The Word at the Cross February 11, 2018

On Sunday, we began a series called “The Exam Series.” Our goal is self-examination and honest confession. Our first exam question was simply: “Do I trust in the Lord?”Psalm 26:1-“Vindicate me, Lord, for
I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the Lord and have not faltered.”

Do you trust IN the Lord?

There is a difference between admitting someone is trustworthy and in
trusting in them. Just because someone is trustworthy doesn’t mean that we
are choosing to place our trust in them.
Our hope for success and meaning in life still may rest in our ability
to “make things happen,” to “figure life out” or to “provide for our needs
because we work hard.” Are we as
believers trying to live a self-reliant life, or are we fully relying on God?

What does it mean to trust IN the Lord?
Proverbs 3 is the famous “trust” passage. It has a lot to say about how we can make
sure our trust is in the Lord. Proverbs
3:5-“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own

That “with all your heart” phrase speaks to the intensity,
to the level of trust we are to have in the Lord. We are finite, but God is
infinite. He has a plan. He always has a plan. When things happen and circumstances
become difficult, God isn’t in the corner trying to create a plan. He has the plan before you have the problem.

Still, it can be hard to trust God. We may not feel like trusting God. What can we do in those moments? We can cry out to the Lord. We can talk to Him about our doubts and
fears. Surrendering fully to God starts
with a conversation. Proverbs 3:6
says, “In all your ways acknowledge God, and He will make your paths straight.”

We can acknowledge Him through prayer. We can acknowledge in our prayer that we
understand He is God and we are not. We
can acknowledge Him by turning to Him and admitting we don’t have the right
answers apart from His leadership. When
we pray, we are acknowledging that we need help, and we want it to come from
Him because of our confidence in His comprehensive wisdom.

Proverbs 3:7 goes on to say that if we are going to trust
IN God, we have to be serious about separating ourselves from sin. It says, “Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.” Do not
be wise in your own eyes. That was Adam
and Eve’s problem, right? Their trust
was in self to discern what was best for them even though God had clearly
defined what was in their best interest.
What Eve saw was more important in the moment than what God had said.

Fear the Lord and shun evil. Sin clutters up our lives in order to steal
our focus off of our relationship with God.
Satan doesn’t want you to trust IN God.
He wants you to sin and be chained to yourself and your fleshly impulses
and desires so that you are trusting in self.

When I pursue the things God says can replace the pursuit of sin, I
won’t wake up with regret. I won’t walk
around in shame, with a hangover and a foggy memory about what happened the
night before. I won’t be looking over my
shoulder to see who might be find out what I did last night. I won’t waste time and money on things that
will only compromise my health and possess my mind. I show I trust IN the Lord when I pursue the
things He says will lead to life and godliness and true fun without regret. Trusting in God’s plan and living His way
will bring about great results in our lives.
“This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”
) Sign me up! It sounds easier than going to the gym!

Trusting IN the Lord means God is going to be first in every area of our
lives. Proverbs 3:9-10 talk about what
that looks like when it comes to money: “Honor
the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your
barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new
wine.” (Proverbs 3:9–10)

Do we trust IN Him enough to give of the firstfruits of our income? Giving over that first part of our paycheck
to God, that off the top amount to God, is one way we show our trust is IN
Him. Here’s the truth: God doesn’t need our paychecks or any portion
of them. He will be God whether we give
Him ten percent or five percent or twenty percent. But until we honor Him in every area of our
lives, we won’t be truly trusting IN Him.

Even at the times when we are being disciplined by the Lord, when we
need redirected, when He has to get our attention, we can trust IN Him because
He would never discipline us to harm us.
He disciplines us out of love. Proverbs 3:12-“Because the Lord disciplines
those He loves, as a father the son He delights in.”

Are you ready for the exam? Are you ready to expose your life to God and
let Him evaluate how much you trust Him?
Were there some buttons pushed in your spirit this morning as you heard
this message? Was there some spiritual
squirming going on? If you can’t say
with David that you trust in God with your whole heart, that your life doesn’t
testify to that reality, what WOULD it take in order for you to place your full
trust IN Him? What changes could you
make to allow your trust to grow? How
can you move from trusting God to trust IN God?

Have a question?

Please contact any of our ministry leaders with any questions.

Lead Pastor
Pastor Melissa Pratt
Connections Pastor
Pastor Thom Pratt
Worship & Arts Pastor
Pastor Mandy Bohm
Youth Pastor
Pastor Jed Worline
Children’s Pastor
Pastor Megan Cloninger
Support Ministries Pastor
Pastor Brenda Kraft
Financial Secretary
Ralph Jones