By: Norm Rasmussen
Our heavenly Father so much wants us to trust Him ... and Satan knows that better than any of us walking this planet!
Satan wants us to struggle with trusting God like no one else
does. When our trust in God is shaken - frazzled - Satan smiles.
God knows that when our trust in Him is shaken, it steals our peace and joy and further confidence in Him and His Word in our relationship with Him. Shaken trust in God can be the equivalent of going to bed every night with a ticking nuclear suitcase bomb snuggled up next to you.
Don't' underestimate the tactics of the devil to help frazzle our trust in God. The greatest vessels Satan has to work through to help shipwreck our trust in God are unwise Christians who place too much emphasis on one or two exclusive encouraging promises in the Bible while flushing the balancing wisdom of ALL pertinent scriptures related to the respective topic right down the toilet. The sooner Christians realize the importance of WISE Biblical interpretation, the wiser and more useful to God and others they will become. (http://www.precious-testimonies.com/Exhortations/p-t/EightRulesOfBibleInterpretation.htm)
The sooner a young Christian comes to the understanding that God is NOT our 'Santa Clause', the wiser we will become in placing our trust in God. "Santa Clause" brings "things" wrapped in packages, right? God wants us having peace and joy in our heart's in our relationship with Him, and those two priceless blessings can't be wrapped up in a pretty box with a ribbon around them. As our peace and joy grows in our relationship with Him, so will our trust continue to grow in Him. True, deep, stabil peace and joy with God is more priceless than anything we can receive from God other than His Salvation for us, and I repeat: Satan does everything in his power to try to keep chipping away at our peace and joy with Jesus Christ.
Thus God wants us to learn as quickly as possible that we need to be extremely WISE in how we go about trusting Him. The reason being: God knows how intent Satan is in trying to get us to trust in God in ways that will help frazzle and shatter our trust in God going forward rather than confidently building it.
There are wise ways to go about trusting God, and there are unwise ways. Satan knows every unwise way known to mankind to get us to misapply our trust in God, and if you think He won't continuously try to manipulate you to have your trust in God shaken ' you have yet to come to a fuller understanding of the spiritual foe you are battling.
Near the top of Satan's agenda is to look for ways to shake your faith - trust in God. It can't be stressed enough.
Satan doesn't always need one or more Christians to work through to get us out of synch with God in the trust arena. How we interpret scripture ourselves works very well for Satan.
Satan understands that Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of the most prominent scriptures in the Bible young Christians latch onto. Let's dissect it some.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.
Carefully note it DOESN'T read like the following:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not onto your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will give you whatever you are trusting Him for.
Satan wants you assuming it pretty much can be stated that way ' just an inncy binncy bit.
There are a couple other well known scripture passages Satan likes to use to trip us up in the arena of trusting God.
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4 NIV)
Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. (Psalm 37:5).
Satan will take Psalm 37:4 and 37:5 and try to get us to dwell JUST on those two scriptures without seeking God for wisdom in ALL the scripture passages in Psalm 37 ' especially Psalm 37:6! KJV:
And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
The whole of Psalm 37 is addressing the ULTIMATE heritage of the righteous and the calamity of the wicked. It is to encourage followers of Jesus Christ that upon the return of Jesus Christ back to earth and for all eternity ' our faithfulness in obeying His New Testament commandments will be rewarded. We need to be patient in the matter. Satan doesn't want us understanding that. He wants us exclusively 'proof texting' Psalm 37:4 and 5 to try to make it mean something God never intended for it to mean.
Proof-texting is to take one solitary scripture and try to use it to build our case to make it sound ironclad trustworthy to make our point at the exclusion of the WHOLE COUNSEL of the Word of God. This is a tactic Satan has used since he deceived Adam and Eve: Twisting what God told them, to trick them into sinning (And it WORKED!). Satan will NEVER help you wisely understand and teach you to wisely apply holy scripture. He is ever looking for a way to trip you up in your correct understanding of how to understand and apply the Word of God.
Back to correctly understanding and wisely applying Proverbs 3:5-6: God wants us to have peace about knowing that we can confidently trust Him in our decision making process, but WISDOM needs to balance out our trusting. It is NO COINCIDENCE that God puts so much emphasis in telling us to seek WISDOM in the first few chapters of the book of Proverbs. Along with seeking God for wisdom is knowledge. Most businesses fail because the right knowledge was not acquired starting out. Without trustworthy knowledge to make our business decisions from ... wisdom will be greatly lacking. God invariably grants wisdom to people who read and hear what OTHER successful business people know about starting a business that will profitably sustain itself.
God promises us in Proverbs 3:5-6 that He wants us trusting
Him to direct our PATHS along life's way. Conversely - Satan wants you
trusting YOURSELF about making decisions and FORGET God in the process.
