Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to him in song.
Often where English Bibles say “trusts in,” the Japanese translates it as “depends on.” Those two things are actually inseparable, but you wouldn’t know it from how we talk and act sometimes. We say we trust God, but then get all anxious. We say we depend on Him, but then we make “plan B” and even “plan C.” That’s not how to experience the abundance God has for us! God is not calling us to be passive by any means, but we are to submit our plans to Him in truth and not just in show, letting Him show us His plans and then applying ourselves fully to be obedient to those plans. Life is going to throw us all sorts of curves, just as Jesus said, (John 16:33) but if we trust God enough to genuinely depend on Him, then the victory that Jesus has already won for us will be manifested in our situation. That doesn’t always take the form that we would prefer, but it will always be the best option in the long run.
Right now we are having some intensive training in this area in ways that we aren’t so used to. Someone has come forward saying they want to give money for the church to buy the large plot of land next door that we have been praying for from the time we first started using the land our building sits on. At the very same time, the owner of that land finally moved to have the house that was on the land demolished. (It was already falling down.) When I contacted him about the price of the land, it was quite reasonable. All of that is of course very exciting. Right now the demolition is almost complete, but the next step is dealing with what is growing on the land. There are trees that we would indeed prefer to be removed, but there are also trees we want to keep, because we have the vision of building a group home for seniors on the land, and we want to preserve a park-like atmosphere. The owner of the land is in town right now. He seems to have in mind removing all the vegetation, and it is very hard to let go of the situation and trust God to preserve what we should have and eliminate what should be gone. And that’s just in the preparation of the land! The design, construction, organization, and operation of the group home are all in the future. There too we need to trust God enough to hear what His plans are, neither running ahead or dragging behind, and certainly not going off on a tangent. As all of this is going on, practically every person in the church is under some form of physical and/or emotional attack. The devil doesn’t like what God has planned for us! As the pastor/shepherd, I’ve got to be diligent in spiritual warfare, submitting fully to God so that we may stand firmly against the devil. (James 4:7) I’ve got to choose trusting obedience at every step, every turn, so that God’s plans may indeed be fulfilled, on His schedule for His glory.
Father, thank You for all that You are doing. It’s hard to take my hands off and let You be God! Forgive my foolishness. Help me be active in my obedience, not interjecting my plans and so failing to follow Yours. May I not draw back from anything You show me to do, but may I not do anything that is not of You, so that Your good plans may be fulfilled indeed, for the salvation of many. Thank You. Hallelujah!