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.
This is one of my favorite passages in scripture because it gives practical, straightforward advice for use in times when the situation is neither practical or straightforward.
First of all, I don’t look at this verse as a “check your brain at the door of the church” statement. I reject the notion that one should never question the church or seek answers to the questions in their heart concerning their faith. In fact, I strongly encourage every believer to research and study the scriptures as you would if you were studying for the most important class paper or work project you’ve ever done. Ask the tough questions, look at it from many perspectives, and take the time to ponder the answers you’re given.
With that said, by his very nature God is above our comprehension. So at some point we won’t be able to wrap our minds around something concerning the Lord and we’ll have to take it in faith that what he says is true.
Furthermore, and I think this hits closer to the intended meaning of this passage of scripture, there will be times in our lives where the road comes to a fork and we simply don’t know which path to take. With apologies to Robert Frost, it isn’t always as easy ask picking the road less traveled.
Sometimes your mind tells you 10 reasons why you should go in one direction but your heart tells you to go in another. Or on the flipside, you might have a strong emotional pull to go in one direction but a clear opportunity presents itself (for a limited time) to go in another direction (the proverbial open window).
In either case I would sped a great deal of time in prayer asking the Lord to speak clearly to you. Don’t lean only on your own decision making abilities, because your brain can get cloudy and sinful desires can interfere. I would also ask the Lord to help you align your own desires with his. Ask yourself “what would the Lord value and how can I further his Kingdom?” You may find that the decision you make runs totally contrary to what your brain might tell you is correct. Or you may find that the Lord leads you to the more “boring” option.
Regardless, what the Lord promises is that his way is the best way and the closer you are to his will, the “straighter” your paths will become. Or to embellish on the analogy: you might be able to get to the preferred destination regardless of the road you take, but if you chose poorly, it may take a lot longer and it may be a bumpy, windy, treacherous road. If you take the road that the Lord tells you to, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and trouble in the end.