Friday, June 27, 2014

Trusting, Ever Trusting

Throughout Scripture, the living God bids us trust Him.  Proverbs 3:5 plainly exhorts, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding."  Implied in the term is "special reliance on presumed integrity."

Why is trusting the Creator an ongoing challenge for us?  Two of His attributes apply:

INVISIBLE  "...the only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords; who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light;  whom no man has seen or can see.  To Him be honor and eternal dominion!  Amen.  (I Timothy 6:15c, 16).
I John 4:12a  "No one has beheld God at any time."
John 1:18  "No man has seen God at any time;  the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him."

Although creation sufficiently manifests His "invisible attributes..." to the point that man is without excuse (Romans 1:20), in His essence He cannot be seen.  And were we not accountable to Him (Romans 14:12; Hebrews 4:13) that would be of little or no concern (as it obviously is for many of the world's unbelievers).  Yet for one who has been called by Him, changed by Him, and for whom He has become the loving focus of life, invisibility presents a challenge.
In order to walk by faith (trust) and not by sight, we must know the living God intimately (Psalm 9:10).  This requires determination, time, and most of all, love.  His Holy Spirit's love poured out into a pure heart is promised the blessed ability to "see God," (Matthew 5:8). Such yearning begets deeper yearning, as He reveals Himself to our eager heart (Psalm 5:3). Over time, as our senses are trained to better discern His ways, as our hearts and minds are saturated with Scripture, as we find Him infallibly faithful, we experience the truth of which Peter wrote, "and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory," (I Peter 1:8).

INSCRUTABLE   " 'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways,' declares the LORD.  'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts,' " (Isaiah 55:8,9).

Romans 11:33  "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!"

Psalm 147:5  "Great is our Lord, and abundant in strength;  His understanding is infinite."

Isaiah 40:28  "Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The everlasting God, the LORD, the creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired.  His understanding is inscrutable."

We are finite, He is from everlasting to everlasting.  We are born unable to not sin, with a sin nature that precludes being able to think about God aright.  As Proverbs 14:12 puts it, "There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death."  Thus, it is impossible for the natural man to "figure out" God's ways and doings.
With the change that God accomplishes through salvation in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the regenerated one is graced with the presence of the Holy Spirit, the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16), and the ability to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (II Corinthians 10:5).  
One of the first desires upon conversion is to know God's will in any given situation.  The changed heart wants to please the Savior above all else, and submit to His leading.  Bible studies, workshops, conferences, and conventions are attended to learn His will.  Why?  He is Spirit, and rather than understand plainly His movements, we often only discern clues and hints of His directing.  
The two main means He has ordained in the revealing of His will and ways are prayer and the Bible.  Much of our lack of trust (and misplaced trust) stems from neglecting the one and ignoring (or misinterpreting) the other.  Contrary to some teaching, prayer is actually work. Whether we grasp it or not, the enemy knows full well that the greatest threat to his kingdom is the ongoing, fervent, faith-filled praying of God's people.  
The Word reveals His personality, promises, purposes, plans and perspective.   The one whose mind and spirit are satiated with sound doctrine of the Scriptures, who is in continual submission and obedience to its authority, will go far in learning to discern God's determinations, and will have his willingness to trust God deepened immeasurably.

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