ELDER NEIL PHELAN JR.
WHERE IS YOUR TRUST?
"TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL THINE HEART; AND LEAN NOT UNTO THINE OWN UNDERSTANDING. IN ALL THY WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM, AND HE SHALL DIRECT THY PATHS" -PROVERBS 2:5-6
Is God suspect in our lives? You may find this question somewhat ridiculous but we all have to be honest about it. Do we really trust our lives with God? Will He treat us right?
These words are written by a man that learned a lot from the school of hard knocks. Solomon could write from personal experience of the one to trust with our lives and it was not himself. Solomon had tried to lean to his own understanding and we read of the crooked path that it led him down.
We should look at our lives as a journey in time in honor to God. As we look around us, we do not have to look very far to find many who have trusted in their own understanding. How sad it is to see the crooked and painful path many have trodden as a result of trusting in the arm of the flesh rather than leaning upon the arm of the beloved. Is God suspect in your life? He is in the eyes of the world. The world continually tries to blame the God of heaven for the depravity of the human mind and soul. They want to blame God for the drunkards, the drug addicts, the homeless, the starving and the hurt and pain we observe in humanity. But we maintain "SHALL NOT THE JUDGE OF ALL THE EARTH DO RIGHT?" -Gen 18:25b. How timely and important a message this is today! Where is YOUR trust?
We are living in a day in which there are many paths for the pilgrim to follow. The world is desperately flooding all of our lives with other avenues and ideas to trust. Who do you trust when you want accurate information on the subject of training up your children? Do you trust the magazines, the television talk shows, the book written by the "expert" doctor or do your trust God and His Holy word? Your answer will be manifested by where you have been spending the most time. How about your marriage, your job or your attitude towards a particular lifestyle? All of these areas, and more, are addressed very specifically in God's Word, the Bible. This is the path clearly marked out for the searching and inquiring child of God. God, rather than speaking to us directly, as in Old Testament times, speaks to us through the inspired word of God, with the blessings of the Holy Ghost. Here is our path.
With the word of God in our hand and the spirit of God abiding within us, we are, as mariners, on a great sea. As the winds blow and the billowing waves rage and roar around us, we hold fast to our course leaning not to our own way, but unto God's. God is our director and our compass as we fix our sight upon an unchangeable and unmovable mark. Earthly understanding and objectives may change, but God does not. A compass must have a target or it is of little use.
Have you ever been lost in the woods without a compass? It is a true tale that one does walk in circles. I know, I have done it. I must also confess that I have done a lot of circle walking in my life. I had the compass within grasp but I used it not. It becomes very frustrating when we come face to face with the same problems, the same hang ups, the same impasses in our lives. We are literally walking in circles! Much of our live can be wasted in this way. But regardless how young or how old the pilgrim, it is never too late to adjust the course and fix our sight upon a bright star.
The ancient mariners had not the sophisticated equipment used by ships today. They relied upon the stars. They fixed their compass upon a bright star as they traversed the dark and lonely sea. We are not without our star as John records the very words of Jesus "I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." -REV 22:16b. This star is the brightest we will every find regardless of how hard we may strain our vision. When we behold it, we approach the morning of our life. A new awaking. The refreshing and invigorating anticipation of a new life.
Peter writes "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the POWER and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.....whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts". Cunningly devised fables are directly opposed to the director's path. Notice how Peter writes of the "day star" arising in the heart, the seat of affection.
The wise men rejoiced to see the star, which stood over the place where Jesus lay. After all, they were called WISE men. "When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy." MAT 2:10. Why not, they knew now where Jesus was. Has he risen in your life? Have you searched diligently for Him?
The word trust means "to be confident or sure, to be bold." We should be confident in the Lord's ways. Paul was not ashamed of the testimony of the gospel of Christ. It also means to "make secure as to make to hope". God and His word is the one thing we can rely on with all confidence and when this is done hope springs up in the soul. Where there is hope, there is life. This verse further commands ALL of our trust and not just part of it. "All thine heart". The word "all" means "the whole, any or every." We generally want to pick and choose the areas of our lives in which we want to trust God with. These are generally areas of wants rather than areas of obedience and servitude. Many times we use God as our last resort when our own methods and "ways" have failed. This verse does not compartmentalize God nor our relationship with Him. As we journey in this life our face should reflect the light of that star.
The word direct means "to be straight or even; to be right." This is the age old message of the gospel. This is the very message John the Baptist preached "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." Jesus didn't need us to help Him walk a straight path. John was preaching Christianity. John's message was one of repentance. Turn from your ways and walk the path of God. Awake and rise to the teachings and precepts of Jesus Christ. Set your course on the star.
How far should we trust God? Where should we draw the line? We find this answer from one who was willing to go as far as God would ask "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him" -Prov. 13:15a. Job literally trusted God with his life. How great was his faith! Job was willing to die in his attempt to please God.
Trusting in God also stabilizes our very soul. "He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord." -Psalms 112:7. Here, the Psalmist writes of a man whose heart is fixed and does not go into a panic attach when bad news comes his way because he is trusting in God. Is God suspect in your life? Will He treat you right? How much do you trust him?
The Psalmist further writes "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man." It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes." Did the Psalmist repeat himself? No! He first declares it better to trust in the Lord than the common man. The advice of the neighbor, the friend, the co-worker. Every one has advice. Everybody has a path they tread and they love company. But then the psalmist writes of the "princes". These are the people of affluence. These are people with degrees on their walls. These are people with power and influence in this world. These are the people the media is after. People are many times mesmerized by fame and fortune, but princes get lonely on their path too.
The Apostle Paul writes as a man of great trust and also of one who had experienced the reality of this trust in God "But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us" -II Cor 12:9-10. The persecuted Apostle writes of trust. Paul, of all people, admitted he did not trust himself to stay alive in a very unfriendly world. And Paul further writes of the three-fold trust of the child of God. "Who delivered us" (past deliverances), "and doth deliver" (presently being delivered) and "we TRUST that he will yet deliver us" (future deliverance).
And finally we ask this question. How are we going to make it to heaven to live with the Lord in glory? Can we trust in our merits? Can we trust in our holding out faithful? Can we trust in our religion? Where can we trust? Will you commend yourself when you see the Lord? If you and I were to go together and you trusted in your good works, what you have accepted, what your have done in this life and I said "Lord have mercy on me a sinner", who do you think would make it? Is the Lord trusting in man today to populate heaven? The Bible declares this not to be the case "Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker? Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly: how much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?" Job 4:17-19. God did not trust man nor angels with the objects of HIS love. Who did God trust with that job? Jesus! "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Trust these words of the Bible.....He did it!