Saturday, February 1, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 43: In Whom We 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 43, February 1, 2014
Readings: Psalm 42, Psalm 43, Genesis 39, 2 Chronicles 16, Acts 9:32-43

United States currency has a unique phrase printed on it: In God We Trust. Of course, this is now surrounded by much controversy, but I won't get into that. What I do want to ask is this: Do you trust in God? When it really counts? God cares that you trust Him. That you believe He knows what is best, and will follow through.

Many people in the Bible have trust issues with God too. Just yesterday we looked at King Asa of Judah and his willingness to put God first. But later in life, he didn't make the same decision:

In the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and built Ramah, that he might permit no one to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. Then Asa took silver and gold from the treasures of the house of the LORD and the king's house and sent them to Ben-hadad king of Syria, who lived in Damascus, saying, "There is a covenant between me and you, as there was between my father and your father. Behold, I am sending to you silver and gold. Go, break your covenant with Baasha king of Israel, that he may withdraw from me."

At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, "Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you. Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the LORD, he gave them into your hand. For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars." (2 Chronicles 16:1-3, 7-9)

Asa had experienced the faithfulness of God multiples times, against stronger and more worrisome enemies. But instead of trusting God, Asa chose to trust the wisdom of men. Not only did he rely on foreign nations to save him (making him indebted to them) but he took silver and gold from the LORD to pay for it. He willingly stole from God what would have been freely given.

And don't we do this too? God is faithful to us in countless ways. If you're reading this from America, you're wealthier than the vast majority of the world. You have better food, living conditions and support than most, every single day. God is worthy of our trust. Yet we don't trust Him! Let's look at one simple area that relates closely to Asa's story: Tithing.

Only 5% of Americans tithe at all. 80% of those that do give only 2%. If we truly believe that everything we have comes from God, then by not trusting Him and giving Him our first fruits, we are relying on our own strength and smarts to provide for ourselves. We are stealing from God because we don't trust Him to provide. But has He not proven Himself worthy? Has He not been faithful?

This post is not meant to shame or guilt anyone into giving. It is meant to challenge and encourage! God is good, and God is faithful. We need not put our trust in ourselves, or how much money we have in our bank account. God has asked us to give back to Him, that He might do amazing things with it. He has given us everything we have! If we were willing to trust - what sort of impact could happen if American Christians trusted God, and put their money where their mouth is?

- An additional $165 billion would be available for Kingdom work.
- $25 billion could relieve global hunger, starvation and death from preventable diseases in 5 years!
- $12 billion could eliminate illiteracy in 5 years.
- $15 billion could solve the world's water sanitation issues.
- $1 billion could fund all current overseas missionary work.
- $100+ billion would be left over for ???!!
(stats from Relevant magazine:

I encourage you, if you are not trusting God, to start asking Him in prayer what this would look like. How does He want to show you His overwhelming faithfulness and abundance? He is ready, willing and able. Are you willing to trust Him?

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