By Larry White
(Originally delivered in Eagle Point, OR. March 31, 1985)
Trust in Jehovah with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge him,
And he shall direct your paths.
This statement was the advise of Solomon to his son on the best way to lead his life.
Trust with all you heart, i.e. fully or completely, without any doubting or wavering or double-mindedness. The trust of holding nothing back in the heart - not having anything or anybody else in which you also trust.
A good story in this regard is the one of Asa king of Judah in 2Chron.14.
- When he was made king he sought Jehovah.
- Azariah the prophet told him that God would be with him as long as Asa was with God.
- In the beginning of his reign he trusted in Jehovah with all his heart. God's response was 35 years with no war.
- Then later his heart was tested and Judah was threatened with war from Baasha king of Israel. So Asa made an alliance with Syria. He was not trusting God.
- Hanani the prophet told him, for that, he would have wars from now on. Asa put the prophet in the stocks.
- Then Asa became afflicted with gangrene in his feet. But instead of asking God about it he sought out physicians. For that, God told him he would die from the disease.
Trusting with your whole heart is to trust in God alone. Not just in your army and not just in your doctors, but trust in God to bring things to pass. God can use an army or a doctor to accomplish his will, but our trust must not be in them but in the God who uses them for us.
Lean not on your own understanding: i.e. with a childlike heart of trust, relying on God's wisdom and strength. God knows more and sees more than we could ever see. A child will not presume to take the lead in the family but will wait for their parents to protect and provide. This is what Asa forgot to do. We tend to think we can figure our problems out ourselves or meet our own needs.
In all your ways acknowledge him: In every facet of your life, recognize God's hand in it. In prosperity or in trial and adversity, consider and reflect on God's providence and defer to his leading and his plan and purpose. What is God's will, first.
If we do this, then he will direct your paths: He will make them straight and remove obstacles and see to it that we prosper in the end, because we have4 trusted in him.
Jeremiah said, "It is not in man to direct his own steps. (Jer.10:23) That is God's specialty, because only he can do it without failure. And he does not want us to fail. He wants us to trust him. That is one of the major concepts and lessons that he has been trying to get across to man throughout history.
From a human point of view, that is what a God is for - to trust in, to rely upon, to act on our behalf, to give direction when man cannot see and to provide when man's resources run short. But I speak as a man.
There are reasons from an eternal perspective also. God wants us to have a relationship of love and unity with him. He wants to bring us to a likeness of his son and lift us up to his kingdom and let us share the glories of his eternal home. But first we must trust him.
God: is sufficient is reliable is faithful has a purpose cares about you
All the way through the Old Testament age, God is giving the same lesson over and over. Trust me! Trust me! To develop that trust in man he reveals himself to the Jews that he is Jehovah, Yahweh - "I am that I am" or "I will be that I will be". In that name is implied the all sufficiency of God.
God: is sufficient. Therefore we can trust him. He has revealed to us that he is all we need. There isn't any lack with God. Look at David's trust in Psa.23, "Jehovah is my shepherd, I shall not want". I will not want anything I need. There will not be any lack. With God, there isn't anything we will ever need or ever lack that God will not be able to provide or be willing to provide. There will never be a situation or need that man will encounter in which God will not be enough to handle it. God will provide. God is all sufficient.
This lesson is hard for man to learn.
Example of Israel in the wilderness after he delivered them from Egyptian bondage.
Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said:
"Who will give us meat to eat?
- God promised them everything they would need.
- Manna was the bread from heaven.
- They wanted more. They lusted after meat. "Who shall give us flesh to eat?" As if God would not be able to do that.
- So God gives them an object lesson in trust.
And Moses said, "The people whom I am among are six hundred thousand men on foot; yet you have said, "I will give them meat, that they may eat for a whole month.' Shall flocks and herds be slaughtered for them, to provide enough for them? Or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to provide enough for them?"
And Jehovah said to Moses, "Has Jehovah's arm been shortened? Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not."
- He brings it to pass in verse 31.
Now a wind went out from Jehovah, and it brought quail from the sea and left them fluttering near the camp, about a day's journey on this side and about a day's journey on the other side, all around the camp, and about two cubits above the surface of the ground.
- Hand being short is the idea that they limited God. (Psa.78:40-42)
God wanted these people to trust him - to wait for him to provide, to assume that he knew their needs and not to presume he was incapable and start complaining. Faith will assume, i.e. to receive, to suppose as a fact. Unbelief will presume, i.e. to overstep the proper bounds, forwardness, effrontery.
He wants a trust from us that comes to him with our requests and does not presume, but assumes that he can handle it, that he is powerful enough and wise enough and willing to see to our every need and problem.
That is the kind of faith and trust that Abraham had about what God had promised.
