Recently some challenges have come in our ministry that have been a wake-up call for me. And what these situations have “awakened me to” is the reality of where I’ve been placing my trust. I like to say that my trust is in God, and God alone. And not only do I like to say it, but I like to preach on it as well. However, as these recent situations have shown me - I might SAY my trust is in God, but the reality of how I’ve been operating is that my trust has been spread between God and other people - and other things - and finances - and my own ability to get things done.
The problem with living this way is that it’s not what God wants for me - or for any of His children. Proverbs 3:5 makes this clear as it tells us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not depend on your own understanding.”
It’s a very familiar passage for me, but it never fails to be an encouragement and reminder when I forget to actually live out the truth that God wants me to trust Him fully. Like all good relationships, the one we have with God needs to be build on trust. And while that seems like a fairly straightforward statement, it's a truth I think we can all easily forget as we get caught up in the fast-paced activities of life. So it's good to be reminded of what God's telling us in this simple truth.
According to Webster’s dictionary, the word “trust” is a noun which is defined as, “a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something”. So, as Christians, we are to “firmly believe in the reliability, truth, ability, and strength” of God, and of ALL that He says He can and will do. And what has He said He can and will do? Well, the list is really long, but some of the things I was reminded of recently are: He says He will forgive us for our sins, no matter what they are. He says He will give us a future and a hope. He says He will never leave us. He says He will give us wisdom and direction. And He says He will give us all that we need to live for Him - and to do what He’s called us to do. So when we’re feeling challenged and overwhelmed and discouraged by life, one of the first things we need to do is trust Him. We need to take all that we’ve heard, and all that we know about God, and “firmly believe” that it’s true.
But that’s only the first step, because the writer of Proverbs 3 doesn’t stop there. Instead, he goes on and gives us an adjective that describes HOW we are to trust God - telling us we are to trust Him with our “whole hearts”. In other words, we don’t trust Him partially, we trust Him completely. That means we don’t trust God to save us from some of our sins, but not from others - we trust Him to save us from ALL our sins, no matter what they are. And likewise, we don’t trust God for some of our needs - we trust Him for ALL of them.
Christian author CS Lewis described what this looks like when he wrote, “To trust God wholeheartedly is to be pure of heart - to fully commit our hearts to one, singular thing - and that one singular thing is God Himself.” To “trust God with our whole hearts” is to trust in Him, and Him alone. So it’s NOT trusting God for some stuff - and then mixing in a little trust in our own abilities - or our own righteousness - or our own resources - or other people and their resources. Instead, it’s believing that God alone is all we need in life - and if everything else were to be stripped away, we would still be okay because we would still have God.
So today, let’s ask God to help us do that. Let’s ask Him to remind us of all He’s promised us - and then let's take those promises and hold to them no matter what. Let’s give our hearts fully and completely to the only One who can truly and completely save us from our sins, and provide for all that we need.