Written By: Bill Elliff
Since the Garden, every man and woman has been plagued with a terminal disease related to trust. Our natural, fallen state is self-reliance. Particular “sins” are not the genesis but the by-product of this independence from God, this self-sufficiency. We persistently think we know better than God what is best for our lives and live accordingly.
God’s Relentless Pursuit
Our Father, who loves us with an everlasting love, is eternally committed to resolving this problem and bringing us to His side in beautiful dependency. He wants us to experience the tender and powerful position of reliance on Him and Him alone. He knows that any other place is disastrous for those He’s created.
Because He’s our Creator, He knows the best standard operating procedure. It can be summed up in a word: TRUST. Unequivocal, humble, constant reliance is His goal. Search the biblical record and you will find it on every page. We call this “faith,” “dependence,” “reliance,” but it is all about being pushed back to His side. It is the humble brokenness that realizes “He alone has the words to eternal life” and the “nearness of God” is our greatest good.
Our Maturing Faith
Paul understood this so well that he viewed all of life from this matured perspective. Such spiritual understanding helps us see our problems and adversaries properly, just as he experienced on his travels in Asia.
“For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.” (1 Corinthians 1:8-10 ESV, emphasis mine)
God knows our streak of self-reliance is so strong it can only be broken by pressure. It is when we are “utterly burdened beyond our strength” that our pride crumbles like the dry bread it is and we know we must have deeper nourishment. We kick against this process, but this is a good and necessary expression of the Father’s love. Without this, we would hopelessly whirl into a god-less life, never seeing our need and turning to trust “God who raises the dead” who alone “will deliver us.”
It will save us great worry, frustration, and time if we will come to the settled recognition of the absolute necessity of this breaking in our lives and the part that pressure plays in getting and keeping us in faith. A glorious love drives us to “despair of life itself…to make us rely not on ourselves but on God.” There is, in reality, no safer or better place to be.
(copyright 2012, Bill Elliff)
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