I know some people have an easier time trusting than others. I tend to be a skeptic, and it takes me a while to trust a person completely. I like almost everyone, but trust is something I tend to give carefully.
As I watch the evening news and read articles on trends, choices, and all things “popular,” I have needed to double down on my choice to trust God for the future.
I really don’t trust those who are in control right now so I have to remind myself of what I know is true.
Ultimately, God controls all the final outcomes.
A WORD FOR THE FRONTLINE FAITHFUL
The well-known “armor of God” passage is from the sixth chapter of Ephesians. Paul taught God’s people that living a faithful life would require them to be tough, wearing God’s armor for the battle. Paul’s churches were established during a period of history that was openly hostile toward the gospel. The Jewish people thought of Christianity as blasphemy. The Roman government thought of the church as another danger to their culture.
I’m in my early sixties, and I don’t remember a time in my life when God’s armor was more important. It is increasingly difficult to openly believe the Bible in our current culture and express Christian beliefs about values, marriage, the sanctity of life, and many other important standards.
Those of us in ministry are stepping into deeper waters right now. It didn’t use to be difficult to live as a Christian and be popular, or at least feel respected. It helps to remember that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
I consider most of my readers to be “frontline Christians.” You are interested in God’s word, applied to our culture today—or you would read something else. I’m not called to teach “Christian-lite” or soften God’s truth.
I am called to stay behind God’s Spirit and never forget that it isn’t people I need to fight; it is the same “spiritual forces of evil” that Paul had to fight too. So, to all those on the frontlines of faith, I encourage you to work hard at discerning our real enemy. If we recognize the battle is spiritual, we will fight with the spiritual weapons Paul called our armor (Ephesians 6:10–20).
WHY IS IT EASIER TO TRUST THE CHARIOTS AND HORSES?
King David had a lot in common with the Apostle Paul. David lived during a volatile time for God’s people as well. He wrote Psalm 20 as a message from God, to be sung before a battle. The King wanted God’s people to remember that their victory depended on God’s blessings, not on their strength.
I wish God’s people would sing Psalm 20 for our battles today. I wish we would trust our battles to God as we move forward to fight. It doesn’t matter if we think we are winning. It matters that God is able to win through our efforts. Psalm 20 is a good reminder of that.
My favorite verse in the Psalm says, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7). I’ve thought a lot about that verse in recent days.
A good friend made the point that America was going to have four years of Republican, then four years of Democrat. The wisdom at the end of those eight years should be that Christians have no business trusting either political party to make things right spiritually.
We have had a chariot and a horse. (I’ll allow your politics to decide who is which.) As God’s children, we aren’t allowed to trust in either. But it sure is easier to focus on the powers we can see rather than what is unseen.
We can never forget who is named in Scripture as the ruler of this world. Satan is celebrating some cultural victories these days. That should have always been expected. Our goal is to make certain he has no victories in our personal lives. In my opinion, Satan is having a heyday in the lives of God’s people right now.
My words and attitudes haven’t always honored God. I’ve allowed fear and anger to control my choices and opinions at times instead of God’s word. I’ve momentarily trusted in a few chariots and horses for my future happiness. Meanwhile . . . I knew what God wanted.
MAY THE HEARERS BECOME DOERS
I wonder what King David would write to us as preparation for the days ahead?
I wonder what advice the Apostle Paul would teach the church today?
I wonder what wisdom Jesus would give today’s disciples for future needs?
I wonder, but I don’t.
We already have everything we need to know in the perfection of God’s holy Bible. The problem isn’t knowing God’s wisdom; it’s doing it.
I love the book of James and have taught it many times. James, like Jude, was a half-brother of Jesus. James told his church and all of us today, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:19–22).
If the only spiritual lesson you consume, trust, and live by is the truth James wrote above, you would live a strong, valuable, effective witness for God in this world. We should read and memorize those words before we open our mouths, make decisions, and step out of our doors.
Living by those words would change everything.
THE DISCIPLES THOUGHT THEY HAD LOST
When Jesus was arrested, tried, and hung on the cross, the disciples were terrified of the days ahead. I’m sure many, if not most, thought they had aligned their lives with Someone who had let them down. They just didn’t know what God was about to do.
Neither do we.
We aren’t to trust what we can see. We are to trust the One we know, just not yet face-to-face. We don’t know what chariots and horses will look like in the days ahead. But we do know this: The final Easter is coming. We don’t know how many Easters will pass before that one, but what if April 4, 2021, is the last one?
I don’t think we have lost. I know we have won. I just know there are still battles ahead. And, I know there are joys, victories, hardships, and everything else that life this side of heaven brings.
But, my last Easter here will mean the next resurrection day is the only one left. Jesus rose again, and so will everyone who has trusted in his name. So, let’s trust God with more of our lives than ever before.
Most of the world trusts the chariots and horses. Let’s face it: we would like to trust some of them too. But, King David would remind us that God’s people are to trust in the name of the Lord our God.
Paul wrote in Romans 10, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (v. 13).
Does anything else seem more important to you today?
If so, pray . . . until it isn’t.