Satan will relentlessly do everything in his power to frustrate you right
from the get-go in your walk with Jesus Christ by getting you to BELIEVE
sound bites such as: 'God helps those who help themselves." "God gave you a
brain: USE IT!" "God doesn't want to be bothered with your petty issues."
"God doesn't want you using Him as a crutch.' Satan has a lot of worldly
'half-truths' (a half-truth is a LIE) he loves us to latch onto to rattle
our trust in the Creator and our Savior.
God wants us to quickly as possible come to the place where we can confidently rest in our trusting Him ' knowing that when we PATIENTLY seek Him in prayer and wait on Him to giving us PEACE about which path in life we should take (meaning which decision/s we should make) ' the more confident we will grow in trusting Him.
Satan uses our impatience so often in seeing God honor our determination to trust Him from beginning to end. If Satan sees us digging in with Proverbs 3:5-6 as the number one means in our walk with God, Satan will try to get us to believe that God is NOT going to honor our trusting Him. Satan will fire his DOUBT darts at us 24x7. He'll whisper his doubt darts when we don't realize he's the one doing it, such as:
'You're a fool to keep thinking God is going to help you know what is best in this situation you face. Make your own mind up and whatever you think is best, trust God to honor your decision.'
Dear reader: I ran my life for the first 35 years of my life by making my OWN decisions and hoping - sometimes expecting God to honor them. Guess what? God rarely honors that way of running our lives, I discovered the HARD way! That way of running our lives does everything BUT demonstrate to God that we desire to truly glorify Him. What it demonstrates to Him is that we deceivingly want to be our OWN God ' making our OWN decisions ' and if God truly wants His best for me, He'll give me what I want. It's the same way Satan chose to run his life a long time ago. Satan wanted God to let him be at least equal with God - starting out. Truly, he did not want to have to submit to God any longer, and most likely anger and then revenge set in when he discovered God wasn't going allow to happen.
At the core of sin is the thought that we have the right to have what WE want without anyone telling us differently, including GOD. That's why most people reject Jesus Christ. He's too demanding in wanting to be Lord of our lives. Letting Him become LORD of our lives means that we have to give up our right to make every decision on our own and not caring what God thinks about it.
God never has nor ever will bless either and angel or a human who demonstrates to Him that they aren't willing to trust His judgment in what is ultimately best for them. Satan is aware of that about God more than any of God's creations, which is WHY He does everything in his power to try to convince us that God does NOT have our best interests at mind ' thereby God cannot be trusted when all is said and done.
Since turning my life over to Jesus Christ some 33 years now as of this writing, I have battled trusting God time and time again, so I write from great personal experience in how ruthless I've come to understand how much Satan wants to keep us from pressing in and patiently trusting God to grant us that which HE determines is best for me, and for me to stop trying to get Him to believe I'm smarter ' wiser - than HE is.
When Jesus said just prior to dying on the cross, 'Nevertheless, not my will be done, but Father, let your will be done,' it was implied that He was trusting God the Father to execute both His wisdom and immeasurable power to do what was best for the fallen human race. Had Jesus demonstrated His right to opt out of the Father's perfect will regarding the cross, no human being would ever have the barrier of sin removed that keeps a holy God from us unholy sinners the RIGHT to believe that starting right now and continuing for all eternity ' God the Creator knows what is best for each of us at any given time. Trusting Him in that is one of the most difficult things for so many to come to the full realization to ' but I have finally maturing in my walk with Him that I can fully trust Him in this matter.
Let's repeat that: God knows what is best for us at any given time, and we can trust His wisdom in the matter, no matter how much we might intellectually reason differently. God sees us from birth all the way into eternity that never ends for us or Him. Why in the world would I conclude that I know what is best for me at any given time ' if God would only ask MY opinion?
Yes ' there are times when Satan's doubt-darts seems to get through to my brain, and my faulty reasoning ability (with Satan fanning the flames) would like to get my spirit to believe differently, but my hopefully Holy Spirit encompassed common sense side tells me that if I can't trust God the Father and Jesus Christ to 'direct my paths' in life, then of all people, I'm the biggest fool to be alive on this planet.
Trust works best for the patient. Impatience can stop God from having a say in our matters like little else can. Self-will and worldly, carnal, human reasoning can stop it even faster. God will sometimes close the door on people to various degrees who refuse to keep trusting Him, to teach them a painful lesson that they are not qualified to make decisions to make their own decisions about eternal matters. Again, I speak from great personal experience from my own painful past.
I have yet to meet a longtime street person who believes in their heart that Jesus Christ can truly be trusted to take care of their every need. Oh sure ... you'll find them in soup kitchens tell you what you want to hear about the issue for some food and a place to sleep and maybe get you to give them a dollar or two for a can of beer or a pack of smokes ' but if you press them, you'll see the facade crack. God allows a lot of street people to get that way over this very issue: 'Are you going to trust me that I had my best intended for you at your birth, and you can be CERTAIN it wasn't to live indefinitely essentially being a beggar ' or are you ready to stop believing the lie that I can't be fully trusted to give you a better life than being a street person indefinitely?'
