Date Published: 02 / 9 / 2022 |
What does it mean to trust God?
Is it a feeling? An experience? Does some kind of switch go off in you so you don’t worry anymore? Once you trust God are you able to face the pain of life without being so deeply affected by it?
Trust in God develops as you walk with Him. It can include powerful emotions, but trust is really developed in the normal stuff of life. Year after year you see His hand as you lean into deeper levels of trust. As you see His provision, protection and leadership, you can begin to rest from tirelessly working and worrying to take care of yourself.
What is trusting in God? It really comes down to how you respond to His Word. Have you decided that you will disagree with yourself if God disagrees with you? Have you decided to live and lead your life according to His promises or demands? Or have you decided that you and this modern era have it right? Have you decided that you see what others can’t? Maybe you are willing to hear what God has to say, but you will edit what disagrees with you?
This week we look at Proverbs 3:5-12 to see what it means to actually trust God.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
Trust is explained to us this way: “lean not on your own understanding.” God’s Word becomes central to your understanding of yourself and the world and you set your feet to live it, obey it, and repent when you need to.
Here are 3 steps to trusting God: Pray, Give, Adjust
1.) Pray - Proverbs 3:6-8
6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
7 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.
Invite God into your day, your relationships, your work, your motives, your decisions. Is there somewhere God has spoken here? When we take this route we are told it will be healing and refreshing to your flesh and bones.
2.) Give - Proverbs 3:9-10
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; 10 then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.
Your money is attached to your heart. There is no version of Christianity that does not include your money. Giving money to God’s kingdom is like the ABC’s of Christianity, but is largely left untried by most confessing Christians. This passage tells us our giving should be first fruits. In other words, “off the top” before you buy food, pay a bill, go out to eat, or buy that new TV. In the Old Testament, the Jews gave God the first 10% (tithe) of their crop as a way of worshiping and trusting God. God promised that he would bless their crops and produce when they did this. God promises us the same. Tithing is really just about trusting. I have also found that once a person begins to follow God with their money their hearts open up and spiritual growth ticks up. You will not move ahead spiritually until this is a part of your life that hurts a little bit. Over time giving will be your joy and you will find that God fills in gaps so you don’t really miss it.
3. Adjust - Proverbs 3:11-12
11 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, 12 for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights
As you walk with God you will discover how much you really need Him. To be a Christian is not to grow stronger and stronger in yourself, but rather weaker in yourself and stronger in God. This means God will discipline (think adjustment, discipleship, coaching, correcting not punishment) you when you drift, and when you didn’t even know you were drifting. If you embrace the discipline you will grow in trust knowing that He knows best. If you resist, you will also grow, but God might pull you through a knothole because He wants what is best for you. Whatever you do, don't despise His hand in your life because He reproves those He loves.
As your pastor, I am praying for each of you that you would grow in trust of God so that you might experience His refreshment.
Grace and peace,