Posts Tagged ‘ trust ’

June 18, 2017

June 18, 2017

PSALM 26-31

Focus Verse: But I trust in you, Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hands;
deliver me from the hands of my enemies,
from those who pursue me.
Let your face shine on your servant;
save me in your unfailing love.
Psalm 31:14-16

 

Do you trust in the Lord? I know that all of us will say yes, but do you really trust in the Lord? How do you answer that question when things aren’t going so well? When your being attacked on all fronts? Do you still trust in the Lord?

 

David’s answer is ‘yes’. And I love that he follows it up with “My times are in your hands”. What a statement of trust. My times are in Your hands God, the good times, the bad times, the times it’s a breeze and the times I don’t think I’m going to be able to make it through. ALL of my times are in Your hands.

 

And how can David have that kind of trust? Because he has experienced God’s unfailing love. He has felt the face of God shine upon him. He has a relationship with his God. So whether he is delivered from his enemies or not, his trust in God won’t fail. David’s earthly victory has nothing to do with his Father’s love for him.

 

You earthly success or failures have nothing to do with how much God loves you. I can’t tell you why you are going through the trials you’re facing, but I can tell you that if you keep your trust in God, He promises to make these trials work out for your good, whether that’s on this side of eternity or the other.

 

You can trust in His love. It will never fail.

June 4, 2017

June 4, 2017

JOB 11-13

Focus Verse: “Though He slay me,
I will hope in Him.
Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him.
Job 13:15

 

This is my favorite Bible verse. There is no better statement to God of complete trust than this. This is my prayer every day, that my attitude would be like Job’s here in this verse.

 

“Though He slay me” says that I have decided to follow Jesus. It says that I will follow Him whether He leads me to incredible success or miserable failure. I will follow Him to the Promised Land, whether that road is easy and joyful, or whether it’s marked with suffering and takes all my life to get there. I will follow Him even if there is no hope of a Promised Land, because HE is my hope. Nothing more. Nothing less.

 

“I will hope in Him” tells me that. That I don’t need anything or anyone other than God. That He is my prize. That nothing else compares. If this world holds nothing else for me except the cross of Jesus Christ that is enough. I don’t serve Him for eternal life, I don’t serve Him for His blessings. I serve my God because He alone is worthy.

 

He is worthy when life is good. He is worthy when life is hard. God never stops being worthy and He never will. “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.”

April 23, 2017

April 23, 2017

2 KINGS 6-8

Focus Verse: Now the king was talking with Gehazi, the servant of the man of God, saying, “Please relate to me all the great things that Elisha has done.” As he was relating to the king how he had restored to life the one who was dead, behold, the woman whose son he had restored to life appealed to the king for her house and for her field. And Gehazi said, “My lord, O king, this is the woman and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life.” When the king asked the woman, she related it to him. So the king appointed for her a certain officer, saying, “Restore all that was hers and all the produce of the field from the day that she left the land even until now.”
2 Kings 8:4-6

 

God’s timing is perfect. Coincidence just doesn’t even begin to explain God’s timing. When you and I walk in the will of God, completely submitted to His will, not ours, then He will get us right where we need to be, right when we need to be there. In God’s will, we are always in the right place at the right time. But you have to be in His will.

 

The part of this story that isn’t told in these verses, but comes a little bit before this in chapter 8 is how the Shunammite woman uprooted her entire family and moved to the land of the Philistines because God told her. Keep in mind, there were no moving trucks (or camels) back then. It was nowhere near as easy to move back then as it is today (and anyone who has moved recently is a bit miffed that I called moving easy). Now add to that the fact that God was asking this woman to move in with the Philistines…a group that would have hated her for even being associated with anything Israel.

 

She would have been an outcast in the land of the Philistines, and if she ever came back, her people wouldn’t look too kindly on her abandoning their nation to go live with the enemy during their time of trouble. But she went anyway. Simply because God said so.

 

Sometimes we need to stop with the pros and cons lists and just obey because God said so…and actually, sometimes is just to be polite. So let me be real. ALWAYS we need to stop with the pros and cons lists and obey because God said so. Trust HIM! He has already measured out a much more exhaustive pros and cons list for you (and the rest of humanity for that matter) and has determined that following Him is what is best for you.

 

Stick with Him. He will get you where you need to be. It won’t always be where you want to be, but it will always be where you need to be.

March 25, 2017

March 25, 2017

JUDGES 19-21

Focus Verse: The sons of Israel went up and wept before the Lord until evening, and inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall we again draw near for battle against the sons of my brother Benjamin?” And the Lord said, “Go up against him.” Then the sons of Israel came against the sons of Benjamin the second day. Benjamin went out against them from Gibeah the second day and felled to the ground again 18,000 men of the sons of Israel; all these drew the sword.
Judges 20:23-25

 

Let’s be real honest here…this would be enough for most of us today to turn away from the faith. That’s how deeply we are influenced by “the prosperity gospel” in America. Even those of us who will reject the basic idea of any kind of “name it and claim it” theology, we still don’t like the idea that God let’s bad things happen to those who follow Him. That is the main reason why so many major denominations believe in a pre-tribulation rapture.

 

The problem is, this viewpoint simply is not biblical. I know it’s a PR nightmare for God (but since when did He hire us to be His public relations department), but sometimes God sends us into a battle He fully intends us to lose. The proof is right here. The proof is in Paul getting beaten within an inch of his life and thrown into prison. The proof is in almost all of Jesus’ disciples being martyred for their faith.

 

God’s not interested in the battle; He is interested in the war. And He has already won that! Israel goes up against the tribe of Benjamin (who had let themselves become the moral equivalent of Sodom and Gomorrah) twice after the Lord commands them, and they get destroyed both times. It’s not like there was even a moral victory to be had here. They didn’t have two really close calls and then decide to give it one more try. They got the snot kicked out of them twice!

