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Friday, January 16, 2009
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"The Blessing of Trusting"
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:5,6).
Do you naturally trust in the Lord for all your needs or do you have to go through a time of testing to get to a place of complete trust? I too often identify with Jacob, the great Old Testament partriarch, who had to go through a time of testing to get to a place where he fully trusted the Lord to direct his paths.
He wrongly stole his twin brother Esau's birthright and fled to Haran to save his life. Esau, in a rage, had threatened to kill him for his wrongdoing. Twenty years later God told Jacob: "Go back to the land of your fathers and I will be with you" (Genesis 31:3). In obedience Jacob began the arduous journey to his homeland with a stockpile of livestock, menservants, maid servants, worldly goods, two wives, twelve sons and one daughter (pretty much in that order of line-up).
Obeying God is one thing; trusting Him is another matter. The Bible describes Jacob being filled with "great fear and distress" in response to hearing that his brother was coming to meet him, along with four hundred of his men. He began to strategize and rearrange his entourage of animals, servants, and family members in fear that an attack was being planned. Jacob leaned upon his own understanding instead of God's. God knew all along that Esau's heart had softened and he would joyfully welcome his brother's arrival. "But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept" (Genesis 33:4).
God was working behind the scenes and beyond Jacob's vision. That's why he spoke to Jacob about moving back to his homeland. Satan plotted in Jacob's mind, but God planned in reality a great family reunion to take place. He's always been in the business of reconciliation, most especially revealed in the death of Christ who reconciled us to God.
After Jacob and Esau reconciled, after Jacob wrestled with God, after he doubted God's protection, after he maneuvered his original plan, Jacob and all his entourage finally arrived within sight of his homeland of Canaan. There Jacob met God and built an altar naming it El Elohe Israel meaning "Mighty is the God of Israel." Finally he acknowledges that the God of Israel is able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine according to His might and not our limited scope of understanding.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." This wonderful Proverb has three commands followed by the wonderful promise, "He shall direct your paths." Our responsibility is to obey the commands. We can be absolutely assured that God will keep His promise!
We are all called to:
1) Trust in the Lord with all our heart.
2) Lean not on our own understanding.
3) Acknowledge Him in all our ways.
For me it's not at all hard to understand the meaning of these three clauses, but consistently applying them is another matter! Let's choose not to walk in fear and distress but in faith and dependency upon Almighty God. Let us experience the blessing of trusting.
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him
How I've proved Him o'er and o'er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus
O for grace to trust Him more
Be encouraged today,
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
Daily Prayer: Jesus, when I lean on my own understanding I fall prey to the natural man and limit the work of the supernatural. But when I trust You with all my heart I leave no room for second guessing. Today I want to acknowledge Your presence in every area of my life…family, work, relationships, my alone times. You will bring to pass the divine plans You have for me as You direct me in all my ways. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources
"Proverbs 3:5,6" Audio I was unable to find an online version for this memory verse as we sang it so I managed to persuade Brooksyne to sing it! No instrumentation or fancy production, just the way you would sing it without accompaniment (although I added a little reverb).
"Trust In The Lord" Video For many years we've enjoyed the music of Don Moen and his enthusiatic worship style.
"Tis' So Sweet To Trust In Jesus" Video A beautiful version of one of our favorite hymns.
Several days ago we shared a message titled "Lay Your Burdens Down" and shared a song by that title. An alert reader from Malaysia shared that it was written by Scott Dyer. It really is a touching song.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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