From time to time there are moments where we find ourselves thinking or saying “I need to trust God more”. This is not unusual, and it's not unexpected because every believer goes through cycles of more and less ability to trust. God knows this and that is why there is so much written encouraging us to trust Him.
What tends to be a mystery to believers is how to measure how much we trust, and what to do about it. Firstly a few basics. Trust is not given easily and it would be foolish of us to trust anything or anyone we are not convinced we can depend on. For example we learn at an early age that we can trust a chair to hold us up and we even stop thinking about testing one when we come to sit in it. So it becomes an unwelcome surprise when a chair fails. Experience has taught us to trust.
Walking with God is like a journey of learning to trust Him with more and more. This gets scary at times in situations we have never negotiated with Him before. He knows that so He doesn’t usually ask us to trust Him more than we are able, but He will ask us to trust Him in an area that He has already shown us that we can.
In amongst what we can read in the Bible about trusting Him is a psalm written by David, a King of Israel and one of the men of the Bible who walked closely with God. David wrote this as an old man, I think giving advice in song form that people could sing and remind themselves about the steps of trust. Certainly when our Father showed these steps of trust to me, my life and ability to trust Him were rapidly enhanced.
So lets have a look at the psalm and see what can help. If you have a bible handy it would be good to open it at Psalm 37 Verses 1-13
This Psalm is written in steps of trust. It comes out of David’s experience that trusting God is a deepening walk that contains cycles of trust. (In v25, David tells us that he wrote this as an old man from his experience ).
What he describes is that each new area of belief and each new level of walking with God requires further trusting.
We can use what he describes to assess where we are in our resting in Him by looking at our internal trust levels, identifying which step we are on at any given moment and then quickly use these steps to trust our way to victory. Every attack and every crisis will push us into a lesser state of trusting and we need to have quick ways to bring ourselves back into full effectiveness.
Psalm 37:1-5. A Psalm of David
Do not fret yourself (wind yourself up) with evil doers; and do not be envious against the workers of iniquity. (gross immorality/injustice)
For they shall soon wither like the grass; and fade as the green herb.
Trust in the Lord, and do good; you shall dwell in the land, and you shall be fed on truth.
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Roll your way on the Lord; trust also in Him, and He will work.
This psalm has some choices we can take to quickly progress our walk at any given moment into delighting in Jesus who lives on the inside of every believer. Each choice is built on the trust choice before it. You can map out these choices and steps to suit yourself or to suit someone you are helping or discipling.
- Stopping allowing ourselves to be stirred up to worry over evildoers and workers of selfishness and start trusting is the beginning
- Once we calm that down we can trust our Father, focus from the heart on His faithfulness and do what comes out of His peace
- Then we can delight in Him, leaning toward Him in personal intimacy and surrender
- When we delight in Him, our hearts come into tune with His heart and prayer gets answers.
- Not only that but He starts answering what we feel from the heart needs to be in place as we “Roll your way on the Lord”
- More trust is needed to stay in a place of delighting in Him in our hearts, and this further trust and surrender to Him produces a space inside us He can work in. He also produces much in your sphere of influence.
- Out of delighting in Him, comes the ability to commit our way to Him and the extra level of trust needed to allow Him to bring it to pass.
- When we have walked into leaning on Jesus this far, we find a peaceful place of heart that can rest in Him. We are not resting from doing or working physically but resting from pushing for our own agendas. We do need to wait patiently for Him to bring out what He has shown us because the enemy attacks with thoughts about others who are prospering in their selfish way.
- At this level of trust we can choose to be angry or not when provoked. Stirring ourselves up to anger causes our clarity of purpose and thought to be lost. Wrath is applied anger which includes revenge. Better to utterly forsake it than have to deal with the mess always caused by wrath. Refuse to allow yourself to be stirred into fretting over anything. Those who wait, the meek (note1) shall inherit the earth, they will also find that the enemy is plotting against them and demonic manifestations break out. At this level of peace and trust we are able to see it all with our Father's perspective - how tiny and insignificant it all is when viewed from the throne of God, and laugh with Him, staying above it all in the joy of rest.
Some find trusting easier to do when they are singing (perhaps with others) praise and worship, than at home or work. Each of us needs to experiment to discover the personal keys that help to stay in a place of delight and trust in our heart.
