As Christians we are taught to and learn to place our trust and faith in Christ alone for our salvation. The Bible is clear, there is no other name under heaven by which we must saved (Acts 4:12). I have found the practice of that truth extends far beyond the reaches of the need for salvation and into the minutia of our everyday needs.
Recently I found myself in a situation in which I was praying fervently for God to provide my need. I prayed believing God is able to do exceedingly above all I can ask or think (Eph. 3:20). I kept praying, “Lord, help me to trust in you”. Multiple times a day, each time the fear or anxiety appeared, I turned it into a prayer.
Quickly I saw where I thought God was leading and built a picture around the dots I could see. Only my picture was connected by dots that were not given to me. I have faith God can do anything, only I turned it into faith he would do the “anything” I was hoping he would do.
When the picture dissolved and I was left standing on the same first dot, I began to wonder what happened. In his graciousness God showed me I had moved the object of my faith. I said and I believed I had faith in him. In actuality, I had faith in the solution I chose – the person I thought would be helping me, the situation I thought would be resolved, the next step I thought I would take, the miracle I thought would happen. Faith in anything other than God himself is a faith in the unworthy.
I placed myself in a precarious position when I changed the object of my faith from the one who offers himself as the culmination of all hope to the hope of receiving the gifts he is able to offer. Do I want God or the things he can give me? Am I the older son (Luke 15:11-32) waiting for the payoff of a life of hard work or am I spending time with the father because time with the father is the payoff?
I often misinterpret Matt. 17:20 talking about having faith to move mountains as having faith the mountains would be moved. There is a subtle yet very tragic nuance to the difference. I turn faith into a wish, a first choice pleading that if I persist God will give me what I want. I should be praying for what is placed on my heart, but I should be praying trusting if the first choice turns into the seventh choice, God’s will is being accomplished and he is as faithful as he ever was and I can continue to trust him even though my flesh says he has no idea what he is doing.
God is more interested in moving the internal mountains of stubbornness, pride, anxiety, unbelief, doubt, fear, and anger, than the obstacles I’m pointing out to him, as though he is unaware. Once I am broken and see the futility of putting my trust in anything other than the I AM, I can be rebuilt into who I was made to be, a person whose hope and faith rest in the only one worthy of it. The object of my faith makes all the difference.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:3
I hope to make this part of a long conversation. The teaching on the mount that Jesus gives has been gone over many times. So many times that it may have lost meaning. We do have the Beatitudesfor a reason.
But have we ever stopped at what Jesus was teaching His disciples and what He aims to teach us now.
Blessed are the poor [in spirit]. As the Ten Minute Bible Hour points out in this video: https://bit.ly/3CaBMKe, saying that we should be poor in anything is the wrong way to go.
Especially when the Good News is supposed to make poor people rich. But Jesus tells us to be poor; That we are always going to need to ask God, our Father, for His help. That we are destitute and could never achieve God’s holy standards on our own.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;).” Ephesians 2:4-5
God knows that we can never meet His righteousness without Him intervening. So He tells us that we should shrink ourselves to be as a poor person would, a person who is unable to provide for themselves at all and ask for provision. Jesus tells us to be that kind of poor from the start. If we are that poor, God is pleased to hand us the kingdom.
And what is the kingdom: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self-control.
We must remember that unless The Lord builds and watches the house, our labors are useless without Him. Stay poor.