The word “place” has a special, well, place, in the vernacular of Christians today, especially when we find ourselves going through something in our life.
Conversely, like the word ‘place’, the word ‘something’ occupies a similar, well, you know, place, in our terminology as we most often use that word to refer to the specifics of a particular situation or circumstance – the something – in which we find ourselves at any given moment in our life. That something could be one of any number of situations having to do with our family, our career, our health, our finances, our relationships, you name it. The categories are infinite.
These so-called “places” which, by the way, are almost always referred to by Christians in a negative context, can be the result of our own actions or decisions or, alternatively, of God’s sovereign and autonomous will which He freely exercises separate from the tangible evidence of any active involvement or participation on our part.
As I compose this blog post, I find myself in a place; though not necessarily a negative one. You see, very recently, only yesterday in fact, after much prayer and meditation on God’s Word, I made what to many of my friends and associates would seem an illogical, if not outright foolish, decision to resign from my job not having another one to replace it. I won’t go into detail as to the particulars of why I made such a decision, as the point I’m attempting to make is larger, much larger, than that, which is highlighting the importance of trusting in God to meet our needs.
Understand that when I speak of “trusting in God”, I am not speaking in the sense that we should blindly or arbitrarily “challenge” or “dare” God to come through and rescue us from the reactionary and fleshly decisions we make apart from seeking His face (as God’s Word commands us in 1 Chronicles 16:11; James 1:5). Quite the contrary. The Bible is clear that we are not to put God to the test (Deuteronomy 6:16; Luke 4:12). What I’m talking about is a trust that is rooted in a belief – a conviction of the mind, soul and heart – that it is God Himself who, in His sovereignty and omniscience, has divinely led you to the “place” in which you find yourself today; and in submission to that divine guidance, you make the volitional decision to lay aside any worry, anxiety and fear in complete obedience to Him, regardless of how that decision may appear to others around you.
We are not really trusting God if we first insist on placing asterisks on following His direction for our life, thereby making our obedience to Him predicated on His direction being in line with what we think makes the most sense to us.
The truth is that when we find ourselves in a certain place, God’s will for us won’t always make sense – to us or to the world – nor should it. Only God is God. We are not. We are not really trusting God if we first insist on placing asterisks on following His direction for our life, thereby making our obedience to Him predicated on His direction being in line with what we think makes the most sense to us.
As Christians, we are quick to profess with our mouth that we “trust God”, but where the proverbial rubber meets the road, the question becomes: are we truly willing to obey God and walk that divine tightrope when there appears to be no safety net? (In my own case, to leave one job without having another one in place.)
You see, instead of challenging God to prove Himself to us (which, if we were honest, we would admit we do all too often), God will sometimes “flip the script”, if you will, and challenge us to prove our devotion and loyalty to Him, particularly when we begin to view our security and worth as being in something – or someone – other than God. This is exactly what God did with Abraham concerning his promised and long-awaited son, Isaac.
God put Abraham to the ultimate test of faith by challenging him to give back to God the one thing he valued most in this world: his son, Isaac, for whom he’d waited so very long. But, notice that in commanding Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, God did not promise to reward his obedience by replacing Isaac with another son, nor did Abraham ask Him to. And yet, Abraham remained obedient to God in an awesome display of faith and assurance that God would remain true to His character, and would somehow, some way fulfill His promise even though he couldn’t see how God would ultimately bring the promise to fruition.
Abraham passed the rubber-meets-the-road test of trusting God – and so can you.
In whatever “place” you find yourself as you read this, please know that the same God in whom Abraham placed his trust is the same One in whom you and I can trust. Though it can be difficult at times to do, God sets us in certain places in our life to grow us up and mature us, to conform us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. Obeying God is not the spiritual cakewalk many people, even some Christians, especially those who subscribe to a form of “prosperity gospel”, make it out to be. And though the Bible doesn’t explicitly state, I am of the opinion that for Abraham, obeying this particular command of God concerning the sacrificing of his only son was not an easy thing to do. After all, Abraham was human, too, just like us. And, like you and I, he possessed worldly affections, as well, such as those of a father for a child. In his case, an only child.
But, then, that’s the point, isn’t it?
All that you and I have – all of it – whether it be our family, our finances, our health, our possessions, everything – belongs to God and was given to us by God. As such, God has every right to demand back from us any or all of those things; just as He did Abraham with Isaac. With these truths in mind, we should aspire to live our lives in such a way that we do not hold so tightly to the things of this world that we cannot let go of them should God require it of us, whether it be a child or, in my case, a paycheck.This is the lesson I’m learning as I embark on this journey of trusting God to provide me a new job – to be willing to walk God’s divine tightrope when there appears to be no safety net.
“The Christian life is about believing God. It’s about living by every word that proceeds from His mouth. It’s by following Him into places where we’ve never been, into situations that we’ve never tasted, seeking countries that we’ve never seen [Hebrews 11:8], because we know who He is.”
“…for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” - Matthew 6:8
Think about it.