In my own way, I was 'street person' up until around age 35. Living in the street didn't seem to be that wonderful of an option to me, and suicide looked to be the better option. God had mercy on me and kept me from taking my life through self-imposed death, and it took me quite awhile after that for me to realize that I was so SELF-WILLED that God had to allow me to come to the point of suicide to get me to begin realizing He is Lord and I am NOT. Acknowledging His Lordship means that He can be trusted to know what is best for me at any given time, but the real question becomes: Do I really CARE? I've grown to realize I had BETTER care, if I want peace and joy in my on-going relationship with God.
Street people who have been
street people for very long all have a least one thing in common. They have
pretty much stopped CARING what God thinks is best for them.
What replaces that is their belief God DOESN'T really care
for them, nor does He any longer have their best welfare in mind (if He ever
did). They have grown to believe one of Satan's most
effective lies in destroying trust in God. It's a sad thing.
Hell will be filled with people who demanded their right to make their own decisions at the expense of what Jesus Christ died for to KEEP them from spending eternity separated from God. Ultimately ' God will grant people in hell their right to be their very own lord (as He does right now, actually). It will bring them eternal torment ' but if they have pleasure in anything, it will be that God granted them the desire/s of their heart up until they died, which is to be their own God according to THEIR definition/s of truth ' not HIS truth. His definition of Lordship ' not theirs. Him creating them to glorify Him; not the other way around. Him having their best interest in mind regarding eternity while they were still alive on this planet, but now too late.
A wise person digs in with God and will make it their number one reason for living in coming to understand what God's definition of TRUTH is and THEN begin to do everything they have in their being to OBEY it. These are the one's God wants spending eternity with Him. An unwise person demands his/her right to determine their OWN truth, even if it goes against Jesus Christ. WHY Jesus Christ? Because He is truth PERSONIFIED. He is the judge of truth and will never relinquish that to another.
God wants us trusting Him in the big things and the small things. He wants us to come to believe that no matter what comes our way in this life ' He CAN always be trusted to direct our paths as Proverbs 3:5-6 promises, if we'll be patient with Him and especially: Be willing to do what HE wants us doing instead of us steadfastly trying to convince Him differently, or throwing a mental temper tantrum and maybe even flipping Him off with a subtle mental "bird." (Forgive me for being so graphic, but it works).
Impatience is near the top of Satan's tactics to ultimately see our trust in
God frazzled. A wise Christian needs to learn as quickly as possible
that Satan will try to trick them into making hasty decisions. Number
four on the list of the nine fruits of the Spirit is: Patience.
If patience wasn't that important, God would never have listed it in the
nine fruits of the Holy Spirit that He wants to grow in our lives.
Self-will is the LOVE gift from God that He hopes we use wisely in refusing to quit trusting God when things don't turn out the way we would like. God will allow our trust to fail to test us in what we'll do afterward. Will we opt out of trusting Him any longer, or will we fight for the privilege He has granted us to suffer if need be to be found acceptable to Him on the Judgment Day?
I have come to realize it's not all that difficult making Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior when He grants us everything in this life we trust Him for. The longer I live, the more I've come to believe God will at times purposely allow our trust in Him to falter ' to see what we'll do in our relationship with Him after that. When He decides we need such a test, and we persevere in passing it, blessings are dropped on us from Him we would never have been visited with otherwise. Not necessarily blessings of health, finances and promotions and enhanced relationships with others either. Sometimes is the blessings of MORE faith in His sovereignty; sometimes enlarged opportunities to lay up eternal treasures for ourselves ' and more importantly lay them up for HIM - by being more fruitful in our ministry calls; sometimes peace with Him in dimensions we never experienced previously.
God promises us He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (See: Hebrew 11:6). Those who diligently, patiently seek God in prayer and in His Word to gain greater understanding and ability to trust Him with all the trials that come our way seem so unfair ' so unjust ' these are the ones God will grant the right to be showered with ALL spiritual blessings throughout eternity.
Having the steadfast confidence that God can be fully trusted to direct our paths through this life is to be more treasured than a trillion dollars in our bank account. That would be YOU, right? God wants it to be. He truly does.
'Heavenly Father ' I trust You from this moment going forward that YOU know what is best for me at any given time. I ask forgiveness if I've offended you in this trust/obedience area from times past. I ask You to impart increased daily wisdom to me going forward to trust You more wisely than ever before, and steadfast determination to obey You in every area of my life from here on out.
'Help me put to die to self will so I can more easily walk in YOUR will.
'Help me to have greater revelation - greater understanding - greater peace - that this life is to learn things you want me to learn that will help establish a sure God-glorifying foundation for me until my life on earth is done and I come home to You.'
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