In my Sunday school class, I have been teaching my kids about Moses. Last week we began talking about Pharaoh and the 10 plagues that God sent to Egypt. The kids were fascinated (and somewhat grossed out) that water was turned into blood and that frogs were everywhere! Their inquiring minds were turning, and they had one question after another. One kid finally threw his hands up and blurted out, “Why didn’t Pharaoh just listen to God?” What a great question! If he had just listened and not hardened his heart, Pharaoh and thousands of other people would not have suffered and lost their loved ones. The issue was that Pharaoh was prideful and did not want to lose his sense of authority or power by submitting to God.
How relevant is this in our lives today? There have been a number of times that I thought I could handle things on my own without seeking out godly counsel or even praying for the matter. I can truly say that I have related to the question posed by my Sunday school student on many occasions. If I had just trusted in God’s promises, I would have saved myself from a lot of heartache and pain. One of the most difficult things is knowing how to let go of your own control/power and allow God to take over. After many years and many mistakes, I feel like I have learned what it means to trust in God’s counsel and lean on Him for guidance and strength. There are times that I doubt and stumble, but ultimately I know that my life is under the control of the very One who spoke this world into creation; the very One who came down to this world and humbled Himself to death on a cross; and the very One who knew my name before even time began. It is with this hope that I can say, I trust Him and want to obey His Word.
If you are struggling in your life and are having a difficult time trusting in God, here are some tips that may be helpful for you:
- Pray! Prayer is such a powerful part of our lives. Use your time to talk to God about how you feel. Don’t feel shy or scared to tell God what’s on your mind. He knows your every thoughts and it’s important to be real with Him. Pour out your heart to Him and allow Him guide your paths. “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.” – Psalms 145:18
- Read and Study Scripture. For years I thought just reading a few verses a day would be enough to get by. I was wrong! It is so important that we spend time in His Word. His Word is powerful and can penetrate our hearts if we earnestly spend time studying it. Saturate yourself in the Word and ask God to reveal His truths to you. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart”- Hebrews 4:12
- Seek godly counsel. It is so important to have people that can pray over/for you and that can speak truth into your life. Seek out brothers or sisters who you feel comfortable sharing things with and who you know can offer you words of encouragement and truth. Having people who will guide you and direct you to The Lord is very important. “Listen to counsel and accept discipline, that you may be wise the rest of your days. Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the counsel of the Lord will stand.” – Proverbs 19: 20-21
There are obviously many more ways that God can speak to you and guide you to a place of trust and obedience, but these are the main things that I feel all Christians should focus on. I listed out basic points that we all know and have been taught for years. The issue with me was that I rarely put it into practice, and because of it, I struggled when it came to trusting and obeying God’s Word. Take time to be in His presence and seek out His will in your life. Do what you can to strive towards His goals rather than your own. Don’t look back on your life one day and say, “Why didn’t I just listen to God?”! I hope that these words of encouragement will help you this week as you get through the challenges that may come your way each day. Remember that we are each created for a specific purpose. Our focus should be on Jesus Christ and glorifying Him in everything that we do. Trust in Him and He will direct your paths.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3: 5-6