“Trust in the LORD with all your heart…” Proverbs 3:5a
Don’t trust in your ways and means. Trust in GOD. This sounds so simple and in principle it is. But in practise we are prone to trust in means, not God. Over and over we devise plans, and then find our initial enthusiasm rise or fall as the plan seems to succeed or not. This is a trust in plans, not a trust in God. There is no doubt God wants us to use means to get His work done. But just as clearly, He wants us not to trust in these means. “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD” Proverbs 21:31. Therefore, our confidence should not be in the horse, but in the Lord. “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” Psalm 20:7.
George Mueller’s life was devoted to vindicating this truth. He explained once how it relates to our vocation. We should work to earn a living and supply our needs, but we should not trust in our work but in God. Otherwise we will be ever anxious that our needs will not be met if we can’t work. But if we are trusting God, not our work, then if God ordains that we lose our job, we can be confident he will meet our needs, and so we do not need to be anxious. Here is the way he put it.
“Why do I carry on this business, or why am I engaged in this trade or profession?” In most instances, so far as my experience goes, which I have gathered in my service among the saints during the last fifty-one years and a half, I believe the answer would be: “I am engaged in my earthly calling, that I may earn the means of obtaining the necessaries of life for myself and family.” Here is the chief error, from which almost all of the errors which are entertained by children of God, relative to their calling, spring. It is no right and Scriptural motive, to be engaged in a trade, or business, or profession, merely in order to earn the means for the obtaining of the necessaries of life for ourselves and family; but we should work, because it is the Lord’s will concerning us. This is plain from the following passages; 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12; 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12; Ephesians 4:28. A Narrative of Some of the Lord’s Dealing with George Muller, Addresses by George Muller Complete and Unabridged, Vol. 1, [Muskegon, Mich.: Dust and Ashes Publications, 2003], p. 393)
This truth applies not only to our vocation but to all areas of life. Moment by moment we use means to keep us alive and accomplish the purposes of God (food, houses, phones, cars, medicines, doctors, builders, advisers, etc). The lesson we need to learn is not to trust in these things when we use them, but to trust wholly in God. This applies also to our plans within our given roles in life. We plan. We budget. We teach and counsel. The temptation continually is to trust in these things and not in God to work in and through and without these things. So let us use means, but let us trust God. His promises are the only sure thing. All our means are fallible. One of the great secrets in connection with successful service for the Lord is to work as if everything depended upon our diligence, and yet rest not in the least upon our exertions, but upon the blessing of the Lord. As the Bible more carefully says it: “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13).
Even more to the point, Paul says: “By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10). Has your trust found it’s resting place in GOD? How is your trust in Him reflected in your planning and the means you are now using?