. A great way to make sure we are spending time listening to God is if we schedule a specific time. Set the alarm on your phone if you need to. Do whatever necessary to make it a priority. The promise God makes to us, as The Message passage says, is that if we make listening for God’s voice a priority, “He will keep us on track.” It makes it so much easier to trust God when we know that He promises to lead and direct our paths if we stop, listen and trust Him.
2) We need to schedule time to workout our thought muscle.
Not only is there a minority of people who are able/willing to stop, there is a minority of thinkers in the world today. Think about this: How many more ideas like Facebook and Twitter would we have if more people spent the necessary time to think of them? In my opinion, a natural extension of stopping to listen to God, is allowing God to infiltrate our thought life. When God consumes our thoughts, it’s easier to trust that He is in control of our business activities. John Maxwell, one of the top authors on leadership, writes about how to overcome a lack of time to stop. He offers a solution in his post, “Seeking Creativity In Its Natural Habitat”:
“When I was younger, my thinking spot was a rock on a hill. Later, I set up a “thinking chair” in my office, which I use solely for that purpose. These days, I also do some of my best thinking while swimming laps in the pool. It doesn’t replace the writing time that I still schedule. (I just haven’t found a waterproof legal pad yet…) But an hour of swimming laps back and forth, with its silence and rhythm, gives me just what I need to focus on one or two specific problems or ideas.”
We should heed Dr. Maxwell’s advice and find a thinking spot where we are able to ignore the clutter and focus.
Not only is there a potential for new ideas when we spend time in thought, but our brains are rejuvenated and perform at their peak when we are able to clear all the white noise for a short period of time. Verse 8 rounds out these verses by giving one last incentive: when we submit fully and trust Him, our bodies will glow with health! Sounds good to me. So, let’s make it a priority to stop, think and listen to God so we can trust Him as He directs our paths.