“…In all thy ways acknowledge….” Proverbs 3:6
This word has three distinct definitions: 1) you can acknowledge that you know something because you have seen it. 2) You can acknowledge by scrutinizing. 3) You can acknowledge by honouring.
In the witness stand a person gives an account of events that they have seen. The court does not want to hear second hand information or thoughts about the events, but they want to hear what the witness actually experienced and saw with their own eyes. When we give testimony to what Christ has done in our lives, we are doing the same. Though we may not have seen Him, we can give testimony to what has happened to us by our acknowledging of the fact that He has made a difference.
To acknowledge by scrutinizing can be illustrated by the methods of a forensic scientist. He examines the evidence to draw out the truth. Once it is established, it is fact and can be used as evidence to confirm even more truth. We draw out truth as we compare Scripture with Scripture. The more we study it, the more truth is revealed.
To acknowledge by honouring can also be illustrated by the picture of the courtroom. The witness honours the court by acknowledging the authority of the bench and swears to tell the truth knowing the power of the bench. We honour the Lord when we acknowledge his power and authority in our lives.
So, “In all thy ways acknowledge…” All thy ways, whether by telling, by study or by submission, let others know He is truth.
“…In all thy ways acknowledge Him….” Proverbs 3:6
We are to acknowledge God. Proverbs 3:5-6 gives us a larger picture of what it means to acknowledge God.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean
not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways
acknowledge Him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
This passage contains instruction and promise. We are to trust in the Lord with our whole heart. This is a big thing for us. We don’t naturally trust. We are suspicious and fearful. But God is not afraid to ask us to trust him. He knows he can pass the test. So he says, “Just look and see what I have already done in your life and what I am doing now, how can you doubt that I won’t be able to work for you in the future?”
Trying to live by our wits or our own understanding is a life full of land mines. Our emotions change. Our attitudes change. Our needs and priorities change. We are always shifting. Proverbs 3:7 says, “Be not wise in thine own eyes…” This tells us that we think we are smarter than God. We think we know best and that is nothing but pride. The self-made man has a prideful heart and no place in his life to acknowledge God.
The promise of the verse is that if we will trust God and stay in our place, he will give us direction. If we are trusting and humble, then we can actually see the path. We won’t step on the landmines. We will be walking along with God and direction will come naturally. We will see God’s activity in the everyday things of life and as we move through the every event of life. We may go through deep valleys, but we will know we are not alone and will be quick to acknowledge Him in all things.
“For I acknowledge my transgressions:
and my sin is ever before me.”
David wrote psalm 51 after the prophet Nathan revealed to him that God knew about David’s sin with Bathsheba. David simply owned up to God about the sin. He knew there was no profit in denial. He could never hope to hide his sin from God.
It isn’t easy for any of us to admit that we have done wrong. We will go to great lengths to avoid being found guilty. We will lie, hide, avoid people, get angry, drop out of church, cause contention, cast blame and any number of other tactics to keep from facing that fact that we have failed.
In Psalm 32:5 David wrote, “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.”
One of the most wonderful things about God is his ability to forgive. God wants to forgive. That is his business! Yet, it is dependent upon our willingness to admit our failures. We are the ones who need to confess and ask.
Confessing is not just saying, “Sorry, God.” No, it is more than that. Proper confession acknowledges not only the wrong, but lays out before God the motives and actions. It recognizes that sin is offensive to God and humbly seeks to be forgiven.
Have you ever truly bowed your knee before God and found him unwilling or unable to forgive? Do you need to do business with God today?
“…to the acknowledging of the truth.” II Timothy 2:25
Working with teenagers can be a challenge. They always want to cast the picture to their favour. I remember trying to work through situations to get to the truth of the matter and it could be like pulling teeth to get them to admit that they were wrong in their response or attitude. I would have to explain and illustrate and usually, eventually, they would acknowledge the truth of what I was trying to teach them. Once they had acknowledged the truth, we had a basis from which to work toward a solution.
In this passage in II Timothy 2:2-26, Paul is telling Timothy that he may have to deal with some people in the same way. The passage says that some people “oppose themselves”. In other words, they are in conflict within themselves. They may know what truth is, but they don’t want to look at it, they would rather choose to believe a lie.
Timothy is instructed to deal with them in meekness in hope that God will be able to bring them to the point where they will repent of the lie and acknowledge the truth. Until they do, they are captive of the devil. It is a sad day when a person refuses to come to the truth. Their life will be filled with hardship and more lies.
If I could not get through to my teenager, more conflict would follow. If they responded to my instruction, harmony was restored in the home and they made another step in maturity, which brought them more confidence and a better relationship within their family and friends. The same is true in adults. Living a life of truth brings cleansing to our lives. We can move forward with a clear conscience and in full fellowship with Him.
What about you? Are you struggling against the Spirit of Truth with a teenage attitude? Remember, surrender is winning in God's game.
“…acknowledge ye them that are such.” I Corinthians 16:18
Paul is about to finish his first book to the Corinthian church. With all the instruction of the book about finished, he has a few last pieces of advice and this has to do with the way they treat each other.
In verse 16 he tells them to submit themselves to those who labour among them and then he moves on to thank the people who met his need saying in verse 18, “...for they have refreshed my spirit and yours…”
We see here two types of people that should be acknowledged. First, we should acknowledge by obedience, those who serve us in the spiritual realm; like pastors and teachers. Second, we should acknowledge by appreciation, those who serve us in the physical realm; those who help meet our needs and encourage us by their actions and service.
And who would those be? Doctors, nurses, parents, friends, postman, etc.: there are so many people throughout our lives that make contribution to our personal comfort and advantage. God is telling us to be thankful for individuals such as these.
Appreciation is a wonderful thing. We all look for it in the things we do and we all recognize when it is not there. Yet, are we careful to show appreciation ourselves? When was the last time you took time to express your appreciation by acknowledging the kindness of someone else with a kind word, a little note of thanks, or a gift of appreciation in return?
A grateful heart will acknowledge the goodwill of others and actively respond.