It has been said that practising faithfulness to God causes us to live a standard that affects those around us. We can achieve this by being hard and legalistic or by connecting to His life which naturally produces faithfulness. The second choice is what I am talking about here.
Only His Life active inside us controls the influence of self or the flesh. Galatians 5:22 Being humble hearted toward our Father in heaven (Dad) and walking through life surrendering our heart to Him enough to let that happen, brings us into an internal state of heart where we can delight in Him.
What is delighting in Him?
Delight is pleasure and joy combined that can transcend most other things. Delight in Him is a feeling of joy and pleasure that is connected with Him.
What are the ways you know of delighting in Him? (Singing in worship, soaking etc.)
We can experience delighting in Him in many ways but it takes some practise to dwell in heart delight consistently.
Each of us is wired differently so we need to try things out to find what works for us.
Matthew 5 up to gentle is the attitudes we can choose to get into a place of delighting in Him. The rest of the list in Matthew 5 flows from delighting in Him
Delighting in Him brings the ability to:-
• totally surrender to Him
• letting the worries and cares of life rest with Him
• know heart to heart with Him that He cares
• know that He is not mean or unkind
• know that He is merciful and giving
• rest in Him, Be still inside, and know
• turn away from anger and into His love
• turn the other cheek Matthew 5:38-45
• He never ill-treats anyone and we get infected with His attitude
Delighting in Him is a key that makes lots of other stuff fall into place.
Trusting is a bit like jumping off a hill with Him into Him at times but as we do we learn that He’s always there, always big and always worth the effort.
It’s so much easier to bring out a spiritual gift from a place of delighting in Him and we are much more likely to get it right. We relax into a place to know His bigness, and His great love as we pursue delighting in Him.
Steps of trust and depth of dynamic relationship
These are the steps in order:-
V 1-3 – Not worrying about others means that I can concentrate on Dad and trust Him (see V 16 man has his day). It is food, or Life to us to do His will. John 4:34 “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work”.
V 4-6 – Trusting and resting in His Life. Then His Life determines my asking so that it is in accord with His desire/will.
V 4 Delighting in His person and how wonderful He is as well as trusting Him causes His heart attitudes to flow in our heart, and so He can grant anything in our heart at that moment because the desires are in tune or in harmony with Him.
V 5 Delighting in Him opens a faith connection to Him so that He is in control and our commitment to Him is total.
A) Totally surrendering to Jesus.
B) Doing immediately what Dad shows to do and say.
C) letting all the worries of Life rest with Him, knowing that He cares and will take care of all things because He is not unkind or mean. Our Dad is loving kindness, merciful, and giving.
V 7 Resting in Him = resting in what He has revealed to you and waiting, not allowing worry over those who persecute.
In John 15:7-10 Jesus said “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you. In this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit: so shall you be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: continue in my love. If you keep my commandment, you shall abide in my love: even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in His love”.
V 8-10 – Recognising and stopping feelings of anger, and forsaking doing anything about it. Preventing worry/reason from provoking action which comes from self. Part of resting in Him is resting from self works.
V 8 The anger that is felt when it is allowed will immediately disconnect our soul from our spirit and block dwelling in Jesus and receiving His Life flow. Wrath is an action that He alone can be trusted with – man shifts into self mode in wrath. Dad asks the opposite of us and empowers us to do it – turn the other cheek or let them have what they demand or take. Matthew 5:38-45
Dad doesn’t want us to worry over any of it because that means by reason we will wind up ill-treating others as a result of self motivated thinking. Dad never ill-treats anyone and resting in Him means we are able to stay in His Life through all those things and we will not ill-treat anyone either. Staying in His peace is the antidote to worry and anxiety.
A note on Faith and Trust
Faithfulness toward our Heavenly Dad brings about (assurance) settledness and strength in the heart and steadfastness of spirit.
Trust-ing Dad means hope that He is going to bring about His way instead of our self-way or any other way that might seem to be in force. Trusting is hanging onto Him, being persuaded or knowing that He is able because He is that good.
Trusting comes out of knowing Him and relying on His LOVING NATURE. He works and He is.
He is the initiator, we are the reluctant son. He is the saviour. He always grants Mercy that we cry for.