Trusting in God

9 04 2009

“All I have seen teaches me to trust in the Creator for all I have not seen.”
R.W. Emerson

TRUST IS DANGEROUS

Trust is a dangerous thing. It means placing our welfare, our wellbeing, in the hands of another. Therefore, trust is only as safe as the thing or person we’re trusting in.

We must make the choice of whether to trust God or not. Indecision will cripple us and keep us bound in a prison of hopelessness. If you have a hard time trusting God for the future you can look to the past and gain strength.

If the person or thing has demonstrated trustworthiness in the past, we are comfortable trusting him or it for the future. If the person or thing has not demonstrated trustworthiness in the past, we are not comfortable trusting him or it in the future. It is as simple as that.

On a side note I recently read a book titled The Present by Spencer Johnson, an absolutly wonderful book. I would recommend that you read it. I will not divulge the secret of the book here but I will just recommend that you read this book. 

KING SOLOMON

In Proverbs Solomon spends much of the time telling us the reults of wisdom and the results of foolishness. When we see how consistently foolishness produces pain and how consistently wisdom produces joy, there is every reason to trust God and follow his principles of wisdom in life.

When we have a healthy view of the fool and his foolishness we can clearly see that foolish living will only bring us pain and suffering, ultimately it will bring death to our life if we follow it.

THE EXAMPLE OF A CAR

Our trust in God is simply the same type of trust that we give to several other things in life every day. Let me give you an example:

Everyday I travel in my car, sometimes at speeds of 70 mph on the highways. This is a deadly thing to do given the statistics of people dying everyday in car accidents. Yet, I trust my car with my life. I trust in it’s power to get me where I need to go, I trust in the streering wheel to direct my car down the winding roads, and I trust in it’s brakes to stop me when I have an emergency.

Now some of you may read this and say my car is a piece of junk, I don’t trust it as far as I can throw it. To that I would ask, why do you not trust it?

I know your answer already. “because it is a piece of junk and has let me down before.” That is how we base our trust in God as well. We can see a great cloud of witnesses all around us that give us great reason to trust in God. The reason your car is not very dependable is either because it is old and time to be replaced, or it has not been treated in a good manner.

God never grows old and weary, and his hand is never too short to reach down and save us. But, we have to trust him to receive it.

AN EXERCISE IN FAITH

Grab a piece of paper, a pen, and plan on spending about 10-15 minutes on this exercise. Now don’t hit your back button already. This will be the most encouraging 15 minutes you can spend.

Find a quiet place where you can think without being disturbed. Answer the following three questions after thinking on them for a few minutes each. Don’t rush through it.

1. Think back to your earliest memory of God in your life. Maybe a sunday school class when you were a kid or maybe even a church when you were 21. Just think about your first encounter with God. Go back to your childhood and try to see a place where you heard about God. Write down as much detail as you can about this first encounter.

2. Think over your whole life and find 2-3 situations where God answered a prayer for you. Descibe as much detail about the answers as you can.

3. Think over your whole life and find 2-3 times where God did NOT answer your prayers. Try and find prayers that cannot be answered anymore. You want things that have no chance of being answered anymore. Be careful as you think about situations. Try and list other things that could have stopped your prayer from being answered.

CONCLUSION

Most people will wonder why I would ask someone to try and find 2-3 things that God has not done for them. Well, this challenges our mind to think. This kind of thinking usually helps us take a good look at why we feel the way we do about God. It helps us identify things that have happened in our life that has caused our faith to lessen.

If we look hard at these things we will most likely see something or someone that failed us rather than God failing us. But we must look at them from a clear vantage point. If we are still in the midst of the emotions tied to them our thinking is skewed.

People can hold onto prayers they did not feel were answered by God for a long time. This leads to our faith growing stagnant and weak. King David encouraged himself in the Lord. He knew what God had done in the past for him and this helped him trust God for the future. If God had worked in his life before than surely God would do it again.

1 Samuel 30:6
And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.

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Related Articles: Remembering the Past to Build a Future

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Let Me Grow – Re-Published

4 04 2009

I wrote this article in February of 2007. I was reading it again today and it brought tears to my eyes again just as it did the day I wrote it. I was not mearly writing this article from my own intellect but I know God was speaking directly to me the day I wrote this. I decided to re-publish it again in hopes that it will bless someone else.

Read the rest of this entry »





Take a Refreshing Bath

26 03 2009

Remind the people to respect the government and be law-abiding, always ready to lend a helping hand. No insults, no fights. God’s people should be bighearted and courteous.

It wasn’t so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God’s gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there’s more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this.

