Focus Scripture: Psalms
Is your trust really in God? Who or what do you run to when you are at your wit’s end? What is your source? Do you remember God at all times, good or bad? Where do you get your ‘real and practical advice’? Husband, wife, girlfriends, the boys, google, barman, book club, mentor, boss or fellowship? Do you run to the one who cares for your situation more than all of the above? Are you hasty in running to other sources instead of relying on God to open doors for you?
I am guilty. There are times I am faced with puzzling questions and situations. The first thing I normally think is, “Hmmm, I should give X a call. Or I should rush to the bookshop and look for author T’s book. Better still, I should go see that therapist, the one I saw on TV. Or Pastor M.” Am learning to run to God first. There is nothing beyond Him. Actually, there is no ‘beyond’ when it comes to God.
The following is a list of alternatives that seduce us in our relentless quest to make God our be-all-end-all:
Chariots and horses(20:7) Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
Bow and sword(44:6) For I will not trust in my bow, nor shall my sword save me.
Chariots, horses, bows and swords formed an important part of ancient Israel’s military architecture. Masters in the art of war were highly skilled in the assemblage and organisation of such weaponry. In present day, just as it were then, a nation’s power is measured by its military capability. David, relying on God, prevailed over Goliath with a sling and a sword. He trusted, not in his own strength but, in the power of the name of the Lord.(1 Sam17:45) It’s not by might, not by power but by the Spirit.
Lying vanities(31:6) I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the Lord.
Wealth and a multitude of riches(49:6) Those who trust in their wealth and boast in the multitude of their riches (52:7) Here is the man who did not make God his strength, but trusted in the abundance of his riches (62:10) If riches increase, do not set your eyes upon them.
King Solomon can teach us many a lesson concerning vanity, seeing that he was the richest and wisest man BC. In Ecclesiastes, he writes about wisdom, pleasure, selfish toil, popularity and gain; summing it up in one verse: “All is vanity”. The love-for-money curse is still with us to this day. Jesus, through parables, portrays to us how difficult it is for a rich man to get into the kingdom of heaven. The prosperity gospel is a highy debated topic both in and outside the church. The Word is so clear on this: Seek God’s kingdom first.(Matthew 6:33). The deceifulness of riches chokes up the Word(Matthew 13:22 & Mark 4:19). We are told to store up riches in heaven.
Lies and pride(40:4) Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
Oppression and robbery:(62:10) Do not trust in oppression, nor vainly hope in robbery.
Stories of injustice, corruption, modern day slavery, murders abound. Society is at its sickest. Some people take pride in oppressing and degrading others. Others take full advantage of their positions of power through dictatorship. On an individual level, we lie to get ourselves out of murky situations and come up with excuses for our sins, forgetting that there is no justification for sin.
Familiar friends(41:9) Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.
(146:3) Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; in that very day his plans perish.
Man was built for relationship and expresses himself best through the connections he has with people. Relationships could be anything between downright amazing, you know, chemistry and all, to toxic and draining at worst. Human, is synonymous with limited. God on the other hand,is limitless. Men go back on their word,men change. God is eternally faithful and does NOT change. He remains the same; yesterday, today and forever.
AUTHORITY:(118:8) It is better to trust in God than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
This consists of government systems, kingdoms, leadership, official permission amongst others. There’s a bifold aspect of dominion and submission. Regardless of which way one looks at it, the common denominator remains: Man. There has to be one to lead and another to be led. Again the limitation factor checks in. However, we are to obey our masters in the flesh (Ephesians 6:5-9); keeping in mind that in as much as all authority comes from God, He is the Highest power.
I don’t discount the importance of relationships, government systems, wealth or any other life incentives. All these are in place to support us in our daily work. I believe that we can do it all for the glory of God. Life is busy and oftentimes demanding, but we must pose and ask ourselves whether our activities point back to God. Make God the foundation of your support system. Rely on him for every single thing. Delight in Him. Abide in His Word. He says, “Cast your burdens unto Me”. He cares a mighty lot.