Today I learned something about trusting God.
August 24, 2011
“My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:19)
I’ve always trusted God to meet my needs. The problem is I’ve been trusting more in my needs than in God. Today, God was showing me that He doesn’t meet my needs according to what I think should happen, but according to Christ.
For me, it’s easy to trust God by relating to his nature as a loving and caring Father. Jesus himself points us this way when he says the Father will provide for us like He does for the lilies and sparrows. The problem with this is that it’s easy to present our Father with a wish-list and then ask him to provide. We get upset when he doesn’t meet the list and even ask ourselves, “what kind of father would do that?” “He must not love me,” and, for some, project the failings of our own earthly fathers onto our Heavenly one. Instead, we need to trust God to provide for our needs in the way HE will, rather than in the way we want Him to. For example, I’ll say “God I trust you to provide for my apartment” then I’ll go and try to find one based on what I think are my needs rather than seeking God IN the process. I trust Him to work it out, but I’ll go and figure out all the details. What I’m really doing is asking for His blessing on MY plans. What I need to do is seek HIS plans and rest in His blessing there.
So, this Phillipians 4:19 business: God is going to meet my needs according to his glorious riches in Christ. How is that going to meet my needs? BECAUSE WHAT I NEED IS CHRIST. What I have always needed is Christ, and so God [is going to/has already] meets my needs by giving me Christ. A perfect match. God’s greatest treasure (glorious riches) is Christ, and He is sharing that with me. So many Christian songs talk about Christ being “everything” and “ALL I need” and “more than enough” – do we get it yet? Jesus is the complete fulfillment of everything I need. He is not just the fulfillment of my “Jesus-fix” on Sunday mornings (and Thurs night and Wed night and Mon night :P), He is the fulfillment of my BEING (Acts 17:28).
The temptation is to apply this by saying, “okay, let’s see how Jesus fulfills my needs of food, companionship, enjoyment, direction, satisfaction, success, etc.) He may do so indeed, but if you look at it this way then you are still presenting a wish-list based on your own perceptions of what you need and how you want those needs met. We need to get off Santa’s knee and onto our own, admitting our all-encompassing need for Jesus and asking for Him only. Let us lay down our perceived needs (relinquish them fully from our hands) and ask Him to reveal our true neediness. For example, we may be driven by a worldly need for “success” and many of our “needs” may stem from that. Jesus does not want to grant this request, He wants to free us from it’s clutches. He wants to free us from every desire, need, and motivation that is not in Him and from His own heart. This pretty much constitutes a full-system reboot every time He shows us another area of our operating system that is not founded in Christ alone. If we look to Him, He will show us our needs; if we look to Him, He will meet them.
So I know we’re all wicked smaht (as we say in Maine) and like to put our brains together to solve problems, be it a mathematical proof, social injustices, or how to fit your entire class schedule onto just two days of the week. (the I-can-do-it attitude which is another thing Jesus wants to free us from btw, see John 15:5 and Phil 4:13) Be cautious of bringing this into your relationship with God. He doesnt want us to figure it out for ourselves while He blesses our plans from afar, He wants to bring us into the blessing of self-abandonment and full reliance on Jesus Christ.
So to a university that asks, “are you smart enough?” and to a self-centered predisposition towards self-reliance seeking fulfillment of my needs:
Trust in the LORD with ALL your heart and lean NOT on YOUR OWN understanding; in ALL your ways submit to HIM, and HE WILL make your paths straight. (Prov 3: 5-6)