I want you to put your foot down. Take a firm stand on these matters so that those who have put their trust in God will concentrate on the essentials that are good for everyone. Stay away from mindless, pointless quarreling over genealogies and fine print in the law code. That gets you nowhere. Warn a quarrelsome person once or twice, but then be done with him. It’s obvious that such a person is out of line, rebellious against God. By persisting in divisiveness he cuts himself off.

—-

Titus 3:1-11 teaches us several things. I pasted it above so you would be able to read in context what I am thinking about this morning.

Taking a shower or a bath is always refreshing after it has been a while since our last one. I would say that I get a washed and renewed feeling out of each shower I take.

God washes and renews us through his spirit and pours out life generously. He restores our relationship with Him and gives us life more abundantly.

I want to take the caution also delivered in this passage. Arguing and debating over pointless fine print never accomplishes anything good. I have been that quarrelsome person at times, but it has never gotten me anywhere.

By persisting in divisiveness we can cut ourselves off. What exactly do we cut ourselves off from? Maybe from Gods refreshing and renewing. Maybe from our restored relationship with God. Maybe from our renewed life in Christ.

My prayer today is this. God help me to be washed and renewed by your Spirit. Let my mind be fixed on you Lord. Restore my relationship with you and deliver me from evil. Help my attitude and speech to always be in line with yours. Keep my feet walking down the right road.





Who Do You Claim To Be? Part 2

11 03 2009

The “If You Are” Trap:

Some fall into the “If you are” trap. What I mean by this is when you are confronted with this question your gut reaction is to defend yourself.

If you are a son or daughter of God then satan will try to make you doubt this. He does this using the “If you are…” trap. If you are really a Christian then prove it. Turn stones to bread or do some other spectacular miracle. He pressures you by using the same teqnique he used on Jesus. In other words prove to satan that you are spiritual.

Many Christians get tricked into trying to prove they are spiritual rather than just standing justified before God by their faith. They fear the big “IF” question and then react.

Simply standing in grace makes you less vulnerable to temptation. The moment you begin to give place to doubt, pride will step in and take over. You will begin to say things like: I know I am a Christian because I do this, or I do that.

What WE do will never make us a Christian. For this is where the law failed. Only one person has ever been able to keep ALL the law and He died on a tree. You will be tempted, you will fail him, and you will fall. These things are sure. But when you fall will you fall at the cross, or will the cross fall on you?

Have faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross. It is the power to set you free.

Ephesians 2:8-10 (KJV)

8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.





Who Do You Claim To Be? Part 1

11 03 2009

When you ask yourself “Who am I?” what answer do you get? Some will answer I am a bank teller or a sales clerk. Others will say I am an athlete or maybe even a superstar. How you view yourself says volumes to the world around you, and if we are not careful our view of ourself can fall into pride.

It is said of Mohammed Ali that he got the title “The Greatest” by proclaiming himself as “The Greatest”. However, just because someone claims something doesn’t always mean that it is true.

Gaining a true understanding of yourself can only happen when you are open and honest with yourself. When you look into the mirror each morning and see a hair out of place you stop and fix it. So, you should also stop when you see something out of place in your life and take the time to correct it.

Jesus took the humble road in life. Even though he had every right to boldly proclaim he was great He chose rather to let His Heavenly Father speak on his behalf. We see one example of this in Matthew 3:16-17.

16As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

It was soon after this that Jesus was being tempted by satan in the wilderness. We find that satan tempted him on what seems to be three different occasions. However, a closer look at these temptations will show there were actually more than three temptations. It is in this revelation that we can learn several valuable lessons.

First satan tempts Jesus in Matthew 4:3

3The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Second temptation in Matthew 4:5-6

5Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: 
   ” ‘He will command his angels concerning you, 
      and they will lift you up in their hands, 
   so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”

Third temptation in Matthew 4:8-9

 8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

Look at how satan asks the first two questions. “If you are the Son of God…” We can clearly see that satan was trying to make Jesus doubt who he was.

God had just proclaimed that Jesus was the Son of God in the previous chapter. Now, satan comes to him and says “If you are the Son of God…” This is typical of satan as he is the father of lies. He is the exact opposite of faith, which is doubt.

I find the replies of Jesus full of wisdom. He completely ignores the doubt and doesn’t even address it. You see, Jesus knew who he was and that was good enough. He did not have to defend himself by debating with satan on his Sonship, so maybe He simply chose to ignore satan on this issue.

I recently attended a bible study with a friend of mine. The study was discussing the meekness of Christ. It is awesome to think about how meek and humble Christ is. Christ is the epitome of humbleness and meekness.

