Do I really Trust God?
I used to think that I trusted God. But a few days ago, my daily Bible devotional asked if there were any areas of my life where I felt my success or failure rested on me and my efforts. It suggested that I likely didn’t trust God in those areas, since I was leaning on my own abilities rather than His. And it got me thinking.
My health is an area where I feel personally responsible, no God involved. I try to eat well and exercise, and congratulate myself when I start to see the results of my efforts. When I fail to meet my health goals, I beat myself up over my lack of self-control.
I also count on myself for any research or planning that my family needs. For example, when we decided to move to San Antonio last year, I constantly searched for houses while my husband was at work. Like, non-stop.
I researched schools and neighborhoods, compared the smallest details, scheduled viewings, and lamented when we drove all the way from Austin to San Antonio with our baby only to learn the house we wanted to see had sold several days prior. The realtor didn’t tell us that because she wanted the opportunity to show us other, different houses. Hours and hours of my own effort resulted in a long, wasted trip.
It’s Hard to Trust God When You’re Type A
In these and other areas, I tend to take control and plan all. the. things. I have a Type A personality and like – no, need – to check things off my to-do list.
In fact, I find it difficult not to research options for friends and family members that express needs. Jesus, save me from becoming my mother!!
It’s not that I don’t consider God’s part in it all. But I tend to give Him the role of a supportive and influential family member. I do what I want to do, and then I pray, “God, please guide me and show us favor.”
Now that’s not a terrible plan! And I do believe that God has lead me and blessed us despite my controlling tendencies.
But it brings up the deeper question, who do I trust? In whom am I placing my faith?
Do I Really Trust God? Or myself?
You’d better believe I feel all of the pressure when it comes to my health, or house hunting, or looking for a new job, or any other area that requires a plan. I can feel the stress in my chest when there’s a deadline involved, or a big decision that my husband and I have to agree on. And my anxiety is a telling indicator of where my faith lies.
When I place my faith in myself, my abilities, my limitations, then I should be worried, because I’m human. I can’t do it all. I can’t see around corners or behind closed doors, and my limited view often leads to my making poor decisions.
When I place my faith in God, I can rest in the fact that He is in control. I don’t have to stay awake at night thinking, planning, or worrying, because He never sleeps. He doesn’t need my help either.
When We Trust God, He Can Release His Grace
Moving was so stressful. My husband and I worried about where we would live in San Antonio, when we should put our Austin house up for sale, what it would sell for, and where we would live in the meantime if the timing didn’t line up. So we prayed.
And with zero help from me, God lead us to an incredible new home that met all of our needs, but wouldn’t be ready for five months. Then He provided us with a seller that offered a lease-back option until our new home was ready for move-in, with a flexible move date and reasonable rent. In fact, He provided us with three different, very generous offers, within two days of our house being on the market.
All of my worrying and planning had absolutely no effect on that situation. But God coordinated 105 moving parts to line them all up perfectly, and created a situation that was far better than we could have ever imagined.
The same devotional that questioned my faith proposed that God’s grace, His ability to work things together better than we ever could, can only be released within your faith. He’s not going to butt in and rip the laptop from my hands as I’m searching for houses. But He’ll gladly work things together if I can learn to stop controlling everything and just trust Him.
How I Trust God and Stop Obsessing Over the Details
So now when my inner control freak comes out and starts planning and obsessing and worrying, I follow my new plan:
- First, I pause and pray. Not only does prayer refocus me, but it also helps me to put away my worries. Philippians 4.6-7 (MSG) says, “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”
- Second, I put down my phone, laptop, or whatever tool I’m using to obsess over the details. I simply stop and divert my attention elsewhere. Of course, if you have a pending deadline, you may need to do some looking and planning. But I would encourage you as you’re planning, to remember to trust God over yourself. If you feel as if an area in your life is all up to you and your efforts, that would probably be a perfect area to hand over to God and resist any unnecessary detail obsession.
Wrap It Up
Matthew 6:26-29 (NLT) reminds us, “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.”
So take a few moments to consider the different areas of your life, and ask yourself if you’re placing your faith in yourself and your abilities, or in God. God doesn’t want us to worry or to feel the weight of the world on our shoulders. He’s called us to bring everything to Him in prayer, stop obsessing over the details, and trust Him with our lives. In what area can you trust God today?
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