trust God, and I am totally dependent on Him for my needs.
Does this statement ring true for you? Sometimes the best way to gauge our level of trust is to think about times when the opposite of trust or faith rules our hearts. When we are not trusting, we live in fear, and when we are afraid, we usually do one of three things: We become immobilized, we run away, or we try to gain/regain control of the situation.
I’m curious. How do you normally respond to the fears in your life?
Fear in itself is not bad. There are indeed things we should be afraid of—like the spitting cobra that found its way onto our front porch in Kenya one time or a tornado touching down near your home. When we are in physical danger, fear lets us know that we need to get out of there and soon! God gave us the ability to feel fear, and He understands when we are afraid. In fact, He even tells us to fear Him.
Being afraid, then, is not sinful, but sometimes the way we respond to our fears is offensive to God. Let me give you an example.
Remember back to the time of Moses. God had delivered the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt, parted the Red Sea for them to pass, fed them and gave them water as they journeyed through the wilderness, and dwelt among them, leading them with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. At this point in the journey, the Israelites had arrived at the border of Canaan. At last the Promised Land was in sight! God told Moses to send out spies so that they could give testimony to the fertileness and bounty of the land. The spies went out and came back. They reported that the land was indeed flowing with milk and honey, but there was a problem - There were giants in the land! (Numbers 13-14) What did the people feel when they heard the report?
The Bible says in Numbers 14:1-4 that all of the people “raised their voices and wept aloud.” They grumbled against Moses and God, saying, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in the desert! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” and they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”
Wow! Crazy Israelites! What were they thinking?! God had delivered them miraculously from the hands of an evil pharaoh. He had preserved their lives and parted the Red Sea, and He had cared for them all the way to the fulfillment of His promise. Here they were, ready to go back to being slaves! What’s up with that? Couldn’t they see that God was trustworthy, that they could depend on Him to meet all of their needs? Couldn’t they see that the Sovereign Lord of the universe loved them and had blessings and life in His plans for them?
Of course, we would never trade bondage for life over a few measly giants, or would we?
My friend and sister, failing to depend on God for your needs always results in bondage. When we take our lives into our own hands, we always fail, and it’s so easy to make excuses for our failures. It’s so easy to bug out and go back to Egypt. If we will take our eyes off the giants for just a few moments and raise them to look at an even bigger God, we will hear Him speak words of courage and peace.
God, I’m afraid. Do not fear. I am with you.
God, I’m so lonely. I will never leave you nor forsake you.
No one knows me. I knit you together in your mother’s womb.
No one really loves me. I laid down My life for you.
I can’t do this, Lord! You can do all things through My strength.
I’m too broken to be fixed. Nothing is impossible with Me.
You let me down, God. My ways are not your ways.
I’m tired of it all. Come to Me, and I will give you rest.
I will never be free! If I set you free, you will be free indeed!
There are lots of fears that rule our hearts and lives, fears that must be entrusted to the Faithful One. Take some time today and let Him comfort your fears. Lean back against His chest, take a deep breath, and tell Him out loud, “I trust You, Father, and I am totally dependent on You for everything I need.
Melissa Haas currently serves as the Director of Restoration Groups for HopeQuest, a ministry group in Woodstock, Georgia, which helps people struggling with life-dominating issues. Melissa began her service in ministry in 1993 as an international missionary to Kenya, East Africa, where she and her husband Troy worked as church planters among the Turkana people. When a significant marital crisis ended their missionary service, Melissa and Troy began a journey of healing and restoration that now serves as the foundation of their ministry to others. Passionate about spiritual community, healthy marriages, and intimacy with God, Melissa regularly facilitates small groups and teaches and speaks on these topics in order to help the Body of Christ grow relationally with God and each other. Melissa and Troy and their three children reside in Woodstock, Georgia.