He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what he had promised he was also able to perform.
God's promises in his word are absolutely reliable. Abraham knew that. He also believed that God was sufficiently able to do exactly what he had promised - even if he had to raise Isaac from the dead, God was going to make his promise good.
God: is reliable. Faith will make some bold assumptions. Since God is GOD and God cannot lie, and since his word is reliable, then I am going to step out on his word and totally abandon any worry about by course and the outcome of my way into his hands - because I know that if God sees that kind of trust, he will not let my confidence be disappointed or embarrassed. He will make his word good.
As it is written:
“Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense,
And whoever believes on him will not be put to shame.”
So trust will assume, but it will not presume. Presumption is putting God to the test. That is not what I am talking about. Satan tempted Christ to test God - "Cast yourself down, for it is written: 'He shall give his angels charge over you and they shall bear you up lest you strike your foot against a stone.'" That is true, God will protect the person that trusts in him - but that trust is in what God has told him to do, and God has not told us to throw ourselves off a cliff to see if he will catch us. That is not assumption; that is presumption.
Another thing about God that moves us to trust in him is his faithfulness.
God: is faithful. We can go though a lot of trials and hardships in this life, and there may be times when the hand of God may start to seem far away. But it is in those very times where God will in some way show us or remind us that he is still by our side, still interested in what happens to us, still able and sufficient to uphold us through any trial. He proves to us his faithfulness.
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For he himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
So we may boldly say:
“The LORD is my helper; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?”
When we have taken what we believe to be the truth and "faithed" it, i.e. believed it and acted upon it; when we have seen it work; when we have walked with God through this world and seen his faithfulness and power in our own lives and the lives of others, then our faith takes on a whole new dimension. We have great confidence in our father, we trust him implicitly and we can know the joyful peace that comes from committing our lives and souls into his hand, confidently assured that he is faithful - above all - God is faithful. Like Peter said in 1Pet.4:19, we can commit the keeping of our souls to him in "well-doing", as unto a faithful creator.
Another aspect of God's faithfulness is that he actively works with us as we grow as his children.
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.
One of the things a child-like trust in God will make a person realize is that God has a plan for your life.
God: has a purpose. He is actively interested in how you are doing - how you are progressing. God will work with us as we put our trust in him, and bring us along in our growth as Christians. We all want to be pleasing to him and be mature Christians. When we trust him and ask him in prayer to direct our way and our growth - he will, he is not going to say No to that. But we need to be prepared in faith to acknowledge his will and his dealings with us, because when he answers that prayer, it could throw us as to what is going on. If we are out of line, he will reveal that to us.
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.
If you want to know what is wrong with you, God will show you. You may not like it, but when we trust God, we need to be prepared and remember he is doing what is best for us. God will work with you - if you want to get it right and come near to him. If we are disobedient, God will chastise us.
And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by him;
For whom the LORD loves he chastens,
And scourges every son whom he receives.”
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but he for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness.
Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.
God is able to heal us and correct us. But we need to be prepared when his chastisement comes and not get discouraged and give up. We need to have faith that God loves us, and everything that we are going through, (whether it be trials or rebukes) that it is for our good. Trust God and work with him in your correction and thank him for his faithfulness.
God will correct us when we are wrong and when we repent he is also faithful to forgive us and cleanse us and point us in the right direction.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
God has a plan for your life.
-- He wants to sanctify us. (1Thess.5:23) "The very God of peace sanctify you wholly."
-- He wants to perfect us. (Eph.4) He has provided the church so that we might grow "unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."
-- He wants to open our eyes and full us with the knowledge of his will. (Eph.1:17-19)
To trust in him more, we need to keep in mind that he has something prepared for us, toward our future growth, toward our correction and toward a closer walk with him.
In all of this, in God's sufficiency, reliability, faithfulness, his purpose and plan - he is sufficient for you, he is reliable to you, he is faithful to you, and his plan is for you. This shows how very much he cares about you.
God: cares about you. God wants the best for us. He thinks the best about us. God loves us. He has supplied everything we need to do his will, and if we trust and work with him - he will supply us with much more abundance to do much more for him in the future.
God wants us to trust him. And the child-like heart of trust in god will give him the credence that he deserves, and will confidently expect God to be sufficient - reliable - faithful, to have a purpose for his life and to expect the best from God because of his great love for us.
Do you trust him like you should? Think and meditate on these things and your trust in your God will grow. We need to trust him more so that we can be happier and more profitable in his kingdom and service.
If you are not a Christian today... Then trust Jesus Christ. Jesus gave his life for you to forgive your sins and save you. If you trust in him, then repent of your sins; be baptized to wash your sins away. Then as you continue to trust him, he will establish you and strengthen you and give you a place in heaven with him.