Tuesday, January 06, 2009
The Place of Trusting in Proverbs.
Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Prov 3:5Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; 6 think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths. HCSB
The least trusted groups are telemarketers, used car salesmen, politicians - the most trusted people are pharmacists and pastors. A sign in Toronto at a hotel says "no checks cashed, not even good ones". There is only one letter difference between truth and trust. When so many in our society believe there is no absolute truth - there are few people who can be trusted. When people believe in anything or anyone more than God, it becomes their idol.
We are a cynical, sceptical nation. We tend to wonder what really is the truth. We question anything and anybody. What's behind this decline in trust? Today we examine three important insights that will help us recover the lost art of trusting God.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Prov. 3:5,6
To Navigate the New Year we need DIRECTION. It’s not enough to have determination to meet our goals; we also must have the right goals, the right direction.
Some years ago I developed the Grose theory of city navigation. If you are lost, and you don’t know where you are, the car in front probably knows where he is, and therefore where you are anyway, so just follow him!
That worked well until one dark and stormy night with the kids only young in the car, lost in Western Sydney I followed a car. At times the heavy rainfall almost cut off my view, but my faithful guide kept on leading the way. After some time I followed that car right into its driveway! Now we were even further lost, off and away from any main roads.. so I consulted the road map.
You and I need help to navigate this New Year. We need help like never before!
The greatest opportunity before us is to enjoy a relationship with God. Oh we may lose weight, we may make more money, we may get married, have a child or graduate from school, but the goal that will bring us the greatest contentment now and forever is developing a passionate relationship with our Heavenly Father.
I know what you are thinking, "Trust God, huh? Pastor don’t you think that’s a little broad? I want to know how to make the most of the New Year and you come up with a simple line like trust God."
I know it sounds simple. I know it sounds broad. However, I am absolutely convinced that placing our complete confidence in the God who loves us is the foundation for making the most of our opportunities.
The Hebrew word behind "trust" is very intense. It literally means "to lean the whole body on something in order to rest upon it" (Keil–Delitzsch, p.87).
When John Paton was translating the Bible for a South Seas island tribe, he discovered that they had no word for trust or faith. One day a native who had been running hard came into the missionary's house, flopped himself in a large chair and said, "It's good to rest my whole weight on this chair." "That's it," said Paton. "I'll translate faith as 'resting one's whole weight on God.'"
Prov22:17 Listen closely, pay attention to the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge. 18 For it is pleasing if you keep them within you and if they are constantly on your lips. 19 I have instructed you today—even you— so that your confidence may be in the Lord. 20 Haven’t I written for you thirty sayings about counsel and knowledge, 21 in order to teach you true and reliable words, so that you may give a dependable report to those who sent you?
Psa 4:5 Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD.
Psa 9:10 And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.
Psa 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
Psa 25:2 O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me.
Psa 31:14 But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, "You are my God."
Psa 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Psa 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.
Psa 40:4 Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!
Psa 56:3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
Psa 56:4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?
Psa 56:11 in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?
Psa 62:8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.
Psa 115:9 O Israel, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.
Psa 115:10 O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.
Psa 115:11 You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.
Psa 125:1 Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
A. Why Should You Trust In the Lord?
1. You can be confident in God’s Power.
1B. Because He always TELLS THE TRUTH God cannot lie for He is truth.. ". . . It is impossible for God to lie." Heb. 6:18 "Let God be true and every man a liar." Rom 3:4
People resist Christ due to fear of losing their Freedom, losing their Fun or becoming a Fanatic.
2B. Because He LOVES YOU "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. . ." 1 Jn. 4:16
3B. Because He is IN CONTROL "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Rom. 8:28
4B. Because He will HELP YOU COMPLETELY Prov. 3:5,6 We were made to TRUST GOD!! The RELUCTANCE To Trust God is because "Those who know the Lord trust Him . . ." Ps. 9:10
2 Timothy 1:12 (HCSB) and that is why I suffer these things. But I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.
2. You can be committed to God’s Purpose.
Prov 11:14 Without guidance, people fall, but with many counselors there is deliverance.
Prov 15:22 Plans fail when there is no counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
Jeremiah 10:23 I know, Lord, that a man’s way of life is not his own; no one who walks determines his own steps.[
3. You can be controlled by God’s plan
Isaiah 58:11 (HCSB) The Lord will always lead you, satisfy you in a parched land, and strengthen your bones. You will be like a watered garden and like a spring whose waters never run dry.
Psalms 32:8-9 (HCSB) 8 I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with My eye on you, I will give counsel. 9 Do not be like a horse or mule, without understanding, that must be controlled with bit and bridle, or else it will not come near you.
Isaiah 8:19-20 (HCSB) 19 When they say to you, “Consult the spirits of the dead and the spiritists who chirp and mutter,” shouldn’t a people consult their God? [Should they consult] the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, there will be no dawn for them.
