Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wisdom Wednesday: Trust Is a Must!

Pro 3:1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,
Pro 3:2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.
Pro 3:3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
Pro 3:4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.
Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
Pro 3:6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Pro 3:7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.
Pro 3:8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

When I was in my late teens, I used to bowl quite often. I threw a straight ball, meaning that I did not try to put spin or hook on the ball. One of my friends threw a ball that could hook from one side to the other. I would just watch him do that in awe. He tried to teach me how to throw the ball that way, but I just didn’t believe in it for my own game. One night he looked at me and told me that I better stick to the game I roll. He said, “Trust is a must!”

He explained to me that in order for me to be successful with the hook ball, that I had to believe that I could be successful with it. In many ways, that is the way it is in our relationship with God. We have to have a trust in Him to really have success in our lives with Him. We have to believe our prayers will be answered. We have to believe that God is working in our lives even in the bad times.

That’s why I chose these eight verses from Proverbs 3 this morning, primarily for verse 5. Let’s take a look at these verses a little more in depth.

In verse 1, God is telling us not just to think and remember the Word, but keep that word in your heart. That’s taking what we’re taught to another level. It’s easy to understand math problems like 2+2=4 because we can logically see that 2+2=4. It’s not always easy to see what we’re taught from God’s Word. Sometimes it takes thinking outside the logic box. Once we are able to make sense of the teaching though, it should be in our heart of believing as strong as basic math.

Verse 2 says that if we take the teachings to heart that we will have a longer life and bring us prosperity. Truthfully, when we are able to take what God gives us and apply those teachings to our lives, it takes most of the stress out of our lives, which in turn relaxes our hearts, making it do less work and lengthening the lasting care of our body. Can other things go wrong? Sure. But it is most likely that we’ll be on earth longer if we take care of ourselves.

The end of the verse talks about prosperity and I want you to understand that prosperity doesn’t always imply money. The name it and claim it people love to tell you that if you give your gift that you’ll be rich in your finances. I’ll let you define rich in that sense. However, prosperous means something else here. If you take the teachings of God and apply it to your life, it also tends to bless the people around you. This means that those words touch your spouse, your kids, your family and friends and as these people see the teaching in progress, they want to be around a positive thinking, God loving person.

Verse 3 tells us to keep love and faithfulness as part of what we do at all times. These are two qualities that are essential to apply the teachings from God. Verse 4 shows us that by doing all we can with God’s teachings that we’ll win favor not only with God, but with people also. I am always amazed when all of a sudden someone that really didn’t know me takes an interest in my pursuit of God and throws out a line to help me along.

The meat of these verses comes in verse 5. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” When things are going good, that is easy. When things aren’t going so swell, the real problem becomes that we begin to question God. All of us do it. Even Job did it. Job was one of the most faithful characters in the Bible and even he questioned when it all came down. It’s hard to keep walking when you want to roll up in a ball and head to a corner. But these are the times that we should hold on to God the most. One of my favorite stories is Footprints in the Sand. We think that the one set of footprints is us all alone. In fact, it is God’s carrying us.

Verse 6 tells us how to do it. If we stay consistent in our walk and acknowledge him, God will keep us on the right path. You may ask, “How does God do that?” Here’s the easy answer. If you use his principles from the Word, he won’t have to do a thing. You’ll continue to walk knowing that God is with you every step of the way.

Verse 7 issues a warning for us. Have you ever met a know-it-all or someone who can quote chapter and verse from the Bible to make it seem like every argument makes him right? Those people drive me crazy, but in truth, the second part of the verse also needs to be taken into account. There is a need to have a healthy fear of the Lord. What I mean by that is not that God will just stomp on you to keep you humble, but keeping that fear helps keep your motives and actions in check. You won’t jump to do questionable things in your life because you are still mindful of the relationship that you have with God.

The result of verse 7 is verse 8. It will bring health and nourishment. This doesn’t mean you won’t ever get sick, but you’ll be comforted by God and you will always feel stronger and more active in life because of God.

I want to learn to trust God, not just because I should, but because of all the wonderful benefit of doing so. I like the idea of a long life, good health and favor. When we have that, we can walk daily feeling God going beside us as we go.

I love you guys!

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