As I was trying to think of something for today’s heart beat bits and devotion, I thought about Wahoo’s last couple of articles about struggles with trust, doubts and questions. Something Sjmom commented yesterday about trusting God and Wahoo’s point about making other things our Messiah made me think about an older article I posted in our older joint blog/companion to the Constitutional Freedom Party- Liberty’s Light.
As far as trusting God goes, it’s really a faith thing when things don’t make sense or we don’t know or hear the answers to “why”.
In that article I wrote,
“Like so many in the Bible, I have seen the works of God, yet when things get better for a little while, I tend, like so many, to slip back into the comfort zone of just doing my own thing, which always seems to end in a mess.”
I know a lot of Christians when they read the bible at all, tend to read the New Testament almost exclusively. Sure folks know the stories in the old… But many think that since Christians are under grace instead of the law of the new covenant, the Old Testament doesn’t really apply to us, besides it’s more comfortable to read/hear about the Love of Christ in the New than the judgments of the Old.
While it is true we are no longer under the old law and the covenant God has with Israel, there is so much pointing to Jesus in the old, and there is a whole history of regular people who had serious trust issues when it came to God, which is no different than behaviors, fears, and doubts in our time.
One only needs to look at the story of the exodus to see ourselves in so much of the Israelite attitudes once they were out of Egypt- and also to see God’s incredible patience.
Breaking things down simply, once they saw the miracles which brought them freedom from Egypt in the first place, they had witnessed real tangible works of God.
Once they were out of Egypt, God put a pillar of cloud for them to follow by day and at night, they followed the pillar of fire. Yet when Pharaoh’s army was spotted coming up behind, they cried out believing that God all of a sudden would leave them to be slaughtered after all He’d done already?
The same thing happened after the escape route God provided through the Red Sea- they grumbled in the wilderness about starving- God provided bread from heaven, then they complained about that. He sent quail until they were sick. When Moses went up to the mountain for 40 days to receive the law, they thought Moses was surely dead, and God had abandoned them again, which led them to build the golden calf to worship.
They made their ‘messiah’. Because in spite of everything they had witnessed, they were pushed out of their comfort zone, pushed more and more into uncertainty, but didn’t have faith and trust that God would see things through and make things right and comfortable for them again. They didn’t like what they had in Egypt- slaves for hard task masters, but they had grown complacent in it, and some preferred to go back to it because they didn’t like not knowing what was going to happen in freedom.
We are so much like that, not just in our own daily lives, but as a society- especially as Christians in the west. I don’t like to ‘preach it’ too much, but Christians in the west really do seem to have an entitlement mentality when it comes to expecting to live well because we live in freedom more than Christians in other places. And we sure don’t like it when personally/politically/socially things come along and threaten to rock our bubbles. So many go to ‘prosperity’ preachers for their spiritual mush that this isn’t surprising. We’ve been raised in one of the best countries on the planet, and even our poor are wealthier than poor in other nations. We have all been conditioned to accept our privilege as a blessing, and that God wants us happy and comfortable- never understanding that He cares more about us being Holy and developing a Godly Character. And yes, being content no matter our circumstances.
God has blessed us yes, but He also blesses those who are under severe persecution in other nations. The difference is how they respond by being strengthened and emboldened- keeping the message simple, for that is all they know. Christ died for our sins, and once we belong to Him, it doesn’t matter who kills our body, because He holds our souls.
We here in the west have every Bible translation, teaching and “christian based” self help books, finance and money management and media tools at our fingertips, yet ignore what the Word of God tells us. We try and justify to change things outwardly through pushing ahead with what will keep us comfortable, but don’t trust Him that maybe He has something better for us through discomfort.
Back to the article in Liberty’s Light,
“For me, as it is with all believers, it is through adversity and the darkest times when we come closer to the Lord. It is through the trials in our lives where our Father is telling us to “Be still and know that I AM God.” It is through our heart aches and breaks that He uses them to develop our faith and trust in Him.”
The character we develop through trials will help judge how we will react when we face our own desert wanderings and come to a place where we have to depend solely on God. To absolutely trust Him. Will we be able to do that, or will we grumble and be stiff necked the way those early wanderers were?
I don’t wish for hardships and world rocking things to happen to people, but sometimes that’s when the biggest blessings and growth come. It will always be a struggle to trust completely.
Believe it or not it’s almost easier to trust Him on the biggest things, but on day to day little things, we seem to get so focused on immediate things around us, we forget to give it to Him and trust Him in it too. But we can learn to, if we desire to keep Him as our Messiah instead of building our own, and believing He knows our tomorrows even if we don’t, and He will help us through them.