Over the past several months the Lord has been showing me just how little I actually trust Him. Oh sure enough, I would say I trust Him, and at the time my words appeared quite genuine, but when crises arose and when hardship arrived, I would wilt. I would wonder if He really was going to come through for me. However, once I would bury my face in His Word (reminding myself of the truth) and pray, I would eventually find relief. I prayed earnestly for comfort and answers and release from the situation and especially, the troublesome worry.
But is that the journey of faith the Lord has called me to? That’s a cycle of fret, not faith. And dear one, I am not alone in this, am I? So many are struggling with this same approach to trust in God. Just look at the titles of Christian books today. Christianity has become about us, and not so subtly, less about the Holiness of God.
Through a combination of tough situations, the life stories and messages from radical saints who lived long ago and most importantly, God’s good Word, the Lord is changing the way I view Him. He’s changing my orientation. I’m definitely still in the clarifying process, but I cannot begin to describe the change in my thinking. What release from the bondage of seeing God as a utilitarian prescription to fix what ails me! God does not exist to serve us, we exist to serve and worship Him! And that simple, yet profound truth radically aligns the focus on God and the focus off of us—thus we are free to worship God in Spirit and in truth!
Utilitarianism is the belief that the value of a thing (in this case, God) or an action is determined by its utility (the quality or condition of being useful; usefulness). In this order of things, the value of God is determined by how useful He is to us or how adequately He provides for us or meets our needs or answers our prayers. Is God useful to us? This is God as a cosmic gumball machine. Insert prayer, get answer. And if we don’t like the flavor of His answer, then what is the result? Disappointment with God and greater distrust in His character.
This orientation began to slip into my thinking—which is not difficult to do in our postmodern culture. In my mind, I held God in an orbit around me, around my desires and needs. I prayed “He” would come through “for” me. Such is the orientation that places God around man. That’s like saying the sun orbits around earth. That’s simply not true. Nor is it true that God is here to serve us. Banish the thought! O yes, He deeply loves His children and takes care of them, but not because He is obligated as a servant to do so. God does so out of His perfect love as our Father—because He is unwaveringly consistent with His glorious nature. And that’s just skimming the surface of Who He is.
As our Father, we can trust Him in every situation and circumstance that tests our faith, just as it says in 1 Peter…
6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:6-9 (New International Version)
Are you out of work? Do you only have $3.33 left in your checking account with bills remaining? Are you in circumstances that test you beyond your capabilities? Rejoice! Again I say Rejoice! “These have come so that your faith…” Do you see? The real answer is not a job, as wonderful as that might be, but the real answer is your faith is being testing which will “result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” And the real answer is that God is in it for His glory!
So in any trial, or hardship, no matter how intense or painful, we can trust God! Because He is completely trustworthy, we can trust Him. We can look life in the face and say, “Yet, I will trust in God!”
I wonder what would happen in America if God’s people would trust Him with all their heart, all their mind and all their strength? What would happen in the Church if we would forsake Unitarianism and humanism and turn again to trust God with all the trust He is worthy of? May it be so in my life, today and as long as I have breath.
O that we might know the great joy our trust gives our Papa, the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY! ALL glory to GOD!
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