Trusting God; October 20, 2017

Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:

The NIV translators felt uncomfortable without indicating what the pronoun at the end of this verse pointed to, so they used a colon to connect it to verse 6. However, the Japanese language is famously indefinite, so here it says, “and He will get it done,” without specifying what “it” is. I think that’s actually better. If we try to limit what God will do, we cut ourselves off from blessings we can’t imagine. To me, this verse ties in with Jesus’ talking about Him being the vine and us the branches, in John 15. Whatever our “way” might be, we can’t really get it done on our own. (John 15:5) It is only when we abide in Christ that God’s good plans for us are accomplished. We tend to be unsure of how to “abide,” but this verse gives us a good framework: commitment and trust. Too often we are weak in commitment and if anything, even weaker in trust. The whole issue of trust is illustrated by the fairly well-known story of Blondin, a French tightrope walker of the late 19th Century. He walked a tightrope across Niagara Falls, to the delight of the crowd. Then he pushed a wheelbarrow across and back, to even more acclaim. Then he asked the crowd, “Do you think I could push the wheelbarrow across with a person in it?” The crowd roared their approval, but then he asked for a volunteer! Eventually he did push his manager across and back, but the clear point was made of the difference between belief and trust. Everyone “believed” he could do it, until it came to trusting him with their own life. It’s often that way with us and Christ. We say we believe in Him, but then we get tied in knots over all sorts of things, failing to trust Him to “get it done,” as the Japanese says here. God has great and wonderful things planned for us, “more than all we could ask or imagine,” (Ephesians 3:20) but to receive it all we have to trust Him.

We are in training in precisely this area right now. God is laying out a plan for us that is big enough that several people are going into a panic over it. The numbers have too many zeros behind them! As many people have pointed out down through the years, we aren’t to look at what we have and figure out what we can do, we are to look to God and ask what He wants us to do, knowing (and trusting) that He will provide everything necessary for His plans. That doesn’t mean we are to be stupid, running ahead when He hasn’t made things clear, but it does mean we’ve got to take our eyes off of our own resources (as we see them) and trust God. At this point He has made His provision clear for the purchase of the land next door (though some people are still shaky about that). He hasn’t shown us how He is going to provide for building a facility on that land, but He is giving us all sorts of indications of how He is going to provide the staff we will need for the facility. Lack of trust is causing all sorts of needless anxiety. I’ve been told I’m to be a “faith engine” for this project, but that’s obviously something I can’t do on my own! We have a major business meeting coming up Sunday. I am to allow the Holy Spirit to speak faith through me so that the people can understand the difference between conceit and trust, and choose to trust. As long as our focus is on us, we will never be adequate for the job. When we place our focus and trust in Him, nothing is impossible. (Luke 1:37)

Father, I find myself wanting to preach every day, because Your Word is so rich and so good! Show me when and how to communicate what You speak to me, so that the believers may indeed have their eyes lifted to You to walk in grateful obedience, for their incalculable blessing and 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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