Proverbs 3:5-6 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.
Trust, the behavior instructed in this passage, is often mistaken for belief. Some think that to trust is to simply believe the truth about out God. Belief refers to something that is accepted, considered to be true, or held as an opinion. It is something assumed to be a fact.
But belief is not the same as trust. It precedes trust, but it is not trust. Belief can exist without commitment or subsequent action. It can exist without making a difference. Thus, the words of James in 2:19-20 “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to acknowledge, you foolish person, that faith without works is useless?” Belief by itself does nothing for us except to make us on par with the demons. Hardly a commendation.
When does belief become trust?
- When our belief prompts and determines our course of action.
- When belief produces obedience and change.
- When belief produces changed behavior no matter what it costs us.
Our God calls us to trust Him as Jesus Himself trusted Him. He trusted His Father to the point of death.
1 Peter 2:22-23 “He who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being abusively insulted, He did not insult in return; while suffering, He did not threaten, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously….”
Trust looks to our God ahead of self. Trust will invariably lead us to be concerned solely with Him, not in our self-living. Jesus illustrated what trust would look like in Luke 14:25-31 when He stated that no one could be His disciple if He did not forsake his own living, give up all possessing, and love God more than any other person or thing.
Many people stumble over these words. They are the logical response to trust, but will likely fly in the face of mere belief. To the believer, to give up all that we are, all we hope for, all we love, and all we possess seems unreasonable.
Trust, on the other hand, requires letting go of everything we can see that might help us make a life. It is forsaking self and all on which we have come to rely, and trusting God only to make life for us. No more controlling life. No more hedging our bets and making contingency plans. No more depending on what we can see.
To trust the Lord with all our heart is to no longer rely on our own understanding, will, abilities, and resources. It is to submit all our living to our God no matter how scary or confusing that may be. To completely let go so that we can let God be God over us and all our living.
Jesus stated, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; leave Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”
Look at this list: prophesy, cast out demons, perform many miracles in the name of God. It is hard to think that people who can perform these signs can be outside of the life of Christ. The problem here is that all of these activities can be done in the flesh, by religiosity.
The scriptures and the words of Christ are clear – the only path into the Kingdom is to trust and obey Jesus in everything, to do nothing by our own designs or initiatives. To trust Him in everything will cost the follower everything. Jesus intends to take over and, in fact, replace all our heart, our mind, will, and emotions. To partner with the Spirit of Christ in this transaction takes more than belief or agreement with our God. The full surrender and obedience our God demands takes a trust that yields to our God in everything.