Trust in Jesus
‘Tis so sweet…
March 27th, 2019
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.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)
There are several things about our walk with the Lord that are much easier to profess than they are to perform.
I’m not referring to ‘Talking a good game’. People sometimes will use this to mentally visualize doing something. They may be nowhere near the point where they would start the activity, but they review the future activity by outlining not what they will do, but what they would do, if they were to do what it its they are contemplating.
No, what I am talking about is when we are already convinced of what we need to do and have every intent to accomplish that thing, but we have progressed no further in the objective than where we first began.
The intent is there, we’ve contemplated the plan, but when the moment of action came into view, we instead wilted in place and failed to even attempt it.
Trust is one of those things.
The other thing I noticed in putting my professions into practice and making them realities, is that while I get out the starting gate, progressing a ways down the path, my momentum dissipates. We face the truth that while we understand it, believe it and commit to act upon it; we cannot carry it through to completion.
Despite multiple attempts, we continue to see only a marginal improvement in our pursuit.
This flaw in us is often used by the devil to convince us we have failed in our role as followers of Jesus. His assumption is that if he can get us to accept his claim of our failure, then he can take us out. With us in this defeated state, we pose no threat to him.
The first step in him accomplishing our defeat, is to have us believe that accomplishing the goal is the mission. God doesn’t say that. That is a plant of the devil.
Now you would expect that I would slip in a wonderful passage of God’s Word here that confirms this statement, and even though I would love to, I have yet to find a passage that states that God doesn’t place importance in our achievement. What we will find are many examples he wants us to put in the effort, but in doing so, rely on Him for the results.
Paul stressed this in no uncertain terms…
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
Romans 7:15-20 (ESV)
Paul wasn’t talking about trust specifically, but the pattern is the same. This is because the cause is the same. Paul identifies the root cause. “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.”
Our Lord knows this. Regardless, He loves us. God acknowledges this by His actions in response to our inability.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16 (ESV)
The Father didn’t send Jesus to die for us because he felt we had any ability to accomplish what was required of us to maintain a relationship with him. If that were the case, then every central character through the Old Testament would have consistently walked with God and performed to expectation. But they didn’t. They couldn’t.
He loved us so much that knew if we were to have the relationship with him he wanted us to have, it would necessitate intervention. Jesus is that intervention and grace is the tool that accomplishes the goals set before us.
This where our trust reaches fulfillment. Likewise, grace completes love, forgiveness, and virtually every other objective that Jesus calls us to.
We think of grace as being only that which covers our sin debt. Grace is so much more. Grace is the remedy for the corruption of the flesh. Assuredly, the Lord wants us to put forth every effort to accomplish those things which we are directed to, but at the very same time, there is a clear recognition and accommodation in places to cover the gap between our best efforts and the accomplishment of that which He calls us to.
That accommodation is the Grace of Jesus.
Because of our condition, we cannot fulfill the law, the Grace of Jesus covers. We see that we are expected to repent of that sin, seeking Christ and His kingdom.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 6:33 (ESV)
Seek! Repentance is a modification of our objective. When we are unrepentant, our objectives are focused on self and the pursuit of desires of the flesh. When we are repentant, those objectives are in line with the Lord’s and we pursue those things he desires of us.
As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.
2 Thessalonians 3:13 (ESV)
Grace is there to cover the gap and perfect that which is imperfect in us. God desires we make our best effort in every engagement and excel in confidence knowing we are not fully capable of the final goal, but that where we are weak, He will strengthen us in accordance with His will.
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:10 (ESV)
This assurance denies the devil a foothold whereby he can discourage us and make us ”grow weary in doing good.”
Because our flesh is weak, we fail to love, forgive, and trust as we should, but our confidence shouldn’t be vested in our ability, but in Jesus’ ability to transform us and apply his grace and strength to accomplish that which he calls us to.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13 (ESV)
When our trust falters, we should recognize it. Acknowledge it. But when we’ve come to that point, we must remember that we walk by faith and not by sight. Our hope fully rests in the grace and strength of Jesus acting in us. Get back up, dust ourselves off and resume our “Trust in Jesus”. Remind the enemy he has no foothold in our failure. It is expected that we cannot in our own strength accomplish our goal, but due to the grace of Jesus that goal will be accomplished in us. This isn’t failure it is part of the provisioning of grace in us.
In the Grace of Jesus,