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 straight your paths.
These words from Solomon are some of the most well known, oft-quoted among followers of Jesus. Trusting God, relying on him rather than my own ideas and emotions are bedrock lifestyle concepts for believers. This week, however, I began to dig into the word "acknowledge." I rarely use this word in conversation - ok, never. What does is mean to "acknowledge him in all my ways?" Surely more than a tip of my hat, a nod in his direction: "Ok God, I acknowledge you in this way of mine..."
The word in Hebrew is "yadah," used 947 times in the Old Testament. Surprisingly, 769 of those times it is translated to know, or be known. It could appropriately be read "In all your ways know Him..." It is a personal, relational knowing, not simply factual (I know 2 X 2 is 4). The Passion Translation: "Become intimate with him in whatever you do."
Here are some other uses of the same word:
Continue your steadfast love to those who know you Psalm 36:10
The Lord knows the days of the blameless Psalm 37:18
Be still, and know that I am God Psalm 46:10
That they may know you alone...are the Most High over all Psalm 83:18
Know that the Lord, He is God Psalm 100:3
To know wisdom and instruction Proverbs 1:2
You know when I sit down and I rise up Psalm 139:2
Know well the condition of your flocks Proverbs 27:23
To acknowledge God in all my ways is to invite him to be intimately involved in each area of my life, the opposite of compartmentalizing. To make Him part but not all of my life is to remain shallow, to refuse the deeper adventure. If Jesus is Lord at all, He must be Lord of all. Truly this is a risk, but all adventures are risky. The ironic truth is that whenever Jesus is welcomed / acknowledged in darker or more sinister corners of our personality, the parts we're not proud of -- he comes to heal, to rebuild and transform, and does it cheerfully with no hint of condemnation or shock.
Though counterintuitive, inviting / acknowledging Jesus everywhere in me has been the safest, bravest, and actually least risky thing I've ever done. Hmmm.
Taking the "acknowledge" plunge regularly, Perry Floyd