Trusting The Lord
Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Our text in Proverbs 29:25 promises, “Whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.” He will be safe from all danger of yielding to sin and temptation. If you trust God, temptation has no power over you. Every act of sin is an act of distrust of God. He who trusts God will do right even though the heavens fall.
When I was home one summer, I found a young Jewish woman who had been converted while I was away. She was a very talented woman, but she had to work hard for her living to support the family. After she was converted, she was full of love for Christ. She went out to the place where she worked, a very large company, and she began talking about Christ to the other employees. Some of them did not like it. They went to the head of the firm and said, “She is constantly talking to us about Christ. We don’t like it.”
The managers called her in and said, “We have no objection to Christianity, and no objection to your being a Christian. It is a good thing, but you must not talk about it at this company.”
“Very well,” she said, “I won’t work where I can’t take Christ with me and talk for my Master.”
“Well then,” they said, “you will have to lose your job.”
“Very well,” she said, “I will give up my position before I will be disloyal to Jesus Christ.”
They said, “Go back to work, and we will tell you our decision later.” She went back to work. At the end of the week, she got a letter from the firm. She said, “Here is my discharge,” and she tore it open. The letter read, “We have a position with great responsibility, with a much larger salary than you are getting. We think you are the woman for the position, and we offer it to you.” They saw she could be trusted. Businessmen are looking for men and women whom they can trust.
As I read this story I thought of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They began by refusing to eat the meat that had been offered to idols. They chose, even as captive slaves to keep their relationship with God as their first priority. While we can read the outcome and see how it turned out, they could only trust God for the outcome and that is to be our position. God has instructed us that we are to have no other god placed before Him. This means that every decision we make, every choice we make, every action we take must reflect that our relationship with God is our priority above all else. As these boys kept that priority, they earned the respect of the person in charge and at the end of the test they excelled and were given positions of leadership in Babylon.
This was only the beginning for as we all know, the devil doesn’t lose a round and walk away. He comes again and again to stir up adversity against us and he did so with Daniel. It seems that Daniel had acquired a reputation of being a praying man. As a matter of fact, we are told that three times a day, he opened his window toward Jerusalem and prayed. His enemies sought to find something they could use against him but the only thing they could find was his relationship with God. They persuaded the king to issue a decree that no one could petition anyone including the gods for thirty days and they watched and waited. They found that even a kings decree did not hinder Daniel in his walk with God. There can be no question that Daniel was aware of the law and the consequences for breaking that law but his relationship with God was more important than position and life. So he continued his routine of prayer as though nothing had changed. His enemies seize him and bring him before the king and he pleads guilty to the charge of making his requests to God. He doesn’t argue, he doesn’t try to make an excuse or to get out of the situation. They cast him into the lion’s den as punishment but God keeps him. The next morning the king comes to find Daniel well and safe. He has him brought up from the lion’s den and elevates him to a large position. Why? Because the king knew that he could trust a man who wouldn’t give up his faith to save his life. The one who walks with God with such confidence and loyalty can be trusted. The person who hides their faith, who blends into their surroundings, who denies Christ their words and actions is also a person who cannot be trusted to keep their word nor their promises. If we can break a covenant with God, why would we not break a covenant with another person? If we are disloyal to God and live two separate lives- work life and church life- why would we not also be that way with the other parts of our lives? Sometimes we must choose Christ and our relationship with Him over our careers, our goods and our earthly relationships. Far too often God is put on the back burner of our lives. We use the phrase, “As soon as I do….., I will give myself fully to God.” The truth is that something will always be between us and full surrender to God. Over the years I’ve heard people say that as soon as they finish school, as soon as the kids get old enough, as soon as their life slows down, as soon as they retire, as soon as their parents are taken care of and on and on it goes. What the devil wants is that we continue to procrastinate with our walk and work for God until we die without ever deciding to place God first in our lives. Please understand me, it’s not an easy thing to put God first for the world will pressure us to make other things- good things our priority. I remember when the company I was working for shut down its operation and I lost my job. Interview after interview and in each of them Sunday work was required. I had decided a long time before that Sunday was going to be my day of worship and that I would not work a secular job that required Sunday work. As time went by and I wasn’t finding employment and meeting my family’s needs was getting increasingly impossible, the pressure to yield became almost unbearable. One company even offered me to work after church but I knew if I gave in it would soon progress to all day. As I prayed and sweated and stressed, often in sleepless nights and restless days, battling discouragement and doubt, even my closest friends were telling me that I was living in a dream world if I thought I could survive without Sunday work. But God gave me grace. The church where I was preaching met and tripled my pay. Some friends of mine hired me to do some work and God enabled me to launch my construction company. I’m not saying that you have to make this kind of decision but I am saying that God has to be first and your loyalty to him and your work for Him ought to have the highest priority in your life as a Christian.
We read that the three Hebrews were unwilling to bow before the idol. They were thrown into the furnace but they were kept by God and when they came out of the furnace, their faith and loyalty to God caused the king to elevate their status in the kingdom but more importantly he decreed that their God was the true and living God.
Where ever we are and where ever we go we must remember that we are ambassadors for Christ and our primary mission is to make Him known and received. Whatever job God has given us so that we can earn a living is an opportunity to witness of Him. Whatever environment we are in whether in a store, a restaurant, an office, we have been called to make Christ known.
Do your co-workers identify you as a Christian or just someone who goes to church? Do you live two lives, one when you are around Christians and the other in the presence of unbelievers? If you were being tried for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you?
Let us learn to trust in the Lord with all our heart and cease to lean on our own understanding.
Dr. John Thompson