“And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?” (Luke 16:11 NLT)
The Bible has many references to the necessity of trusting God, but have you ever thought about how important it is that God can trust us? God doesn’t use us based on our goodness – we have none apart from Him – He uses us based on our faithfulness. He uses those He can trust.
Though we’ve looked at faith and faithfulness in previous posts, if God’s trust in us is based on our faithfulness, it may be important to take another look. “Faith – ful – ness” implies an ever increasing growth of our faith in God. Faith grows out of dependence, so, to the extent our daily lives depend on God’s presence and power at work in and through us, to that extent we will become more trustworthy in God’s sight. Why is that so vital?
In Psalm 139 the Psalmist asked the Lord to search him, to test his thoughts and see if there was anything offensive in him. It’s not an accident the Psalmist asked those things of God. When we ignore issues in our life that are offensive to God, they separate us from Him and the key ingredient in that process is our thought life.
Sin begins in our mind, in our thoughts. Our behavior is always guided by what we ponder in our mind. What we think about comes about! If we focus on things of this world, we become more “worldly,” but if we concentrate our thoughts on that which honors and draws us more closely to our Savior, we become in ever increasing measure, like Jesus.
And please don’t miss this – focusing our thoughts on the things of this world is not, in and of itself, sinful or displeasing to the Lord. Being concerned about being a good husband or wife; loving our children well; doing our best in our job; or being intentional about loving our neighbors – those things can honor and please the Lord. But on whom are we depending to enable us to be and do those things?
Dependence grows out of humility. We must recognize that we are nothing and can do nothing apart from the Holy Spirit’s strength and guidance. The moment we begin to think more highly of ourselves than we ought, that’s the moment we begin to pull away from the security of the Lord’s presence. Someone said: “Humility isn’t thinking less of ourselves, it’s thinking of ourselves less.” The longer I live and serve the Lord, the more fully His thoughts fill my mind.
Think about the person(s) you most trust. What are the characteristics that allow you to trust them? Honesty? Dependability? Reliability? Closeness? Love? There are others, but think about how those qualities are reflected in your relationship with Jesus. Obviously, we can’t hide anything from the Lord, but why would we want to unless whatever it is draws us away from Him.
Why is God’s ability to trust us so important? How can He accomplish anything significant in and through us without trusting that we’ll give Him full credit? How can we make His name great and spread His love and glorious goodness if the underlying reason we’re doing it is to point people to us and how great we are?
Just as God loves a cheerful giver, He loves a cheerful server. When we grow in our dependence upon Him and serve out of the overflow of His goodness, our heart rejoices in all that He does in and through us, not for our honor or fame, but His. That’s when God can trust us with more opportunities to point people to Him.