Wednesday, January 8, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 19: Unlimited trust

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 19, January 8, 2014
Readings: Psalm 18, Genesis 18:16-33, 1 Chronicles 21:1-17, Luke 11:37-54, Luke 12:1-12

"Trust is not something easily gained. And once broken, only time and trustworthy deeds can repair it."

This is something my father often said to me as I was growing up. Each time I faltered, struggled and damaged relationships, we had a conversation about trust. Suffice to say, the older I got, the more I valued it. The trust of my parents, friends and teachers was very important to me. And it still is today.

But I often struggle to trust the one I should trust the most. And it's not because he has broken his promises, lied or done me great harm. Rather, it's because if I trust him, then I lose all control.And down to the very fabric of our beings, of our society, and laws, and culture, we value control.

As if we had any. As if we could stop death, disease and injury. Or create lasting happiness, joy and community. No, we are merely struggling to regain our illusion of control. And so often I find myself not trusting the God who has never let me down. Never done something that wasn't for my best (by his definition, not mine!)

David, a man after God's own heart, struggled with this too. Not much time had passed since he saw God's provision, over and over again in 1st Chronicles 18: "And the Lord gave victory to David wherever he went." So what's not to trust? David never lost a battle in this time. His people prospered. His boundaries grew. God promised him a home, and a kingdom established forever!

But David still succumbed to the sin of trying to wrest control from God. Trying to trust in his own strength, his own ability to handle conflict that would threaten Israel. He didn't trust God's promise:

"So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, 'Go, number Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me a report, that I may know their number.' But Joab said, 'May the Lord add to his people a hundred times as many as they are! Are they not, my lord the king, all of them my lord's servants? Why then should my lord require this? Why should it be a cause of guilt for Israel?' But the king's word prevailed against Joab." (1st Chronicles 21:2-4)

Despite God's fantastic show of power, his unwavering care for David, David still acted like every other king. He had the God of the universe on his side, and he chose to count how many people were in Israel. Not for a mere census, but to count how many fighting men he had - to defend Israel, and to attack other nations.

While this may seem innocuous, it flies directly in the face of God's promises. Against overwhelming odds in battle, God had provided for David again and again. God had also promised Abraham that their descendants would be more numerous than the stars...and that David's descendants would rule forever. By taking a count of the people, David said to God: I don't trust your promises. I don't believe you. I'm taking charge.

And this broke God's heart. 

I want to be different, but I know at times I'm not. God has promised to care for me, provide for me, and give me a place in His kingdom when I go to be with him. Yet still I try to wrest control of my life, my job, my bank accounts from His guidance. I still try to rely on me. As if my resources, my wisdom, my abilities were greater than God. I want to have an unlimited trust in God. I want to relinquish control. Will you trust in God's promises?

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