Friday, September 30, 2005

# 90: Trust: A Priceless Gem

“Trust in the Lord WITH ALL YOUR HEART and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” [emphasis added] Proverbs 3:5-6.

Trusting in the Lord is the most difficult topic to describe to anyone who is not already experiencing some degree of trust in God, so I imagine this post will be a challenge to write. The best way to convey Godly trust is to put ourselves in the body of an infant being nursed by its mother. That trust comes gradually; the nursing is but the first instance of a trust that becomes strong and abiding. The same contentment can be ours as we nurse on God and His life-giving substance. Godly trust cannot be obtained by any kind of self-imposed magic or hypnotism. Concocted trust, like that of the wild-eyed, imposing zealot one might meet in an airport terminal, is expressed only by words and not by the life, and it can easily be revealed as fraudulent to any person who enjoys genuine child-like trust in God.

Trusting God depends on one’s life of belief; that is the secret ingredient that produces the power to live as Jesus Christ. Trusting God means one is living in a private world (Christ's world) which is controlled by one’s own personal God for the good of all and for His glory. Trust can come (be given by God) through two discreet routes: (1) one desires to trust God, to which God will react; and (2) one perceives the spiritual need to trust God like that little baby. The latter is the best and produces the most results, but is the most difficult to receive or initiate. When a person needs something as opposed to wanting something, they have no choice. Without fulfillment of that need, the results will be detrimental, whereas mere discontent will come from an unfulfilled desire. That’s the fundamental difference between wants and needs.

God loves to give and respond to the kind of trust which is needed as opposed to desired. As confident, accomplished adults, human beings don't relish the prospect of putting ourselves in that position. Adulthood in the modern world trains us to feel that we’d rather trust up to a point and hang on a little to the perceived control of our surroundings and circumstances. The ability to trust in God will be given according to our degree of belief in God. The secret: God penetrates Man’s outward requests with His X-ray vision and always responds to a person’s innermost desires. Looks like everything depends on God and we just seem to play along, doesn’t it? Though He acts through our free will, this is essentially true. Using the exercise from a previous chapter concerning who God has chosen, we look at the trust situation from God's vantage point; He simply knows our free will before we put it into use. That trust comes as we give our all in desiring to do everything that pleases Him—“letting go and letting God,” if you will. The more of our all we give, the more we are able to trust God. Trust is always given only in proportion to one’s belief. If we say we trust God and do little to please Him, our trust is not much more than wishful thinking. I repeat: This trust is reciprocal; it is given only when one is committed to living out Christ’s purpose on Earth to the greatest degree possible. We do not manufacture or personally acquire it as we do for our physician or plumber. Trust in God may be the most valuable attribute that can be received from God.

What does trust in God do for those who are one with God through Christ? Our trusting Him with our whole being, as we allow Jesus Christ to live out His life in our bodies, pleases God more than anything else He does through us. Trusting Him is more pleasing to Jesus than if one gave one’s life to the flames for a holy cause. I mean, dying for a holy cause is quite noble, but it is a rather extreme circumstance. To our loving God, the proof is in the living, not in the dying; however, God receives more glory from one dead holy soldier who died trusting in His cause than millions who live for their own cause in His name. Trust is the essence of Christian life; it opens the flood gates for all of God's precious blessings. As I indicated previously, where would Christ have been without it?

Trust cannot be given to us in a hurried fashion however; it takes time to cultivate. As we truly experience the trust that Christ had in His Father, then and only then, as we are dominated by Christ's Spirit, will our every thought and action be made with certainty. God can do very little, if anything, with someone who believes Him but does not trust Him, since this is neither true trust nor true belief, according to the criteria for belief. The emotions produced when trust in God is present are inexpressible within the confines of human language. The best examples this author can give to describe the positive emotions that trust in God produces are: contentment; peace of mind; the assurance that all will go well no matter what happens; sound sleep; good physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health; a loving and continually joyful disposition in all circumstances; having great expectations from God; and a feeling of power and invincibility since we know God is caring for us. At the same time, there is a lack of many negative emotions such as: fear; worry; stress; hate; jealousy; anxiety; envy; anger; bitterness; regrets of past failures; lack of concern about what others think of us; and lack of needing recognition from man. Having said all that, I still maintain that words generally do a poor job of expressing these emotions. If even half of the above is true, what do you say when someone says to you, "I don't want to become a Christian because I would have to give up too much”? It’s practically laughable.

