3 Dec 2013
Have you noticed that as humans we all seem to struggle with the reality that God loves us and has a good plan for our lives. Few of us actually have difficulty with these ideas, but when it comes to everyday living we often fail to put our full weight upon God’s plan and good intentions for our lives. Moreover it is apparent that our full dependence on the true nature of God is of upmost importance to God Himself!
Hebrews 11:6 (NASB95)
6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
God has made it abundantly clear that His ways are not our ways and that His thoughts are much higher and more productive than ours. But still in the face of the abundant evidence of this absolute truth, we often prefer our ideas, our plans, and our perspectives. In fact we not only usually prefer our plans, we arrogantly refuse to let them go and reject the idea of trusting God to give us His. Limited knowledge of the animal kingdom would indicate only a sheep will continue to do something that unquestionably does not work over and over indefinitely, with the single exception of we humans who regularly rely on their own “superior intelligence” regardless of the poor quality of outcome.
“The doctrine of the inability of the human mind and the need for divine illumination is so fully developed in the New Testament that it is nothing short of astonishing that we should have gone so far astray about the whole thing.” - A W Tozer
In short we are taught in the New Testament scripture that we are to be guided, we are to walk, and we are to understand truth by means of the indwelling Spirit of God. These instructions are not difficult to understand. They are however clearly more difficult to put into persistent practice.
God in His love is committed to help us develop faith. His primary method is to present us with difficulties. When we are presented with difficulties we have two basic options. We can attempt to work our way out of or around said problem using whatever resources we can muster, or we can believe in our heart that God has our back and trust Him to guide us through the problem. God is not short on resources; He has them all. He is not short on plans; His plans are magnificent. God is not short on power to execute His plans; He possesses all power.
It is clear that we are to put our trust in God and not in ourselves or other men. The passage in Isaiah below is instructive to demonstrate the perspective of God when it comes to trusting in people or things other than God.
Isaiah 31:1-3 (NASB95)
1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help And rely on horses, And trust in chariots because they are many And in horsemen because they are very strong, But they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD!
2 Yet He also is wise and will bring disaster And does not retract His words, But will arise against the house of evildoers And against the help of the workers of iniquity.
3 Now the Egyptians are men and not God, And their horses are flesh and not spirit; So the LORD will stretch out His hand, And he who helps will stumble And he who is helped will fall, And all of them will come to an end together.
When we are faced with a difficulty and look to anything other than God for help; He will see to it that we have more difficulties, not because He delights in bringing us difficulties, but because He is using difficulties to teach us to trust in Him. There are times in our lives where the difficulties that we face are so desperate that we few options but cry out to God. God delights to hear these cries. He has turned rivers into blood in response to this kind of cry. He has parted a sea for His chosen to cross on dry ground in response to such cries.
Our dependence upon God alone is a critical component of our prayers. James tells us that if we ask with a double mind, that is, without sole dependence upon God; then we should not think for a minute that God will answer such a careless, double-minded prayer.
Many a well intentioned believer has come to the conclusion that God has given us a mind so we should simply use it. Of course much of this is true. The critical hinge-pin seems to be how we use our minds. If we believe that we only need to think and act on our thinking in any situation we are using our minds in a way not intended by God. God gave us minds so that they could be saturated withHis truth and guided by His Spirit. He desires to transform us by the renewing of our minds.
Because God determined in the earliest of times to give mankind free will, we can use our minds in any way we desire. However, how we use our minds will indubitably bring blessings or curses which is what God has indelibly determined. Our minds are amazing creations. They are also the primary target of our arch enemy Satan. One of the earliest recorded decisions from the mind of mankind is found in the Bible in Genesis Chapter three. Here we find Eve making a decision with her mind to follow the advice of the serpent to disobey the instructions of God given to her husband Adam.
The result of this mind choice was the great curse that is commonly known as the fall. Every individual born since this decision has been under this universal curse. So here we find a seed of truth. When the mind is used to choose to trust and obey God, blessings result. When the mind is used to choose to trust in anything besides God, the result is to fall in some degree under a curse.
Another purpose that God designed for our magnificent minds is to initiate and develop relationships. By our relationships we are inevitably impacted while our lives also impact others in our complex relationship network. God organized our relationships around the basic building block of the family. However, for believers our most primary relationship is with God. It is through this relationship that we find our true meaning and value and purpose in life.
The depth and strength and resiliency of our relationship with God will probably be in the final analysis the primary factor in our actually placing our trust in Him. We trust only those that we know. We trust more deeply those that we love profoundly. If you desire to deepen and strengthen your faith in God, perhaps the most effective strategy is to find ways to deepen and strengthen your love for Him. Time and space will not permit us to develop a plan to this end. And since we have already seen that God will always have a superior plan to any our feeble minds can conceive we will only encourage you seek direction from Him.
John 14:15 (AMP)
15 If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands.
Our obedience is actually an accurate litmus test of our love.
Mark 12:30 (NASB95)
30 AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALLYOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.'
Specifically, may we suggest that you consider asking Him, in faith to show you your next step to deepen your love for Jesus? As our love for Jesus grows deeper our fulfillment and purpose will significantly increase and faith with obedience are the inevitable results.