Prov. 3:5 Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear Jehovah…
Jer. 17:7-8 Blessed is the man who trusts in Jehovah and whose trust Jehovah is. And he will be like a tree…, which sends out its roots by a stream,… and it will not be anxious in the year of drought and will not cease to bear fruit.
To revere God is also to trust in Him. Proverbs 3:5-8 charges us to trust in Jehovah with all our heart and not to rely on our own understanding. In all our ways we should acknowledge Him, and He will make our paths straight. We should not be wise in our own eyes; we should fear Jehovah and depart from evil. This will be healing to our body and refreshment to our bones.
In my frequent travels by airplane, many times Satan has threatened me within by saying that my plane would crash. At those times I spoke to the Lord, saying, “Lord, I am not in a plane; I am in You. You are my plane.” This is to trust in the Lord.
According to 3:26, Jehovah will be our confidence, and He will keep our foot from being caught. Every word of God is tried; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. We should not add to His words, lest He reprove us and we be found a liar (30:5-6). We must not change His word by adding something to it according to our point of view. (Life-study of Proverbs, pp. 8-9)
According to God’s economy, the one who trusts in God is like a tree planted by water, signifying God as the fountain of living waters (Jer. 2:13a). A tree grows beside a river by absorbing all the riches of the water. This is a picture of God’s economy, which is carried out by His dispensing. In order to receive the divine dispensing, we as the trees must absorb God as the water (cf. 1 Cor. 3:6). The riches of the supplying God dispensed into us as the trees constitute us with God’s divinity and cause us to grow into God’s measure (Col. 2:19). In this way we and God become one, having the same element, essence, constitution, and appearance (Rev. 4:3; 21:11). (Jer. 17:8, footnote 1)
We must make a distinction between reverence and godliness. God’s people in the Old Testament revered Him, but in the New Testament His people have a godly living. With respect to the living God, man should have reverence, but with respect to the God of resurrection, man should express godliness. In the Old Testament God was manifested as the living God; hence, His people needed to revere Him. In the New Testament God is manifested as the God of resurrection; hence, the New Testament believers need godliness…. As God’s New Testament people, we need not only reverence but also godliness. This means that in our living we should not only express the living God but also the God of resurrection.
To revere God is to deal with sin, the flesh, and the world in our living. To be godly is not only to have the absence of sin, the flesh, and the world but to be mingled with and to express God. Some believers revere God, but others possess godliness. Such believers do not exhibit sin, the flesh, or the world. On the contrary, they exhibit something mysterious, something that is both man and God. This is God being manifested in man. This is godliness.
The apostle Paul says, “Exercise yourself unto godliness” (1 Tim. 4:7). This means that, on the one hand, we should revere God and not touch sin, the flesh, or the world. On the other hand, we should follow God and express Him in our living. If God does not move, neither should we. We should move only when God moves. This is a great lesson that needs much learning and exercise. (CWWL, 1957, vol. 3, “The Living God and the God of Resurrection,” pp. 28, 30)
Further Reading: CWWL, 1957, vol. 3, “The Living God and the God of Resurrection,” chs. 1, 4; Life-study of Proverbs, msgs. 3, 5; CWWL, 1932-1949, vol. 2, pp. 5-6