“Do Not…” This is  the second command in the verse, the first being “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart. That means to “cling to,” HIM. The word “Trust,” means  as a servant lay’s face down prostrate before a master. It speaks of entire and exclusive trust In Him. This is the positive command. No plan”B!” The second command “Do Not…” is the negative command. Both are mutually opposed. To trust in the LORD with all of your heart is to not trust in your own understanding, or vice versa!

“LEAN” -{ shāʿan } It’s a verb “to lean on” something or someone. Self sufficiency is ultimately a weak support system and foolishness in light of the alternative, THE LORD!

Why should we NOT lean to our own understanding?

  • Because… We cannot Guide our life;

“I know, O LORD, that a man’s way is not in himself, Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.  “-{Jer 10:23}

  • Because…We Cannot Trust Ourselves;

“The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?”-{Jer 17;9}

  • Because…We are Evil;

“… the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. “-{Luke 6;45}

  • Because…We have minds that are Darkened, closed minds, we can’t spiritually see;

“Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. “-{Eph 4:18 NLT}

  • Because…We are Deficient in Wisdom…

“If any of you lacks wisdom, …” – {James 1:5}. The word “lacks” speaks of “deficient,”

This is the condition of every person apart from the SAVING WORK of the LORD Jesus. But now “In Christ,” we can RENEW our mind and begin to have the mind changed to see things from His perspective as revealed in His Word, by the power and illumination of the Holy Spirit in His Word. -{John 16:13}.We can think differently and behave differently doing right from HIS perspective. -{Read om 12:2, Phil 4:8-9}.

To “LEAN” was used of … Saul… who leaned on his spear. {2 Samuel 1:6}; It is used of Samson who leaned on the pillars for support. “Then Samson said to the boy who was holding his hand, “Let me feel the pillars on which the house rests, that I may lean against them.”-{Judges 16:26}; The word is also used of kings who they leaned on for advice, support, security!

 This meaning led to the common usage of this verb as a figurative idea of “relying on” someone for help.

Kings had a close aid or officer to “lean on” or accompany them and give advice, help and even protection (2 Ki. 5:187:217). The idea of having a sense of security and support is found in Job 24:22-23. “But God drags away the mighty by His power;  though they become established, they have no assurance of life. He may let them rest in a feeling of security, but his eyes are on their ways.

The word was used to help, support; “The royal officer on whose hand the king was leaning answered the man of God   “- {2 Kings 7:2}. A person can trust in their house (8:15). Abraham told the three angels to rest or recline under the tree, using this verb “lean”- (Gen. 18:4).  Judah trusted and leaned on Egypt who were the wrong source, leaning on them was the wrong source to trust, lean upon  like a staff and having it break like a reed and hurt them (Ezek. 29:7).”

Leaning on, is to trust, rely on yourself for support, security, protection, help. It is to falsely believe you are sufficient, to the exclusion of the LORD! 

Your resources, your intellect, your strength,your abilities, you are leaning on self sufficiency. It is to refuse to “acknowledge Him” as LORD, rightful Sovereign King, Owner and deserving of willing loving submission, and glad service to Him and for Him. We are told to “Serve the LORD with gladness.” But when you rebel, for it is rebellion against the LORD, and instead choosing to lean,rely upon, trust in your own understanding. Verse 7 says it is to “be wise in your own eyes.” It is PRIDE!


JOSHUA leaned to his own understanding…in Joshua 9 he made a treaty with a people who had lied and deceived him and what was the root of the problem? “… The Israelite’s sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord. Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath“-{Joshua 9:14-15}. They “leaned” to their own understanding, “… they did not inquire of the LORD!”

LOT also leaned to his own understanding and did not consult nor trust the Lord, “Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere—this was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah—like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go to Zoar. So Lot chose for himself all the valley of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed eastward. “-{Genesis 13:10-11}. He looked and took it, never consulting the Lord and ended up where we read  “…righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men  (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds),“-{2 Peter 2;7-8}, His soul was tormented daily. He leaned to his own understanding and suffered for it!

And what of ADAM and EVE?  When tempted they chose to lean to their own understanding and suffered been put out of the garden and forfeiting the sweet relationship with the Lord when they chose to succumb to temptation. Compare them to JESUS when tempted replied,” It is written…it is written…it is written…”-{Matt 4:4-10} . The LORD shows us to trust The FATHER WHEN TEMPTED…TRUST THE LORD!

In John 6:1-6, THE DISCIPLES leaned to their own understanding when JESUS wanted to feed the multitudes. The first disciple said eight months wages was not enough he said. He looked at the situation and concluded they could not be fed. The second disciple was bit more optimistic, and said he had a few fish and loaves but then he concludes, “But what is that for so many?” He concluded it couldn’t be done. his is what we do when we lean to our own understanding we look at a situation and what we conclude we trust, rely upon, rest in as the final authority. We trust ourselves as the wisest and the final authority, We play “God!”

Both of them were in the presence of the LORD and had in the past seen Him do miracle after miracle. yet they did not relate it to Him and trust Him. In John 6:6 Jesus says “He tested them for He Himself KNEW what HE was going to do!” And HE ended up having all the people fed and they were all “satisfied.” He had the disciples assist them, co labor with Him.  He always knows what he is going to do in every test we encounter. Don’t forget Him. Don’t forget who He is. Don’t forget what He has done in the past. Don’t forget He always knows what He is going to do! TRUST HIM!

Leaning to our own understanding is foolish for it rejects the LORD -{Jehovah}. He is revealed as Creator God,-{Gen  2:4 }; Providing One, -{Gen 22:14 }; Self-Existing One – {Exodus 3:15 }; Promise Keeping One -{Deut 7;9}; {Sovereign One, -{Ish 46:9}; Unchanging One -{Mal 3:6}. To Trust in the LORD we need to know Him and His character as revealed in His Word. It is imperative you know who you are trusting and and what He is like. God has supplied His Spirit to “guide us into all truth.”-{John 16;13}.

How Do You Stop Leaning, trusting in your Own understanding?

OBEY His Commands-now!

 RENEW YOUR MIND- with His Word.Choose to  get to know Him from His Word. take the above verses on the LORD… read them…. pick one or two and red and re-red and memorize, mediate upon and as you hide in your mind, the Holy Spirit can recall to strengthen your faith in time of testing or temptation to fall back and lean on your own inadequate of self-sufficiency, in reality it is self deficiency! 

TRUST HIM... the more you come to know Him the more you come to Trust him as you have personal history of His faithfulness. Read His Word and let the Holy Spirit strengthen you through His Word!

God tells us to stop relying upon our self, why? Because He knows in His Wisdom we were not made self sufficient but to be dependent upon Him and His limitless resources for us.



Is Detrimental to yourself, others, Dishonors the LORD, it is Disobedience – sin! It is Deception!

DO NOT do this anymore. STOP IT!

Rather trust, Keep Trusting in the LORD with all of your heart!

That is the safe and wisest decisions to continually makes, it Honors HIM! 


For some believers the difficulty is we revert back to old habit patterns when under pressure… trusting ourselves, we have to put off that thinking and replace it with His thinking and promises such as “I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me… Through his DIVINE POWER He has given us EVERYTHING pertaining to life and Godliness… and precious and magnificent promises” to encourage, enable, help us -{Read Phil 4:13; 2 Peter 1:3-4}

” 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.  “-{Proverbs 3;5-6}.