Dec 18, 2009

Discovering the Art of Trust

Tonight I learn to trust.

I am on the brink of a decision…a decision that I cannot make. I have done all I can – all that is humanly possible I believe. Now I just sit and wait to see what tomorrow brings forth and what will await me in the outcome.

Some days it is hard to trust. It is easy to wonder if I have missed something and that is what is causing the delay. Was there some command of Christ’s that I have mislaid? Is there some duty I have failed to perform? Is there a sin I have not dealt with? Am I in the wrong place?

So I turn to my Bible to find the answer. I enter a cocoon of discovery to find what I am lacking.

Trust in the Hebrew means “to flee for protection; to confide in; have hope in; make refuge (Psalm 5:11) to be confident or sure; secure (Psalm 25:2, Psalm 9:10).
In the Greek it is “to expect or confide”.

So I wonder. Is my firm confidence and expectation in the Lord? It is a good question…but I don’t know that I have found the Word of the Lord for today yet. So I continue my search.

My need is for provision so, like normal, I find myself turning to Matthew 6 to read about the Lord’s great and trustworthy provision…and to find out what I am lacking.

Ah, the Lord takes care of the birds. They don’t toil or spin or store in barns for tomorrow – yet the Lord takes care of them day by day. The lilies too. What purpose does a lily serve? Nothing useful, surely, yet a lily does exactly what it was designed to do. A lily is a lily according to the Creator’s design and the Creator is careful to clothe the lily in splendor the same as the raspberry or any other more useful thing. Is a bird lazy to not think about tomorrow and fret if the food for the winter is stored up? No! Of course not! A bird has its job to do (purposeless though it may look compared to my own) and in doing its job it is not neglected by the Lord.

Here am I, setting out to do what I believe the Lord has designed me to do and I am fretting because the barns aren’t yet full for winter. Me! The one who has never gone hungry – the individual who has never lacked any necessity – the one who has seen the Lord move time and again just in the perfect time, the perfect way, and with the perfect results. And I am fretting?!?!
It’s true in verse 30 where it calls my faith so little. That word literally means “lacking confidence”. Not being absolutely confident in the ability and willingness of my Father to take care of me constitutes faithlessness. A faithless person’s destiny is grim indeed and my anxiety places me on the level of one tottering on the brink of hell. Why? Because faithlessness denies the nature, attributes, even the very existence of God!
Ouch! Tis time I spare not a moment in becoming very confident in the character of my God!

After a great deal of time spent in repentant tears and joyful praise I finish reading Matthew 6. I stumble upon this gem of wisdom…

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Seek – the picture here is quite interesting. It is the image of an assassin seeking revenge on his foe. It is pursuit. It is singular purpose, focus, vision; unflinching determination. It is not resting until it has acquired what it was after.

First – means first in time, first in place, first in order, first in importance. It means at the beginning, chiefly, before anything else, with no hesitation.

Seek first what? Seek the kingdom of God. This includes the rule and reign of the kingdom of God.

What is kingdom rule?
• Righteousness
• Peace
• Joy

Righteousness is justification or right relationship with God due to a correct dealing with sin.
Peace is quietness or a “sense of God’s mercy. Peace regulating, ruling and harmonizing the heart.” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary)
Joy, last but not least, is a cheerfulness or calm delight (not noisy pandemoneous giddiness). But rather “happiness brought into the soul by the Holy Spirit and maintained there by the same influence.” (Clarke)

In other words, I am to pursue above all and before all “righteousness, without mixture of sin; peace, without strife or contention; joy, in the Holy Ghost, spiritual joy, without mixture of misery!” (Clarke)

How releasing! What wondrous things to pursue! And it is so much better than pursuing a paycheck or an answer from an employer.
Not only do I get to pursue the treasures that will bring delight and refreshing to my heart, but there is a promise that as I pursue them all that I need will be added. Mercy, justification, peace, joy AND provision. This sounds to me like a beautiful life!

Dec 1, 2009

Think About What You Think About

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are [honest], whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
-Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)


True thoughts are not just fact-based, but rooted in the Word of God. This looks like thoughts that consider the full counsel of God.

Anxiety and worry are not truth because they deny the power of God.
Matthew 6:25-32 "…And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? "So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs."

Unthankfulness is not truth, because it denies the acts of God in times past.
Again, if I refuse to be thankful for what God has done or forget who He is; if I dwell only on the deception the enemy brings (“has God said…?”) my mind will become futile as I forget the works of God and it will lead to a darkened heart full of every evil thing.
Romans 1:21 “because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile (vain, idolatrous, foolish) in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

Discouragement is not truth because it denies who I am in Christ.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”


Just = innocent or holy, righteous
Pure = untainted or sincere

  • Are my thoughts uncontaminated with worldly ideas or philosophies or am I tainted with the ideas of the world?
  • Do my thoughts pull always towards my own desires or are they unbiased and willing to consider others?
  • Do I maintain the same degree of holiness in my thoughts as I do in how I represent myself to others?
  • Is there a mixture of sin in my thinking or is it becoming of one who calls themselves by Christ’s name?
  • If my thoughts were acted upon would it be sin?
Psalm 106:3 “Blessed are those who keep justice, and he who does righteousness at all times!”


  • If my thoughts were to be displayed would they render me beloved by anyone who saw them? Or better question, will my thoughts endear me to the heart of God…are they worthy of His beloved?
  • Do they give a good report of myself and of others? Does it give a right report of the working of God in my life? Does it allow grace for the work of God in the lives of others?
  • Do I have Joshua and Caleb thoughts, or do they more often tend to look more like the report of the 10 other spies? A good report does not mean unrealistic or covering over what should be taken into account, however a good report is always full of faith and believing that through Christ nothing is impossible. A lovely and good report always places expectations on the promises of God as being more important and weighty than “reality”. In fact, the promises of God are the only reality of a good report because they rely on the eternal faithfulness of God.
A good report does not ask God where He was, but it stands expectantly waiting to see the glory of God revealed yet again. (see John 11)

A good report understands the resurrection power of the love of God for myself and for others.


Virtuous thoughts are those that would not do damage to my reputation if others knew what I was thinking.
As Christians we are to be an example and a pattern for the rest of the world to follow…even in our thoughts. If my thoughts are not worthy of commendation or can’t be proclaimed from the rooftops then I should not be thinking them!

1 Timothy 4:12-15 "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all."


What weight do I give my thoughts? Do I view what I think about as important in the long term? Do I realize I will give account for my thoughts?
In the Gospels we see over and over again that Jesus knew the thoughts of those around Him; the thoughts of those people were always a representation of their character.

Matthew 9:4 "But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, 'Why do you think evil in your hearts?'"

My thoughts indicate my character and determine my actions…which will in turn determine my destiny.

What I think about IS important!