What We Rely On; October 8, 2017

Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.

I have loved a song that arranged from verses 6-8 for a long time, and have translated it into Japanese so that we could sing it in our services. However, just now I noticed that the Japanese translation of this verse itself says “boast” rather than “trust.” There is a difference, but they are related. We do tend to talk about what we’re relying on, but talking about something doesn’t always mean genuine trust. In any case, it makes a huge difference what we are trusting in, and sometimes we don’t actually realize it ourselves until that thing is taken away. I have long thought that was a major reason God allows events in our lives that entail what we see as major loss: to show us we were relying on something other than Him. That’s not being mean, but rather kind, because what we rely on makes a huge difference in our lives in the ways that count. Jesus told us to “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,” because as He then went on to say, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:20-21) An expression that indicates what we rely on is, “our go-to thing.” In other words, if we have a need, that’s what we rely on. If we go to God every time we have a need, then we will indeed go to Him when we leave this earth, that is, die. If not, then our destination can be distressingly different! God is indeed the only one who can meet all our needs, so relying on Him is actually the most logical course in any case.

Personally, I have relied on all sorts of things throughout my life, but God is the only one that has never let me down. For me personally, a major temptation has been to rely on the gifts and abilities God has given me, rather than rely on God who gave them to me. That can look like the same thing to an outside observer, but I can assure you they are very different. One is pride, and the other is grateful humility. Humility is better every time! I have also relied on other people. Good people can indeed be trustworthy, and we need to aim to be so ourselves, but even the best people are ultimately weak and limited, whereas God is neither of those things. I couldn’t begin to count the number of times I’ve been disappointed in people, but never has God let me down. I have also trusted in physical items, such as cars and computers. Sometimes that has worked out, but I don’t really have to say that sometimes it hasn’t. I tend to enjoy technology, but my trust has always got to be in God.

Father, thank You for this reminder. It is nice to be able to use things without worrying about whether they will fail me, but keep me from relying on anything ahead of You. Help me remember that is idolatry! Forgive me for the many times I have failed in that area, and keep me focused on You until the day I am in Your presence for all eternity, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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