The chorus of an old hymn begins with “Trust Me, try Me, prove Me says the Lord of Hosts.” The words reflect God’s challenge to His people in Malachi 3:8-10. In those verses God challenges His people to trust Him, bring Him their whole tithe, and to discover that He will bless them abundantly.
God’s Old Testament people needed money and the things money could supply—and so do we. God knew that and wanted to give those folks a way to demonstrate that they trusted Him. So this devotional isn’t about money or about giving. It’s about trusting God. It’s about how we answer the question, “Do you trust God?” Do we answer with a simple “Yes, I trust God” or do we answer “Yes, I trust God….” Those dots in the answer mean there is something more to come in our answer. For instance, we might answer, either aloud or in our minds, “Yes, I trust God when….” or “Yes, I trust God for….” If so, are we saying we trust God sometimes or for some things?
There are folks who have grown in their trust of God such that the door is wide open for God to act or to speak. They have learned to trust God whatever comes their way. They have learned to rely on God to handle difficult issues. More than that they have learned to look at life, all of life, as coming from God. They know that God’s sovereignty and God’s providential care are not simply doctrines to be believed. For these folks these truths are everyday experiences. But not every believer has come to that point of trust.
Some believers trust God only when they are pushed to a point of need. When crises come they seek God; and, in His mercy and grace, God responds. When the crisis is past, they thank God and move on. When this becomes a pattern, this going to God when they’ve run out of answers or other remedies, they seldom grow toward trusting Him with all of life. Perhaps the problem is, as one writer put it, they have far too much sense for the things they do. By too much sense, the writer meant that even Christians think they have enough worldly “wisdom,” enough experience in life, or enough resources of various kinds so that they can live life themselves.
How about you and me? Do we have enough sense about how to live life that we don’t go to God until we are really stretched in our everyday lives? Do we have to run out of whatever “fuel” we run on, we turn to God? If we deal with God in this way, He becomes our “God of the gap.” He takes up the slack when we can’t cope. Then, crisis over, need supplied, it’s back to life according to our “sense.”
I am not talking about believing in God. According to polls, the majority of folks around us believe in God. Of course, they may believe God is some shapeless force behind nature or a glorified 911 operator. But, even folks who believe in God as He has revealed in scripture do not necessarily trust Him with all of life. One reason may be that they do not see God as the supreme reality of life.
Life is full of realities—our relationships, our experiences, our feelings—what we call “the real world.” So where is God in all this? Is God the “most real” among these real things? Is He involved in all them? Is He the ultimate reality? Or does God seem remote or vague? Does He dwell at some distance from you when you live in this real world?
God’s reality is not simply a fact to be filed away in our minds. Looking, listening for Him, seeking Him in all we do and think and say invites Him to be present, to be real, in our lives. We learn to accept, as did Job, good and adversity from His hand. We learn to follow Him, to enjoy Him. More, God’s reality in our lives changes us. These changes in us are part of the way God prepares us for glory where and when we will know just how real God is.
1 A phrase from James Mays, Interpretation: Psalms, (Louisville: John Knox Press, 1994), 86.