To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.

O my God, in you I trust;

let me not be put to shame;

let not my enemies exalt over me.

Psalm 25: 1, 2

 

Trust is a part of our everyday lives. We place a form of trust in many things that we encounter along the way. This all starts when we climb out of bed in the morning and trust that the floor beneath our feet will hold our weight today, and it continues in like manner throughout the day. We also trust in institutions such as banks and governments, and for most of us, people form the most significant of categories of recipients of our trust. Yet, the trust that David describes here is even greater than all of that above. He trusts God with the care, the protection, and the nurture of his most precious of possessions, his soul.

 

Like David, I have no doubt that God cares about and for me totally. His presence is real in ways that go beyond and that are more deeply seated than any other reality that I experience. Yet, life has a way of throwing curves my way. Not everything makes sense, and many events and situations arise that bring about a form of disorientation and that cause me to momentarily lose sight of God’s presence and His purpose for my life. I think that these are the sorts of times that David is concerned about when he speaks about God providing protection from shame and the triumphal dance of his enemies. Although I, too, share his plea for God’s mercy and protection, I am fully aware of the fact that Christ has fully secured those things for me. I am saved, and I am free!

 

My soul is secure in the care of Christ who stands before the Father and proclaims the innocence that He gained for me on the cross. In light of my Lord’s great gift to me and His immense sacrifice for me, how can I not trust Him absolutely? Yet, in the moment and under the duress of life’s struggles, I do doubt, and I do allow shame and guilt to hold me captive. However, even in these times of my wandering away from God’s peace and joy, Christ is close at hand. In fact, it is in these darkest of days that the glory of my Lord provides those first glimmers of the light that leads me back into that soul-deep peace that comes from trusting God, and His presence warms the chill out of my heart. Like David, Lord I do trust you with my soul.

 

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Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, for He cares for you.

1 Peter 5: 6, 7

 

When I look at how hard I work to hold onto my fears, concerns, and anxieties, I am amazed. My mind continually goes back to these familiar old scripts where the behaviors that I exhibit are damaging, counter productive, and even harmful. Yet, these scenarios are the text of my life, and they have been constructed over time to form a very comfortable shell that surrounds my heart and my mind and that keeps me from straying too far into the risky waters of fundamental change. God sees this behavior as arrogance and as a form of pride.

 

By holding onto ways of thinking and behaviors that have proven to be unproductive in the past and by continuing to grasp them as if they were my greatest treasures, I am saying to God that I know better than He how I should live my life, and I am demonstrating to those around me that when I say that I trust God and that I desire to follow His will that what I really mean is that I do these things only to the extent and so far as my own definitions of what is safe and acceptable will allow me to venture. Unfortunately, this way of living is self-centered and hypocritical, and it shuts me out of experiencing the full extent of the wondrous blessing that God has in mind for me.

 

The answer to all of this seems to lie in no longer being concerned about what others will think about me or about my own sense of my short comings or weaknesses. God’s answer for me is found in the extravagant love that He has for me and through the moment by moment reality of His care for me. When I stop looking at myself and start focusing on God’s face, I see the way that His Spirit envelops me, and I hear the reassuring words of His counsel directing me to step forward and to engage the adventure that He has prepared for me in this life. Lord, God, I pray that as I go through this day I will continue to cast away the spirit of anxiety that keeps my eyes focused on myself and that I will continually gaze upon Your face and follow Your path into the Your perfect love has set out for me.

 

For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but the righteousness of faith.

Romans 4: 13

 

When God asked Abraham to leave it all behind; leave his family, their ancestral home, the support that he received there, the counsel of his elders, the food that he had come to enjoy, the certainty of his future inheritance, and everything that provided context and concept for his own reality, the Lord also made some very powerful commitments of His own to Abraham. By accepting the faith challenge that God gave to him, Abraham was going to become much greater than he could ever have imagined. He would be blessed by God in ways and to depths that were beyond his capacity to dream of, and the impact of his life would extend far past any future that he could see.

 

Every step that Abraham took along the dusty trail that led from Ur to Canaan was fueled by the faith that God was going before him. Each misadventure that Abraham brought upon himself was the result of a time when he lost his focus on the importance of continuing to trust God to have all of the answers. As we know from the account of Abraham’s life, God did have of the answers, even the ones to the most unspeakable and unanswerable of questions. My life is too often a weak shadow of the one that Abraham lived. God calls upon me to undertake the journey along His path, He makes His promises very clear to even my thick sculled mind and wavering heart, and I step out with real resolve and conviction. Yet, my steps are diverted, my pace slows to a crawl, I follow the bright and shiny objects that catch my eye, and my fears and doubts obscure the resolve that the Lord empowered.

 

In these times of weakness and wandering, I need to realize that faithfulness is defined and it is modeled by God. He stays with me regardless of where I go, and He always has prepared for me the map that will lead my lost feet back to the center of His will. Getting back onto God’s path takes little more than my smallest measure of faith. Then a tiny particle of trust is all that is needed to empower my feet to step forward. In return for these small expressions on my part, the Lord promises the world.

 

 

Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.

Revelation 4: 11

 

Perspective and point of view are invaluable in trying to understand how this world truly works and why things are as they are. It also helps in trying to sort out why things may seem to be one way while they actually are very different. People like to think that we are the great creators, the skilled developers, and the talented managers of our world. We like to think that we have control and can set our own courses through this life. Everything is ours for the taking; at least, this is what most of us are taught and encouraged to seek after. Yet, thinking like this and living as if this were truth leads to frustration, to a decreasing sense of worth over time, and to a never ending need to control and to dominate others.

 

When life is viewed from a different vantage point, my personal place in the world changes. When I recognize the fact that God is the creator, the developer, and the only One who is qualified to manage it all, the importance of my role and my need to be in control is absolutely altered. In order to take my hands off of the controls of my existence while still aggressively moving forward requires me to trust God and to have faith in His best intentions. It is in this arena of being trustworthy and true to His word that Christ excels. In ways that are amazing beyond understanding, God follows through with caring for my needs, in protecting me and my loved ones, and by establishing the importance and the value of my role in His world.

 

The heavenly point of view that is expressed in this verse from Revelation allows us to clearly see that God created everything and everyone. More importantly, it was all done by the will of the Lord. There is nothing in this world or in all of creation that is random or coincidental. God’s perfect will states that He desires for all of creation to be brought near to His heart again. Each of us moves closer to the Lord’s will and our world is also moved toward Him as we recognize God’s priorities and take personal action in living in the center of them.