Well, if it seems that trust is the prevailing theme for the day, you’d be correct in assuming this. As I was studying last night; everything that the Spirit kept leading me to was impressing upon me the importance of trust ….
Perhaps you’ve been told that as a Christian you must learn to “trust in the Lord with all your heart.” But this famous passage from (Proverbs 3) contains more than just a general statement about living. Instead, you’ll find the steps you need each day to truly walk with God if you feast upon this …. Let’s look at how we may follow these 7 daily steps to make sure that you’re leaning on the Lord:
1.) Don’t depend on “You” …
We live in a world where trust must be earned and seems to be in short supply. But Solomon, the famous king who wrote Proverbs, knew that trust is exactly where we must start: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). Most of us have faced disappointments, which have taught us that we can only depend upon ourselves. But living the life God has called us to means unlearning that lesson. Instead, we’re meant to rest in God’s understanding alone and not ours …
We may know in our minds that He possesses all wisdom: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out.” (Romans 11:33). But sometimes trusting Him completely like that can be tough. So, each day we must consciously lay aside our own plans, expectations, and surrender to His plans.
What if we don’t feel like we can trust Him like that? That’s where step 2 comes in…
2.) Cry out to God …
Surrendering to God begins with our lips and our thoughts. We need more than a commitment to depend on Him; we need to cry out to Him to show that dependence …..”in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he direct thy paths” (v.6). Another version says “He will make your paths straight.” When we pray, we admit that His ways are higher than ours. We show that we’re leaving our troubles, burdens and dreams in His capable hands. In fact, the Bible promises that when we reach out to Him in prayer, He hears us: “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice” (Psalm 55:17). We hand the keys of our lives to Him, and we know that He’s able to lead us. But in order for that to work, we have to:
3.) Run from evil ….
So much in this world can clutter up our relationship with God. John describes them as the desires of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride in our lives in (1 John 2:16). In other words, our blessings can easily become our stumbling blocks when we think of them as what we deserve or what we need to be happy …. Instead, life works best when we remember the true source of our blessings ~ God; and focus on the things that please Him. (v. 7) Sometimes, the only way to live the life God wants us to live is by separating ourselves from the bad influences that keep dragging us down. That works the best when we start pursuing something else in their place: (2 Timothy 2:22). Is that easy? Not at all. Fleeing from the evil desires that pull at us means spending a lot of time crying out to God and leaning on Him. But our Creator promises to honor our commitment to Him when we shun evil with good health (v.8). When we pursue Him, we find life ~ abundant life. Running from evil and pursuing God doesn’t come naturally to most of us. Instead, it means we have to make a serious change:
4.) Put God FIRST!!
Certainly it’s easiest to put ourselves first. When something good happens, we want to congratulate ourselves with a reward. When something bad happens, we want to console ourselves or find someone to blame. In other words, we often have a “me-centric” mindset as a starting place. And when it comes to money, the struggle is even harder. But Solomon, who had quite a bit of wealth himself, knew that his money didn’t belong to him: (vs. 9-10).
If we can trust God with the first of our wealth, we’re truly showing how much we depend on Him. Handing over the first part of our paycheck takes a huge amount of faith, after all. But doing so means being “God-centric” or putting on a God-centered mindset, not to mention the obedience factor. To get there, though, make sure you…
5.) Check yourself by God’s Word …..
Let’s be honest. We aren’t so good at evaluating ourselves. We will go to great lengths to excuse our behavior, our actions, and our sins. Who needs a defense attorney when we can pretty much find a reason for any bad thing we do? The prophet Jeremiah captures this very well: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9). If we’re ever going to truly trust in God and flee evil, we have to know exactly where we stand. We have to find an objective measure that tells us the truth. And that truth comes from God and His Word.
Of course, that doesn’t mean we’ll always like what we see or how we see it; as (v.11) states. That’s right. Sometimes it takes something bad happening or seeing ourselves in a bad light before we finally admit that we need to change. And the more we’re in the Bible, the more likely this is to happen.
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11). When we have scriptures planted firmly in our hearts, God will often use that to deal with us ….
6.) Vital importance: listen to the Holy Spirit …
When Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to the church, He told His disciples that this Counselor would be their spiritual compass (John 14:26). As we go through our day, this same Holy Spirit guides us, too. That means we don’t ever have to go it alone or hope we’re getting it right. No, the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth and protects us: “That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us”
(2 Timothy 1:14). After all, the gift of the Holy Spirit to us believers reminds us that we can truly:
7.) Rest in God’s love ….
When we face a difficult world each day, we can sometimes wonder if God even cares. Why do bad things happen? Where is God when I need Him? Solomon reminds us that God never takes a break or leaves us to fend for ourselves as we see in (v.12). Even in the midst of turmoil, God sticks with us and uses those challenges to shape us. When we understand that, our perspective completely flips. No longer do we see our setbacks as failures; we see them as moments when God, as our loving Father, works on us.
And that’s exactly why we can trust in the Lord with all our hearts. He cares for us each and every day. He gives us what we need to thrive; He uses our trials to teach us, and He pours blessing after blessing upon us ….
Of course, following each of these daily steps isn’t easy. That’s why Jesus said we have to deny ourselves and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). Trusting God takes a whole-hearted solid commitment from dawn till dusk, every single day. It will cost you something; it requires sacrifice and obedience, but we’re never alone in it: “lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Let us pray ~
Heavenly Father; sometimes the way ahead seems so clear, but at other times the way seems shrouded with uncertainly, filled with disappointments, and the road ahead seems to be hidden in the questioning shadows …
I want to be in Your perfect will Lord, and I pray that Your will be done in every area of my life. I long to have Your assurance that this is the way to walk, but at times Your will seems to be hidden by a cloud of uncertainly and swamped by a foggy mist of unknowing as I ponder which decisions I should make. As I step out into the future Lord, I place my trust in You, for I am sure that You read the thoughts of my heart and know that my desire is to remain in the center of Your perfect will for my life. Lead me Jesus on the right path that is best for me, I pray; for I place my trust in You alone, for You have promised to be with me wherever I go. You know the steps that I take; keep them safe I pray, for my trust is in YOU and may I do only that which glorifies You, in Jesus name I pray, Amen ….
God is with us ….