#DailyProverbs 16:1,2: "We may make our plans, but God has the last word. You may think everything you do is right, but the Lord judges your motives."
Do you trust God?
It's a simple question, but it packs a lot of impact and potentially scary prospects with you answer. Almost every person I know will say "Yes, of course" and they will hope to believe that. In fact, growing up in the rural south... we are bred and trained to trust the Lord and go to church and live our lives. And we spout that and talk it and then we live as though it's not true.
So, DO you trust God? Do you trust Him when He is telling you to be kind to someone and you think they don't deserve it? Do you trust God when he says to give the cash in your pocket to the stranger? And you think that bum deserves to be homeless and hungry due to bad choices? Do you trust God when He says to you in a service, "Get up and go hug that lady" and you resist because you don't want people to look or you are scared you'll be rebuffed and embarrassed?
Do you trust God when you disagree with Him? When you read a scripture that convicts you or causes you some weirdness? Ouch. I don't always agree and want what I feel like God has for me or tells me to do and go with. And it used to scare me to feel that way, like... somehow, I was backslidden or a bad Christian if I had a personal opinion. (Granted, I try to make sure that I eventually align correctly with God and that, to be honest, He changes MY mind vs. me changing HIS mind... and there is a whole perfect vs. permissive will thing that I try to avoid. Just because you stay saved and alive doesn't mean you are IN God's will and living your BEST and most-productive life. What if God tells you to move somewhere so you can be IN His will and be in a place to grow and heal, but you are lonely or miss family? Do you trust Him?
Do you trust God when you feel like the last idiot standing up for something? When so many of your conservative "christian" friends and loved ones think that returning evil for evil is the answer, do you stand firm and trust God's scriptural commands? When your family tells you that helping someone in need is "fishy" and that you need to be careful so they don't keep asking for help, is that what Christ taught? Or if someone needs help, but they are not in your church, or don't believe in your God, or don't agree with your politics... do you withhold help and food and rent to them? Do you think they can "hear" your pitch on being someone that follows Christ over the rumbling of their stomach and the fear of being evicted? Do you trust God to work that out and you know your proper place as a tool of His reconciliation and a vessel of His will? What's more important to you, that YOU understand every detail of God's plan, or that you are IN God's will and a usable and valuable vessel?
In his letter to Corinth, Paul talks of the Holy Ghost and the very spirit of God giving us wisdom and letting us trust the Lord. 1 Corinthians 2:6-16 is an AMAZING place to read some very real, but scary and supernatural promises.
6 - Wisdom for the spiritually mature
7 - God's hidden wisdom, chosen to give to us in plan hatched before creation
8 - Carnal kingdoms didn't know and couldn't know, or it would have gone differently
9 - Eyes have not seen, and ears have not heard what God's got for us and what's coming
10 - God reveals new truths and new things via the spirit which is constantly searching for us and ONLY the spirit can take us to God's hidden depths
11 - Only the soul in a person knows every hidden thing and truth inside of them ONLY you know all you think and hope and mean. You know your motives, your will, and your purpose. The same is true for God and the Holy Ghost... ONLY the Holy Ghost can know all of God and ONLY the Holy Ghost in YOU will give you access to the deep things of God
12- ONLY God's spirit can give us the things of God. Not the world, nor other things.
13 - Our spiritual language and tongues are the things that can teach in the spirit. Only those with the spirit, can teach spiritual things
14 - Those without the spirit cannot receive gifts of the spirit
15 - Those WITH the spirit can assess and judge the value of things, and remain judgeless of those around him
16 - Who can know the Lord? Who has the mind of Christ? Those with the spirit HAVE the mind of Christ
So, then... that's pretty heavy stuff... And I love every bit of it. Why? Because after exposing the futility of worldly thinking in 1 Corinthians 1, Paul introduces Christians to the higher realm of godly wisdom. Paul wrote with lots of things I disagree: I think he was kind of misogynistic, I think he was totally a spoiled brat, and I think lots of his work was ghost written... BUT... I DO trust God to protect the message to humankind and I trust God to protect the sacrifice of Jesus and the propagation of His church. But, with Paul... he had to WRITE this passage with some trust in God. He had to trust that Jesus was divine and that this kind of knowledge and understanding isn't available through human intelligence and reasoning; it comes strictly through divine revelation and the infilling of the very spirit of God. Only those indwelt by God's Spirit have "the mind of Christ" (v. 16) and access to "the things freely given" to them by God (v. 12).
Do YOU trust God? Do you NOT see that without this supernatural insight, no one can accurately know the Lord or His ways? Do your actions belie your doubt? Do your lips say one thing about you and your life says another? Many people say they believe in God yet may not have a correct understanding of Him because their perceptions are based on their own thoughts and ideas. To us, to the world, to human wisdom... it's easier to custom-design a god to fit our preferences than to make the REQUIRED adjustments that worshiping and following Christ require of us. Following Jesus isn't a prayer you read off of the back of a tract, nor is it just having your Holiness Standards and being comfortable, white, and Red. The ONE true God of Heaven, Earth, Israel and that so kindly extended salvation to us gentiles demands trust, faith... and ACTION that supports those beliefs.
Do you trust GOD to handle you? I know people that think God can't or won't forgive them. They don't think God can help them with drinking, or drugs, or even with their life and the way they choose to live or treat people. Do you trust God to be big enough to deal with all of your mess? Even long-time and mature believers need to guard against trying to fit God into their preconceived image of Him. It's always so funny to me how Baby Christians and those young in the Lord have SO much more faith in God to help them navigate their lives, until some well-meaning older Christian gets a hold of them and talks them out of living by faith, and instead teaches them to live by standards and by rote. The Bible is currently the ONLY reliable source of divine revelation, but the Holy Ghost can lead you and give you wisdom that your human brain can't hold and your natural brain can't contain in the fullness of His Word. We must be careful to consider the Scriptures as a WHOLE—it's critical that we don't just pick and choose the verses we want to believe. For example, by focusing only on passages that emphasize the Lord's loving-kindness while excluding those that speak of His holiness and justice, we misunderstand His true nature. God is holy, but God is ALSO compassionate. When we focus on how someone looks, rather than how they LIVE and how they LOVE, we miss the mark. When we only focus on "if you don't work, you don't eat" and ignore "if you have fed or given drink to the least of these, it was as unto me" then you are MISSING the point of God putting on skin and showing us a better way. Jesus showed us the way.
Do you trust God?