Trust God with Every Moment
“Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Go south to the road – the desert road – that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’” (Acts 8:26 NIV)
A friend mentioned a nudge from God received on the job. He works in a nursing home. While seeing to the needs of an elderly resident recently, he felt the strong impression to pray for her right then. He prays regularly for those he serves, but silently, in obedience, he began to lift her to God.
What happened next was that this withdrawn woman with the glazed over look of so many institutionalized older adults, began to share about her life. “She just opened up and told me many things about herself,” said my young friend. Though filled with strong faith, he was pleasantly surprised about the reminder: God is with us every moment and will order our steps – giving us direction in the present. Why we’re surprised at His ready help and direction is curious. It’s there in His Word about His availability to those dependent on Him:
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” (Isaiah 30:21 NIV)
A fictional book that I just finished has one character offer this thought, “The great lie of this broken universe is that God cannot be trusted and that we have to take care of ourselves. That’s the lie that snagged Eve.” (Jake Colsen, So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore)
It’s the lie that can snag any of us – “Everything’s up to me. I’m on my own. I have to figure out what to do next.” And so comes the temptation not to pray or to pray with little hope and to act without having listened for guidance.
But God knows our needs before we speak them. He knows the needs of others and how we might intersect with them. He has plans not just for a distant future but for this day just as Jesus said,
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? … For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, …” (Matthew 6:25, 32-34 NIV)
This is a huge step to take in trusting God – to believe that He cares about THIS day and that He has mapped these 24 hours out for us, if we’ll lean on Him.
The story of Philip helps me to grasp this wonderful idea – that God cares about us moment to moment and will orchestrate a Divine schedule with us. Philip, along with most of the early Church, was driven out of Jerusalem by persecution, just when the Church was beginning to explode with growth. Philip had been named a church “deacon.” Fleeing to Samaria this “deacon for a season,” under God’s leading, stepped into the role of a powerful preacher, healer, and miracle worker. Then, again, under God’s leading and provision, he took the road into the wilderness to explain the gospel to one lone African man – a time of one on one ministry that led to the man’s baptism and some think, to Africa being invaded by the gospel.
After this, there were more towns. Philip went forward not knowing what would come next. He demonstrated an openness to being led daily.
One of the greatest shifts we can make as Christ-followers is to start each morning simply praying, “I’m here, Lord. What‘s on our schedule?” God will give impressions through His Word, other people, circumstances, the nudges in our hearts. There are, perhaps, certain things fixed on the calendar. Yet, believing that in the midst of this, God will bring what we have not planned, could not foresee, and cannot resource except by His strength, helps us to get up unruffled, hope-filled, and ready to touch other lives with His grace. And if you are in a difficult season, being able to stay focused and present, non-anxious about next week or next year because you hold onto the words, “I am with you,” is to know peace and usefulness in the storm.
For a long time, there was so much turmoil in my life. It really saddens me to think about all the years I wasted living this way.
I was a Christian and went to church, but I spent a lot of time being upset about things I couldn’t do anything about, and had continual feelings of guilt and condemnation much of the time. As a result, I had no peace and just didn’t enjoy life.
But thank God, I’ve experienced radical transformation in my soul. And the key was developing a habit of learning to trust God at all times, in every area of my life.
What It Means to Trust God
Trusting God is simply believing that He loves you and knowing He’s good, He has the power to help you, and He wants to help you.
Christians are called believers, but many times, we are more like unbelieving believers. We trust our friends, the bank, the stock market or the government more than we trust God and His Word.
In John 15:5, Jesus says that apart from Him, we can do nothing. We need to lean on Him for help with everything in our lives.
Sadly, a lot of people go to church, hear what they should do and then go home and try to do it on their own. They usually end up desperately telling God how hard they’re trying to do what they need to do, and they’re leaving Him out!
God wants us to put Him first in our lives. He wants us to put our confidence and trust in Him, all the time, in everything.
