Back to that website that has produced a list of the 100 MOST-READ Bible verses (i.e., read on their site). I do not question the statistics they supply. Number SIX on their list of the 100 most read is Proverbs 3.5. Verse six is needed to get the whole sentence: 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. What a blessing is the Book of Proverbs!
In John G. Butler’s work, Analytical Bible Expositor, he breaks down the command of Proverbs 3.5-6 into a threefold charge, alliteratively each beginning with the letter D: (1) Dependence; (2) Deference; and (3) Devotion.
First, there is DEPENDENCE: Trust in the Lord with all your heart. It is what God expects of us and, in fact, demands. So frequently, in Old Testament times, God’s people failed in this expectation! They were easily swayed away from the proper trust of God toward trusting the gods men had created for themselves. Also, they tended to trust in themselves rather than in the God Who had blessed them in so many ways in the past. It is easy today to fail in this regard by trusting science or the views of the worldly-educated rather than that which equips us for every good work (2 Tim 3.16-17), the very God-breathed word. How helpful it would be for you and me to reflect upon another great proverb: Prov 14.12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. Another bit of wisdom is found at Proverbs 29.25, The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. Jesus makes so clear the importance of trusting in God as He teaches us: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
Second, there is DEFERENCE: Lean not on your own understanding. How many times have we made important life decisions having ignored this great principle? We serve, worship, and love an omniscient God. Not only so, He is a good God. He cares for His people. How foolish is it for us to think that we can come up with a better way than is presented to us in God’s Word? We have a Book to follow that will lead us from here to eternal glory. The abundant life Jesus speaks of in John 10.10 is by far the superior life to live while we walk upon this earth. Abraham certainly was wise to wait for “the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Heb 11.10). Guidance from the almighty is such a great blessing and leaning on His revelation as the guide for our lives will never be wrong.
Third there is DEVOTION: In all your ways acknowledge Him. Whatever we do, before we do it, we must be assured it is according to His will. It is easy to get to the point where we have little compartments for the many aspects of a modern-day lifestyle. We may set aside that certain amount of time on Sundays and Wednesdays for worship to God. The rest of the time is “for us.” That sort of reasoning is what leads to the opposite of what is suggested with this command from Proverbs 3.6. God’s instruction to us in Scripture is to be consulted in the multiple decisions of every aspect of our lives, day by day.
If it is our desire to have God direct our paths, it will be necessary to pay close heed to these three commands found in Proverbs 3.5-6. What a thrill it is to know there is a way to live which has God directing our paths! But it is a great challenge forever before us.