B. When Should You trust In The Lord?
When you experience the Ups and downs here in Discouragement.
Psalm 42 & 43
1. When you are spiritually DRY 1 As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” 4 These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival.
Your only HOPE is in the faithfulness of God 5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation 6 and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. Psalm 42:5-6 1 Peter 5:7 casting all your care upon Him, because He cares about you.
John 16:33 I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” Heb 13:5 for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you.
Genesis 15:1 After these events, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield; your reward will be very great. Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Satisfaction is found only in God. God is faithful even when we are not.
2. When you feel like you are DROWNING 7 Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.
Discouragement is overwhelming. He can’t catch his breath. It keeps on coming. Major thing after major thing. Wave upon wave. Or little thing upon little thing. OK that’s it!! In life we will be overwhelmed by circumstances.
God hates the overflowing sadness but He is involved in it. If you dig deep enough you will find God’s love.
Your only HOPE is God’s LOVE The Lord.. Yahweh covenant love.
8 By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:8 There is never a time when you are not in God’s loving care.
He is always there. And He commands His steadfast love. It’s a covenant love unchanging! I love you with this kind of love. He commands every moment of our lives. Eph 2:10 masterpiece. Your life is a painting and every stroke has His steadfast love on it. I need to spend time with God. Remember there is positive value even in my hard times.
3. When everything around you says you are DEFEATED 9 I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” 10 As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” Psalm 42:9-10
The loneliness can be overwhelming. God have you forgotten me, misplaced me somehow? You’ve put me here and I feel that I don’t matter in the great scheme of things. When you feel this defeated it affects you. You are tired all the time. Distressed. “As with a deadly wound in my bones…” nah nah ne nah nah! Others are mocking you..
Your only HOPE is GOD’S PRESENCE 11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Psalm 42:11
He deliberately sets his eyes back to Him. My main need is to seek God Himself and not just relief.
You get sick lose your job child runs off someone dies… you want relief.. but you need to long for God’s presence.
Sometimes we don’t feel like seeking and longing for God.. but there are times we have to just stop the emotional thinking. We feel like we are not married… well yes I am!! I can feel distant from God but He is with us.
Omnipresence of God. He is fully present with you all the time. You have God’s undivided attention all the time!
4. When your feelings lead you to DESPAIR 1 Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people, from the deceitful and unjust man deliver me! 2 For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you rejected me? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? Psalm 43:1-2
You have rejected me.. our minds are prepared to jump to the worst conclusions. He is wandering lost in despair. When you are trying to honour God sometimes we are prepared to think that despair just sets in.
MY HOPE: GOD’S GRACE Hope is the confident expectation that God shall act.
3 Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! 4 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. 5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Psalm 42:3-5
I want your word to come and get me.. I am wandering and I need you to come find me and get me!
Hope: God keeps His promises! We want to know God. In crises your lives will show where your soul has been feeding. Is God your exceeding joy? Is God your satisfaction?
The goal of the Christian life is God Himself experienced as your exceeding joy?
No matter what He blesses you with will you let Him be the heart of your exceeding joy.
He can focus on the pitiful situation or he can focus upon God. You have to choose between self-pity or holy delight.
C. How Can you Trust In The Lord?
We all desire to experience the best of life on our journey, but we don’t know how to get there. Most of our lives are spent in the middle of the journey, feeling safe because we are tied securely to those large limbs upon which we stand. We content ourselves to remain firmly planted in the midst of the strongest trunks. And we miss the exhilaration of the heights. We forfeit the best of life because we’re content in the mediocre. We’re content because we feel like we’re in control.
God calls you to the letting go of the contentment of our control and stretching upward to the unknown. It takes faith! This faith, however, is not blind, for we are always planting our vision upon the One at the summit. We are always gazing intently on the One who has traveled the path we’re on with the ultimate success. Our faith is fixed upon the Trail-blazer, Jesus Christ (Heb 12:1-2). When we focus our faith upon Him, we can experience the best of life. That’s where wisdom connects with faith. Wisdom is where our faith in Christ becomes activated in the details of our lives. Here’s what needs to happen according to His Word in this passage.
1. Abandon our Heart into His hands Every portion of my personality must be committed to God’s care. We must reject personal pride in what we might know and discover. Rather we must give ourselves—heart, soul, body, and mind—to the Lord in absolute trust that He knows best and will make the Best Life possible for us. We must trust the Lord. Trust in the Lord means that we have confidence in Christ to abandon ourselves completely to His care. We trust God and feel the safety that only He can provide. We place our past, present, and future into the hands of the One who knows best. We give Him control of our hopes and dreams, entrusting them to His heart of love. When it comes down to it, we must exercise faith. Our goal today is to commit to Christ all of who we are . . . our character, our conduct, our morality, our intellect, and our emotions. If we take life into our hands, we’ll make a mess. But if we abandon our heart and life into the hands of our Loving King, we will discover His presence and power with us..
