Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Walk by Faith...

There have been so many ah-ha moments during my study of the Psalms of Ascent, I cannot begin to share everything. Some things are so hard to put into words and I have had very little time for blogging lately. But, I occasionally look at the Google search terms that bring people to this blog, and it is obvious that many people end up here because they searching for assurance during difficult times. So... I will try. I will try to put it into words.

We studied Psalm 125 a few weeks ago and it begins,

"Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion
which sits unmoved forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
the Lord surrounds His people, now and forever."

Isn't that an amazing promise??? When we trust in God, we are as steady as a mountain! Unshaken. Stable. Confident. Secure.
There is a ton of power in the decision to trust!

But, Beth pointed out that it is pretty easy to mix things up and put our trust in the wrong place. We were sent to Psalm 30:6-7, when David tells about a time when he began to feel secure based on his prosperity. Somewhere along the way, David made the mistake of feeling secure in the blessings of God rather than God himself. This is a statement I had to camp on for a while. We've been the recipients of God's blessings repeatedly over many, many months. If anyone is in danger of putting the trust in the wrong place, we certainly could be.

Where is my trust? In God's "doings" or in HIM? Usually, I have my trust in the right place. But, I must admit, there have been times when my trust was misplaced.... when I trusted a job.... a plentiful bank account.... a gift.... a pantry full of food.... a business..... All of those things and good and precious gifts from God, but I have to be careful to see that I am not worshiping at the alter of God's blessings rather than the alter of God, Himself. The first few words of this Psalm make it clear where my trust should be... "those who trust in the LORD...." This is the one and only place my trust should reside... and not because of what He does, but because of Who He is.

But, let's take it a step further. What if, for some reason, we do not see visible evidence that God is blessing us? Are we going to keep trusting Him, even when we don't? When difficulties surround me, when life is becoming less and less of what I expected it to be? How do I respond when he delays in providing something I think we need?? This is where the rubber meet the road. Do I have a fair-weather faith or a faith that will weather the most difficult of storms?

Beth Moore puts it so eloquently:

"We can grow secure in the favor God has shown us,
but God's favor and His person are not synonymous.
If our trust is in manifestations of God's favor rather than God Himself,
we will crumble like dry clay when He calls us to walk a distance
of our journey entirely by faith and not by sight."

The example of the apostle Paul comes to my mind here, who was imprisoned, flogged, beaten with rods, stoned, shipwrecked, constantly in danger, suffered from hunger, thirst, cold and lack of clothing. But, did he lose faith in God because of it? To the contrary, he saw it as an opportunity for God's strength to show through him. He is truly an example of not putting trust in tangible blessings as opposed to God Himself. Look back to the scripture where I began: Psalm 125... when we have our trust in the right place, when we trust in God, Himself... we are a strong and steady mountain and cannot be shaken in spite of what is going on around us. That is why Paul was able to endure so much. He was strong and unwavering in his trust and faith in God.

"for we walk by faith, not by sight..." 2 Cor. 5:7


Melody said...

I just recently came across your blog and see that you are doing the Beth Moore Stepping Up study also. I haven't posted stuff about the lessons, but want to thank you for sharing. Your insights are very inspiring.

LynnSC said...

Awesome Post!! I cannot wait to do that Beth Moore study... it has so much to teach!

It is easy to put our trust in the wrong place... but I think that you and I will agree... that when you are down to nothing, your trust will only survive if it is in the Lord. Unmoveable. That is what I want to be.