First, the primary text for today…Romans 7:14-24. The Holy Spirit used Paul to write about the struggle of obedience…though I could have authored the passage. Over the past few months, I’ve posted on being self-centered, also on pausing and realizing how big God is. All easy to do, this side of the keyboard.
Problem is my life is more than “this side of the keyboard.” Sometimes, such as this week, life challenges pull, screech, and demand attention. And then I dive right into living out Romans 7. Words I’ve spoken (or typed), verses I’ve studied, prayers I’ve made…all seem to dissipate. Even when I see how my ‘concerns’ are small compared to what others around me are going through…I still fall back to self-centered ways.
God, thankfully, taught me another lesson…and hasn’t left me alone about sharing it here. I talk a great game about trusting Him to be big enough. Actually, I do an okay (at least by MY standards) job of trusting Him. I do strive to enter that rest (Hebrews 4:8-13). At least I do to a point. As the pressures of the week hit me…He showed where I fall guilty to a sin of trust. No, it’s not a sin to trust Him. My sin is where I am trusting Him to fulfill MY plans.
I, too frequently, put conditions on my trust in Him. I could argue they aren’t real conditions…but my expectations of God doing what I tell Him to do, is adding conditions to my trust. I say I want to trust Him; I do want to trust Him…but what I do is make a plan and then come to Him saying I trust Him to do what I want. The moment my trust is in Him to do MY bidding…I’ve taken over the throne of my life…myself and my plans have become an idol. That is the sin of trust.
My guess is there are a few others that struggle with the same issue…either that or God wants to humble me…it’s probably both.
Romans 7 may be the primary text for this post…but Romans 8 is the comfort and security we have in Him. (Paraphrase of Jared Wilson from Imperfect Disciple.) When, during prayer time, God nudged my understanding to see how I misused trust…the overwhelming peace from knowing I was His, settled me down and guided me to a place I could pray…Not my plans but yours (Paraphrase of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane). Our God is amazing, loving, and much wiser than we can understand…
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. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. [Proverbs 3:5-8 ESV]