In the past few blogs we have been considering the links between childlikeness, trust and humility. Without a childlike trust in the Lord, I can become anxious. If I doubt His care and His ability to lead and guide me as an incredibly loving Father would, then I take hold of things myself, trying to sort my life out as best I can, independent of his Fatherly guidance and direction. So how does this lead to sin? Well independence means that I start to do what is right, or what I think is needed from my own perspective like Saul.
In fact this is probably the difference between David and Saul. King Saul, when faced with Samuel’s delay, was afraid of the people and so he made his own plan to fulfil his religious duty and to try and please God. 1 Samuel 15:20-24. David on the other hand refused man’s advice about how to defeat Goliath and trusted ‘that the Lord who delivered him from the lion and the bear….’ would deliver him from Goliath. His trust was in the Lord.
As we said yesterday, ‘the righteous will live by faith’, Habbakuk 2:4, and that ‘everything that does not come from faith is sin’ Romans 14:23. So relying on myself, is not a good scene when it comes to the Kingdom of God. And if self reliance moves me out of a place of ‘faith’, and of childlike trust, then it will probably lead to sin.
In Proverbs 3: 5 Solomon tells us to ‘trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil’. And in the kingdom, we are told, God did not call many who were wise by human standards.’ But in fact God said ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’ 1 Corinthians 1:19-25.
Becoming wise in our own eyes reminds me of the original sin whereby Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 3:5. Becoming mature in the Lord, becoming a wise woman or man of God, is actually about growing in childlike trust, so that when He prompts me to give more that I think I can, I trust, like Abraham, in my Jehovah-Jireh who will provide for me. Genesis 22:13. If He calls me to go somewhere or do something that I feel unable to do, and there seems no way through, I can obey because He is the God who made a way through the Red sea for the Israelites, and He will do that for me too. Exodus 14:29.
When I am faced with overwhelming odds like Joshua at the battle of Jericho, I remember that God said, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9. Then as I go in childlike trust, I will follow His lead, even if it seems not to be the obvious way to win the battle, in the same way that walking around the city walls for seven days needed some trust on Joshua’s part.
Martin Smith wrote a beautiful song a while back now, ‘Here I am, humbled by your Majesty’, the chorus of which speaks to me of the power of humble trust. It goes ‘Majesty, Majesty, your grace has found me just as I am, empty handed but alive in your hands.’ Being humble before the Majesty of God, makes me aware of my own lack, but also of His magnificence, and therefore of all that is mine in Christ.
That amazing statement that Paul makes, ‘I can do all things through Him who strengthens me,’ Philippians 4:13, NASB, then becomes one that I can make too. It is not a proud statement, but the statement of a humble child of God who, recognising their own emptiness, is able to increasingly trust their Heavenly Father in all circumstances. Life then becomes one opportunity after another to grow in experiencing the ‘Life of Christ’ flowing through me.
As I give myself to thanksgiving that, (in the words of another beautiful song by Jarrod Cooper, ‘King of Kings, Majesty’), ‘the God of heaven is living in me’, then in all my circumstances I will find it easier to trust in His wisdom, His provision, His enabling, and His grace. And like a trusting child I will be astounded at His goodness and care for me..