However, the passage I came across this morning counsels otherwise. While considering my choices, I thought of Jer. 17:9: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" God seemed to be striking out the choice of relying on my instincts.
Then, it occurred to me that I had never read the passage around this well known verse. I soon found the first verse had some very strong language. "Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord" (Jer. 17:5). Whoa, there goes my second option of relying on other's advice! It was if God was saying to me, that people will fail me. Listening to others is important, but God showed me another choice.
"7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. 8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit" (Jer. 17:7-8).
The last verse in the passage reminded me why trusting the Lord supersedes all other choices. "O Lord, the hope of Israel... the fountain of living waters" (Jer. 17:13). God is the ever living water that plants the tree of our lives. When we anchor ourselves in Him as by a river, then it will not matter when trials of heat come because His strength keeps us from despair. Our leaf will remain green. Through Him, we can continue to yield fruit. Why use a substitute when He is a living hope.