2. Stop Trying to Control We must stop trying to fix everything through our intellectual pride—leant not on my own understanding. We don’t have the detailed answers that we need to make our lives or families safe and secure. We don’t know enough to make all the right choices for our financial future. I don’t have enough skill and insight to be the best pastor I can be, but I have a relationship with the One who does have all the skill needed to reach the Summit in my profession. We need Christ to show us where we are trying to append our intellectual pride and will to His plan. Where we try to take control.
For example, I know the general procedure on changing the oil in my car. I know that you take oil out, replace the used filter, and put a new filter and new oil into my car. Now, I can fidget around the engine and tinker with nuts and bolts until pigs fly, and I won’t be able to change the oil. I don’t have all the direction or the proper tools it takes to change the oil. I need to have someone teach me and provide the right instruments to do what I want to do. I have the general procedure, but insufficient understanding. I need someone to help me and train me and direct me.
The same thing is true with my life, except on a larger scale. I know the generality but not the specificity. I need more understanding to handle the difficulties and struggles and trials and opportunities that come my way. I need Christ to help me and direct me so that my life operates the way it’s intended. Indeed, the One who created me and the world in which I live is the only One capable and able to show me what to do and how to do it. When I lean on my own understanding, I tinker with a world that I can’t comprehend and a life that I can’t fully understand. I need Jesus to be in control.
3. Reckon Christ as the King of Life. Acknowledge God. Acknowledge basically means "to Recognize." If I see you in a restaurant or in a mall and I don’t wave or speak to you, I may offend you. Why? Because I didn’t "recognize" or "acknowledge" you. Have you ever thought that we offend God when we do not "acknowledge" His presence in our lives? To "acknowledge Him" means to mentally call to mind, to remember that God is here and He is in control. For a long time I thought of God as being in heaven and I was His representative, His salesman if you will, here on earth. He was the Boss and I worked for Him. However, 2 Cor.6:1 says we are "workers together with Him." I’ve learned that I don’t just work for God, I work with Him. He is always with me. I don’t just leave Him at church. There is never a non-sacred moment. I may not be thinking about Him, but He is always here.
To "acknowledge Him" means to live with a distinct awareness of His presence. It means we are to as much as possible practice the presence of God all the time. A man by the name of Frank Lauback decided to do that very thing on January 30, 1930. He kept a journal of what he learned. This is one of his entries: Can we have that contact with God all the time? All the time awake, fall asleep in His arms, and awaken in His presence? Can we attain that? Can we do His will all the time? Can we think His thoughts all the time?… Can I bring the Lord back in my mind-flow every few seconds so that God shall always be on my mind? I choose to make the rest of my life an experiment in answering this question" (Max Lucado, Just Like Jesus, p.60).
We are to Acknowledge God in all the Details of Life. Our text says we are to "acknowledge Him… in all your ways." The word "all" means just that. ALL! In every aspect, in every detail of our lives. When we lay down and when we get up. When we work and when we relax. That’s the secret of navigating your opportunities. Psa.37:4 says, "Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart."
Another year is dawning, Dear Father let it be,
In working or in waiting, Another year with thee.
Another year of progress, Another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.
Another year of mercies, Of faithfulness and grace,
Another year of gladness, The glory of thy face.
Another year of leaning Upon thy loving breast,
Another year of trusting, Of quiet, happy rest.
Another year of service, Of witness for thy love,
Another year of training For holier work above.
Another year is dawning, Dear Father, let it be,
On earth, or else in heaven, Another year for thee.
--Frances R. Havergal
Francis L. Hess has written a wonderful poem that expresses the joy of acknowledging the Lord in everything.
The Master's will, for this I pray, Whatever it may be!
I do not want to miss Your best; Reveal it, Lord, to me.
My own desires may lead me wrong, I must consult my God;
His counsel will be justified, When all the way I've trod.
O soul of mine, delight in Him! His Word discern, obey!
The plan you seek to know will then unfold from day to day.
We do not live our lives alone: If I am in God's will,
The lives of others will be helped, His purpose to fulfill!
My all, O Lord, I give to You, My body, mind and soul;
May all the days that lie ahead, be under Your control.
Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? 4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. 5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. 6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. 7 Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. 8 Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. 9 I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? 10 As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? 11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
Psalm 43:1 Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man. 2 For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? 3 O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. 4 Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God. 5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
A. Why Should You Trust In the Lord?
You can be confident in God’s Power, Purpose and Plan.
1. Because He always __________ ____ __________
2. Because He _______________ __________
3. Because He is _____ ___________________
4. Because He will ________ _________________
B. When Should You Trust In The Lord?
1. When you are spiritually ________
2. When you feel like you are _____________
3. When everything around you says you are ____
4. When your feelings lead you to ____________
C. How Can You Trust In The Lord?
1. Abandon Your ____________________
2. Stop Trying to ___________
3. Recognise Him as ________________.