God tells us repeatedly throughout the Bible that He is trustworthy. This seems simple enough at face value--we know God is good, so we can trust Him, right? Makes sense.
But do we live our lives as if we believe it?
I think it’s safe to say most of us can find areas where we avoid God, typically because, through fear or pride, we resist giving Him control over these areas.
Sadly, our resistance to release control to God is usually highest in the more important areas of our lives--which ultimately reveals our lack of faith in Him. Whether consciously or not, sometimes we determine the risk is too great to loosen our grip even slightly to make room for God’s timing and will in these areas.
Luckily for us, even as we actively resist Him, God pursues us and works to help us trust Him, one step at a time. God understands us better than we understand ourselves; only He truly knows our full potential. And as strange as it may seem, oftentimes He will increase our confidence and help us reach our potential by first showing us how weak we are without Him. Understanding our limitations will drive us to rely on Him.
Jesus spoke about this in His Sermon on the Mount, teaching, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”(Matthew 5:3).
Pastor Alex Seeley unpacks this in her book, “The Opposite Life.” Seeley points out that although God does not make bad things happen in our lives, He uses them to shape us into the people He created us to be, to bring glory to His kingdom.
As Romans 8:28 declares, “we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Seeley argues that without these trials and, more importantly, our dependence on God in the midst of them, we will never live out our full God-given potential and purpose.
God understands us better than we understand ourselves; only He truly knows our full potential.
While we all prefer for things to go “as planned” in our lives, we don’t always see the whole picture, because our perspective is limited. But when we surrender our will to God, we tap into His power. It’s important to understand that because God has given us free will, He may not intervene unless we ask Him. My pastor Manny Hastings of C3 NYC Church frequently says, “God is a gentleman. He will knock on the door, but He will never barge His way into your heart. He will patiently wait for you to invite Him in, but will never stop knocking.”
So how do we begin to give God control over these coveted aspects of our lives? It begins simply by talking to Him. We can make our prayers more conversational, admitting our concerns and hesitations, and asking God to help change our hearts to want the same things He desires for us.
Beloved evangelist Ravi Zacharias, who passed away earlier this week, wrote, “Prayer is not the means of bringing our wills to pass but the means by which He brings our will into line to gladly receive His will. And what a glad moment that is.”
What a beautiful depiction of God’s vision for our relationship with Him. God longs for us to live lives to the fullest, to take us to new heights and to achieve things we never thought possible.
Though there will be trials we have to experience in order for God’s plans for us to unfold, He promises us He will be with us every step of the way (Isaiah 41:10).
When we depend on Him rather than ourselves, “We can do all things through Him who strengthens us” (Philippians 4:13). As we give more of ourselves to His will, He will guide us to achieve things for His Kingdom we never would have thought possible. Knowing this, we can be filled with hope and confidence for whatever may come.