 

But because God said so, they just kept at it. And the third time was the charm.

 

So what has God told you? That you will have a baby? That you will be healed? That you will have financial freedom? That your marriage will be redeemed?

 

If God has spoken victory over that war in your life, then it doesn’t matter how many battles you lose. It doesn’t matter how many times you get the snot kicked out of you. It doesn’t matter how dismal the future looks. HE has won the war. Keep fighting.

March 16, 2017

March 16, 2017

JOSHUA 19-21

Focus Verse: “So the Lord gave Israel all the land which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they possessed it and lived in it. And the Lord gave them rest on every side, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers, and no one of all their enemies stood before them; the Lord gave all their enemies into their hand. Not one of the good promises which the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass.”
Joshua 21:43-45

 

This promise still stands. God’s record is still 100%. In baseball, He is batting a thousand (1.000 for those of you keeping book). I can’t tell you how badly I personally needed reminded of this promise this morning. The promise of all the promises. God NEVER fails. He never failed Israel and He will never fail you and me.

 

What promise do you need to stand on today? I need to stand on the promise that God will never leave me nor forsake me. I get so focused on what is going on around me and how the situation looks like I am on my own…but that’s a lie. God’s promise says otherwise and this promise says not one of His good promises has failed.

 

So I’ll ask again (and I would love for you to respond in the comments section), what promise do you need to stand on today?

March 4, 2017

March 4, 2017

DEUTERONOMY 14-16

Focus Verse: “You must set aside a tithe of your crops—one-tenth of all the crops you harvest each year. Bring this tithe to the designated place of worship—the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored—and eat it there in his presence. This applies to your tithes of grain, new wine, olive oil, and the firstborn males of your flocks and herds. Doing this will teach you always to fear the Lord your God.”
Deuteronomy 14:22-23

 

I firmly believe this is why we’ve seen a drift in the church in America. I’m also allowed to preach on this without any fear because none of you are paying me a tithe. But how pathetic is that statement? Preachers across the nation have to weigh whether or not a sermon on tithing will be beneficial to their congregation or cause them to shut their pocketbooks and pull their tithe because they don’t like what they’re hearing.

But the Church isn’t a business. You don’t get to keep your money because you don’t like a part of the service. The whole point of the tithe is that the money isn’t yours in the first place. I should also add, preachers shouldn’t be weighing anything that they preach. If God’s told you to preach it, you preach. If God hasn’t told you to preach it, why are you messing around with that? You think God’s people will grow more from a message you came up with? Show me one example of a popular prophet in the Bible. We need to get away from the idea that we get to follow Jesus and be super popular.

But back to the main issue at hand; when we start holding back our tithe from God we lose far more than 10% of our income. First of all, we begin to lose our trust in God. And when we stop trusting God to provide for us, then all of our possessions become things that we’ve earned and pride creeps in. It’s a vicious cycle. When you’ve earned your wealth it becomes so much harder to give away. Your pride won’t let you because it belongs to you, you’ve worked hard for it, why should you give it away to someone who hasn’t worked as hard as you have? And once our possessions become things that we’ve earned, why can’t we work hard and earn everything else…like salvation.

Ultimately, we lose our fear of God when we stop trusting Him. It’s not that there is something magical about our tithe, but it is the ultimate show of trust in God. Do you trust Him with your livelihood? Do you trust Him to provide for you daily? Do you believe He is the God who provided manna in the desert for the Israelites every day? Or do you believe you can do more with that 10% of your income than He can?

Put your money where your faith is.

February 17, 2017

February 17, 2017

NUMBERS 14-15

Focus Verse: “Then they got up early the next morning and went to the top of the range of hills. ‘Let’s go,’ they said. ‘We realize that we have sinned, but now we are ready to enter the land the Lord has promised us.’

But Moses said, ‘Why are you now disobeying the Lord’s orders to return to the wilderness? It won’t work. Do not go up into the land now. You will only be crushed by your enemies because the Lord is not with you. When you face the Amalekites and Canaanites in battle, you will be slaughtered. The Lord will abandon you because you have abandoned the Lord.”

Numbers 14:40-43

 

Delayed obedience is disobedience. Disobedience is also disobedience. And somehow the Israelites manage to pull both of those off in one shot here. The Israelites are right on the cusp of the Promised Land…close enough to actually touch it! But, again, they take their eyes off of God and put them on the situation.

Their problem becomes bigger than their faith in God, and they decide to give up. The scary thing is…God lets them. He doesn’t plead with them to take His promise. He says, “Fine. Then turn around and go back to the wilderness.” He banishes them to forty years of wilderness wandering, until all of the Israelites older than twenty years dies. Clearly the Promised Land is better than that! So they try to take it any way.

They take the battle on themselves. God wasn’t big enough to do it, but now, all of a sudden, they are? Well they aren’t. They get slaughtered by the Amalekites and Canaanites.

I wonder how many times we do this. God has promised us or called us to do something for Him, but it looks too big for us. That’s the whole point though! He wants it to be too big for us. Then we can’t take credit for it! But too many times we are too afraid to take that step. So God moves on. But we don’t want that either! So we grab for what was once promised to us. Only thing is…is not ours. It never was.

We want God on our terms. We want His promises on our terms. It’s not fair that we should have to give up family time for that. It’s not fair that someone got that promotion instead of me. I’ve paid my dues. I’ve waited patiently on Him. I deserve for this to be a cakewalk…not for there to be giants standing in between me and what God has promised me! I shouldn’t have to work for this!

And believe it or not, God is ok with that attitude. You just can’t expect Him to do any of the fighting for you anymore.

The Israelites found that out the hard way. Let’s learn from their mistakes.