Learning to Trust God, Not Myself
I used to have a habit of trusting myself. I formed this habit through years of trusting people, getting hurt and finding out I couldn’t trust them.
I thought, If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself. If you don’t ask anybody for anything or open your heart to them, they can’t hurt you. But this mindset just kept me from trusting God.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.
When you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, the Spirit of God comes to live inside you. This means you don’t have to go through someone else to get to God. He dwells in your heart and you can learn to hear His voice.
The best way to hear from God is knowing what the Bible says. God’s Word gives us wisdom, and as we study it, our mind is renewed (Romans 12:2), so we no longer just think the way the world thinks – we can think the way God thinks!
The Good Habit That Makes All the Difference
We have to habitually study the Word to really have confidence in God and know we can hear Him. As we spend time reading and meditating on Scripture, we develop a strong spirit. Then we can hear God speaking to our heart and make decisions based upon what He’s leading us to do, not just what we think, feel or want.
When you go beyond what you want, what you think and what you feel and do what the Word and the Spirit of God tell you to do, you are able to develop good habits and break bad ones. You come to a place where the blessings of God – His righteousness, peace and joy – overflow in your life.
Life is simple and peaceful when we come to God like little children and say, “God, I don’t want to live on my own. I want to trust You. When I don’t know what to do, I’ll trust You. When I don’t understand why, I’ll trust You. I’ll do my part with Your help, and when I’m done, I’ll trust You to do the rest.”
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’ … There is no one who does good … All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good.” – Psalm 14:1, 3 NIV
On the surface, this psalm seems directed against those openly denying the existence of God. But, in fact, the principles articulated here have implications for everyone.
What David learned was how easy it can be for anyone to forget about God and to go his own way. And he learned the importance of focusing on God, placing Him first, seeking Him, trusting in Him, thinking about Him, and being guided by His principles. These attitudes are the foundation for a life of blessing.
This is true for everyone. Yes, denying His existence leads to a life without His blessing, protection, and wisdom. But even those who superficially believe in Him can act as if He does not exist.
Without a consciousness of God, we can believe any argument. When we stop focusing on Him, we can embrace any lifestyle. We can drift into any belief system and develop our own interpretations of events. We can follow any magnetic personality or be enticed by any clever-sounding teaching.
The sure path is to stay focused on God. To be committed to constant prayer, remembering that He is with us, all the time. To be sensitive to His Spirit. To live according to His Word.
In your life, seek to have a more intimate relationship with God. Read and study His Word. Spend time in prayer. Commit the issues of your life to Him.
Prayer—the forerunner of mercy
By: Charles Spurgeon
“Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock.” Ezekiel 36:37
Suggested Further Reading: 1 Samuel 22:9-23:5
First, I enquire what the promise is. I turn to my Bible, and I seek to find the promise whereby the thing which I desire to seek is certified to me as being a thing which God is willing to give. Having enquired so far as that, I take that promise, and on my bended knees I enquire of God whether he will fulfil his own promise. I take to him his own word of covenant, and I say to him, “O Lord, wilt thou not fulfil it, and wilt thou not fulfil it now?” So that there, again, prayer is enquiry. After prayer I look out for the answer; I expect to be heard; and if I am not answered I pray again, and my repeated prayers are but fresh enquiries. I expect the blessing to arrive; I go and enquire whether there is any tidings of its coming. I ask; and thus I say, “Wilt thou answer me, O Lord? Wilt thou keep thy promise. Or wilt thou shut up thine ear, because I misunderstand my own wants and mistake thy promise?” Brethren, we must use enquiry in prayer, and regard prayer as being, first, an enquiry for the promise, and then on the strength of that promise an enquiry for the fulfilment. We expect something to come as a present from a friend: we first have the note, whereby we are informed it is upon the road. We enquire as to what the present is by the reading of the note; and then, if it arrive not, we call at the accustomed place where the parcel ought to have been left, and we ask or enquire for such and such a thing. We have enquired about the promise, and then we go and enquire again, until we get an answer that the promised gift has arrived and is ours. So with prayer.