These emotions are just a derivative—not only of trust in God, but also of His love for us. We must remember: If Biblically sound fundamentals are not practiced in our Christian life, we will never experience these and more life-enriching emotions that result from trusting our Lord Jesus Christ. When the faithless clergy teaches the mastery of these good emotions and the eradication of the bad ones without touching on genuine Christ-like belief and the paramount importance of Jesus Christ in our lives, he not only is barking up the wrong tree but is teaching others to bark where there is no tree at all. This last statement is one of the most important in this complete blog. Maybe the lack of real trust in God is the reason why many "Christians" live the way they do. I believe this is also the reason why atheists laugh at us when we approach them. They say, "No thanks; my god comes in green. I can find him in my pocket when I need him. You can preach your poker-faced, phony-baloney religion elsewhere." This author echoes their sentiment. It is better to be a skeptic than a fool.

I said that trusting one’s life to God would be difficult to write about. Trust does not come easily in this world or in the spiritual realm. It is like trying to explain the birds and the bees to a six-year-old. They can write down what you say and memorize it, but they won’t have any idea what you are talking about until they reach adolescence and can comprehend it. Trusting in God is putting the whole matter in someone else’s hands. You are completely out of the picture in terms of having any control of life’s situation. That can be scary. Trust is frightening unless one intimately knows the one they are putting his/her trust in. No one can even begin to know God unless and until He reveals Himself to that person; God won’t reveal Himself to anyone who does not desire to live a pure, holy and loving life. Here we get back to the fundamentals of living a Christian life, and why developing trust in God takes time; one has to get to know Him first. If a person’s life is not balanced—without compromise or concessions in all aspects—it just won’t work. Let me say at this time (as sort of a personal testimony) that he greatest treasure I have received from God is the gift of being able to trust my complete life to my precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. You see, when I use the words “complete life,” it doesn't mean that I can't trust Him in a more complete way tomorrow. With His permission, I will trust more completely tomorrow because my understanding, my awareness, and my very essence grow and change the more and the longer I know Him. Trust is the necessary ingredient which produces the power that makes obedience to God come easily. Trust, like many other aspects of the Christian life, is self-propagating; or rather, it is God-propagated. In any case, the result is the same: Trust breeds more trust. Christ-like belief in God, in order to be valid, will always have a corresponding amount of trust and obedience. As Jesus Christ was armed with these two spiritual instruments of God, what was there that the Father could not do through His only Son? Absolutely nothing. The same is true of us (His brothers and sisters). When we believe and trust as Jesus did, what is there that the Father cannot do through us? Absolutely nothing! Read Philippians 4:13. So be it. Amen and Amen. Let it be the will of God to arrange our lives in such a way that we will need to trust God with our all. It won't come easily, cheaply, or quickly, but with Christ as our only example, God will give us that trust to the degree that our need-to-trust cavity makes room, using the vernacular, "If you don't got it, you better get it." God loves us like no other. We are important and valuable to Him beyond words. Our personal God has only us to trust Him. What else can He say to us?

Please note: Many times in this blog, I mention, as does the New Testament, that Jesus Christ is the Christian’s only example. Now, this does not mean that we can’t marry or have children or have a home, or that we have to die on a cross. What the Bible and I mean is that He is our example as to how to believe, trust, obey, love and all the other attributes that He displayed in His life.

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