Trusting God’s Promises Alone

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

It is better to trust in the Lord Than to put confidence in princes. Psalm 118:9 NLT

When you read this week’s lesson on how Ahaz sought support from surrounding nations instead of God alone, did it remind you of times you trusted in people and they let you down? It did me. I almost hesitate to share this example with you because I am sure you have enough examples of your own! But because this is a blog post and I am expected to give examples I will share a couple.

I bought a used car at a car lot, and I was getting ready to drive away I told the salesman that I never thought to check the trunk to see if there was a spare tire and jack. The salesman grinned and assured me it was in there. So without checking, I drove away. Not a week later, while on the Interstate, I had a flat tire. As I pulled to the shoulder of the road I was patting myself on the back for making sure I had a spare and a tire jack. I opened up the trunk and saw the spare tire but no tire jack! I thought what am I going to do now? Before I could even call for help, it had already arrived. A friend who just happened to be passing by spotted me and pulled over in front of me. He had a tire jack. I was saved! Even though things worked out, I still went back to the car lot and gave the salesman an ear full. He apologized and gave me a tire jack out of the trunk of another car. I thought oh great now the same thing is going to happen to whoever buys this car. I don’t remember if I told the salesman to be sure and replace the jack in that car. Hopefully whoever bought that car actually looked in the trunk!  Through this experience,  I learned an important lesson. While man misled me and let me down, God still had my back. God caused a friend to pass by at exactly the right time.

A married couple I will call John and Jane were working with me in an Adventist conference many years ago. One of the conference leaders was not treating the employees fairly. When I went to confront the conference leader, John and Jane told me this conference leader was “The Lord’s anointed” and therefore could do no wrong. I knew better than that. We all make mistakes. None of us are perfect. The Bible also gives us plenty of examples of the Lord’s anointed still making mistakes and needing faithful Christian confrontation. 2 Samuel 12 gives us the example of Nathan confronting the Lord’s anointed. It was not a year later until this same conference leader seriously wounded John and Jane. Since their confidence was in the human leadership of the church, instead of God alone, they not only left their positions in the conference, but they left the church completely. Thankfully after a little over ten years God led them back to the church. Still they never would have left, if their confidence had been in God instead of man.

I think we all already know, but it bears repeating that the only way not to be disappointed by people is to never expect anything from them. A few years ago a church I had worked with a long time could no longer afford to keep me but still gave me a very generous severance check as a parting gift. Around that time a friend told me she was behind on her child’s tuition at the local church school and had no way to pay it. I decided since God was generous to me, I wanted to be generous as well. I went into the office to pay off my friend’s tuition bill. The school administrator asked if I wanted her to tell my friend who paid the bill. I thought for a second and then realized over the years many people have supported my ministry, and while some of them have come and gone, over time it was always God who was providing the support. I had learned to trust in God instead of specific individual contributors. I recognized that while God was using me this time to help my friend, that next time it may be someone else God uses. Therefore it was actually God who was supporting my friend and not me. I just happened to be the instrument He was using this time. I told the administrator not to tell who paid the bill. My friend needed to know that it came from God not from me. My friend needed to know she could trust in God and not that she could trust in me!

We all have heard people say after going through a trial, “No one helped me but God!” Well that is not necessarily throwing shade at their friends. It is very possible God did not cause anyone else to help because God did not need anyone else to help. Like a center fielder calling the left fielder off as he catches the ball by yelling “I got it!” God may be waving our friends off by yelling, “I’ve got it!” It’s not that the left fielder was unwilling to help. He just wasn’t needed. Likewise sometimes God wants us to know He is all we need. He is ultimately the one taking care of us. He loves us. The healthiest thing we can do is to not trust people or hold them accountable for our wellbeing. Let’s trust God alone and hold Him totally and entirely accountable for our well-being.

Truly Worshiping God Means Truly Trusting Him

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Tuesday’s section of this week’s lesson asks,

“How can we make sure we aren’t involved in any false worship?”

It seems the question between true worship and false worship boils down to who we really trust. For example, the children of Israel turned to Aaron’s golden calf when they didn’t trust Moses to return. Saul trusted his own sacrifices when he didn’t trust Samuel to show up. When David numbered his army it showed he trusted in numbers more than God. So, how can we make sure we aren’t involved in any false worship now? One way is by relying upon God now instead of or own works or inventions.

Do I return an honest tithe, or withhold some or all to put bread on my family’s table, instead of trusting Jesus to put bread on my family’s table?

If I return an honest tithe than I am truly worshiping Jesus. If I withhold tithe to provide for myself then I am trusting my money instead of Jesus. I am worshiping money which has become my false God. Notice I am not worshiping it necessarily because I love money more, but simply because I trust money more than I trust God.

Do I work on the Sabbath because my family needs the money, or do I rest from my works on the Sabbath and put my trust in God to provide?

Same issue as tithe, right? It all comes down to trust. What makes us think we will be true to God’s Sabbath during the mark of the beast, when we are not even keeping it during times of peace and prosperity? If I think my job is going to save me then I am worshiping my job, which is false worship. By resting from my works on Sabbath I am trusting God and thus truly worshiping Him.

While taking a test do I cheat to make sure I pass, or do I trust Jesus to work things out for me even if I fail?

Even if we fail a test or even have to take a class over, God can work all that out for our own good. We truly worship God in school as we truly trust Him in school.

When I make a mistake do I try to lie my way out, or do I tell the truth and trust Jesus to save me?

Revelation 21:8 says all liars will be in the lake of fire. We can’t say we trust Jesus while trusting our lies to save us. When we lie we worship our lies instead of worshiping Jesus.

False systems of worship seem to come from not trusting what God has already set in place. When we learn to trust Jesus we won’t need counterfeit systems of worship.

You may study this week’s Sabbath School lesson here.