Jesus was God Incarnate but yet he was also fully human. Knowing the weakness of the flesh He chose not to proclaim his diety, but rather to humble himself in the sight of God.

Phillipians 2:6-10

 6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Maybe that is why God chose to proclaim the Sonship of Christ as he did. For if Christ boldly proclaimed it in the flesh it could have conceived pride. I am thinking out loud here so if anyone has something that contradicts me on this than by all means post it so I can review it.

So, who do you claim to be? When the tempter comes to you how do you answer?

The “If You Are” Trap

Well this post is getting way too long so I am going to continue this in another post. I don’t like reading posts that go on forever so I won’t make you do the same….





Erecting a Milestone

25 02 2009

I went out jogging this morning, and decided to take a new route than I have before. This new route was simply going down the road I live on until it came to an end, then back to my house.

I jogged first, then I got in the car to see what the actual distance was. It was a little more than a mile, 1.1 to be exact. I was listening to Klove as I drove in the car, and heard a song on the radio that prompted a thought. The song was saying it was time for a milestone, time to begin again…

Along the pathway of our life there are times each of us have to stop and place a milestone for ourself. I looked up milestone at Wikipedia and here is a brief clip:

“Milestones were originally stone obelisks – made from granite, marble, or whatever local stone was available – and later concrete posts. They were widely used by Roman Empire road builders and were an important part of any Roman road network, in which when the distance travelled per day was only a few miles in some cases. The first Roman milestones appeared on the Appian way. At the centre of Rome, the “Golden Milestone” was erected to mark the metaphorical centre of the empire. This milestone has since been lost. The Golden Milestone inspired the Zero Milestone in Washington, D.C., intended as the point from which all road distances in the United States should be reckoned.”

Measuring in years I just erected milestone number 39, in my marriage I just placed milestone number 15, and other milestones have to be put in place each day to measure, and mark, where we are. These markers also mark where we have been. These milestones are there for others to see as they make their journey. To help them along their way.

Everywhere I turn I can see milestones, if I take a close look. I can see milestones of people I know, and also people I have never met. Each one should be looked on with reflection. What brought me here to this milestone? What direction do I go from here? Where do I want to go from here?

A couple years ago I was overweight, and out of shape. It was impossible for me to even think about running a mile, I could barely walk one. I remembered back to my younger years when I was in shape. I paused, and reflected, then I made a descision that day to place a new milestone to mark where I was at. I would use this milestone to measure my progress as I lost weight, and got back into shape.

I would look back at that milestone often to see how far I had traveled. One day that milestone was out of my sight. I had traveled far enough that it was just a memory to me now.

Today I placed a new milestone in my life. I paused and reflected back on what it was that brought me here, reflected about some previous milestones that I have placed, and thought about which direction I will go in my life from this milestone. I realized that I have ignored the importance of placeing milestones along the way in this life. Because it is when a milestone is placed that we can pause, rest, and plan for the new path that we are going to take in this life.

If we never go anywhere there is never a need for a milestone…





Face Your Fears

10 12 2008

9alpzz3iir5u1rk2hxI heard an interesting story a while back and wanted to share it with everyone. I made several changes to the story to relate Christ but the lesson remains the same.

A man once lived in a land where it was dark, and dreary, all the time. A thick fog always covered the land because of it’s location. In the land there stood an old dark tower. People said the tower was haunted, and everyone was afraid of it. No one would even approach the tower.

This man was intrigued by the tower, and wanted to visit the tower. One day he got enough courage to face the tower, and went inside.

Inside the tower was beautiful. The steps were gold, and the staircase looked as if it had been built by a master carpenter. The tower was empty, but warm and inviting.

He began climbing up the stairs as they spiraled up for what seemed like an eternity. He continued climbing for many hours. Along the way he wanted to turn around because the journey was just too hard for him. But now, he was driven by sheer will power, and had to reach the top somehow.

He continued climbing until finally he reached the top. Although he was tired, and wanted to rest for a while, he was curious what was behind the only door he found at the top of the tower. He went through the door which led him outside to a balcony.

Once he was outside the sun was shining brightly because he was above the gloomy fog that covered the land. The view he had was beautiful. Like nothing he had ever seen before in his life.

He could see a distant city more beautiful than any he had ever seen. He saw mountains, and valleys like none before.

This story shows us that sometimes confronting our fears face to face can lead us to brighter, and more beautiful places in life.

God is a strong, and mighty, tower. Abiding in Him can lead us to greater heights, and to some beautiful places.