The Necessity of Prayer Ė Lesson X, Prayer and Trust
A Biblical faith will reveal that a constant place of refuge is an absolute and continuing need for the child of God.
A Biblical faith will lead you to the place of refuge that the Lord provides.
A Biblical faith will make known to you the hopelessness of trusting in your own way.
A Biblical faith will reveal to you that your way is a faulty way and that Godís way is the only way of safety.
Faith opens up the eyes to the danger of trusting in ones own ways and purposes and goals.
Faith will move you to acknowledge God as the only true place of refuge and protection.
Faith will convince that all other foundations, all other rocks, all other frames, all other fortresses of life will fail.
I quoted A. W. Tozer last week: (For each of us the time is coming when we shall have nothing but God. Health and wealth and friends and hiding places will be swept away, and we shall have only God.)
It does not take much of an investigation to find this to be true.
Look around you, consider the picture that God provides in this life, a life of deterioration, a life of winding down.
Where is your latest pain?
We live a life of obedience to the second law of thermodynamics.
The law that says everything is winding down, everything is going from the complex to the simple.
You are going to dust and God will be the only abiding place to trust.
Trust will drive you to the true rock, the true fortress that is God.
To trust in God, is to depend on him for bestowing on us every needed blessing, thus he preserves us from all evil.
We are commanded to trust in God for everything necessary for us in this life as well as the next.
For the Lord God is to be our shield and our might for he will give us every good thing.
It is easy to recite the 23rd Psalm which starts out saying "The Lord is my shepherd."
But donít the sheep trust the shepherd every minute of the day and donít they also have only one shepherd to trust?
What would you think of a sheep who started trusting another shepherd in another pasture or of a sheep who went out of the pasture to trust in his own abilities to safekeep him?
But faith persuades us that God is the only and the all-sufficient object of our confidence, and our soul may rest with full satisfaction in his power and faithfulness.
When we fully trust in God we reject every other dependence.
No matter how sweet the frame, all frames other than God will fail.
Thou wilt have no other gods before me even to the point of dependence.
Dependence on our own wisdom, will lead us away from trusting in God.
Depending with one hand on God, while griping the worldís provision with the other will simply result in a fall.
Standing on a rock with one foot and on the sand with the other is a hopeless position to take.
Trusting in God in the bad times and trusting in ourselves in the good times puts other gods before our God and God will not be a part of that kind of trusting.
With that kind of trusting we become our own refuge, thinking that we can provide our own fortress and only go to Godís fortress when the heat of life becomes unbearable.
When men depend on their own righteousness and their own strength or on other men instead of on God you can be sure that they are departing from God.
They are departing from God through a heart of unbelief that their corrupted minds are directing.
So prayer does not stand alone.
Prayer must be in union with faith and faith will produce trust.
Trust is faith consummated. The end of faith is trust.
Faith is not satisfied to stand alone. It must result in trust.
Trust is firm belief, it is faith in its fullest flower.
If faith is the budding rose, trust is the open rose.
Trust is a conscious act, it is an act of the will.
Trust sees God doing things here and now.
Trust sees things as already done because trust knows that God will always keep his word.
A supervisor knows who will get things done and the order given to the doer is to the supervisor as if the task is already done.
Consider it done is the conclusion of those who fully trust in God.
The Centurion knew that and Jesus marveled because of his trust.
Matthew 8:5-10, And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him,I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
The Centurionís faith was full flowered to trust.
His asking the one who had the power to heal was sufficient to know that healing would take place.
: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
Trust changes promise into a present possession.
We know when we trust just as we know when we see, just as we are conscious of our sense of touch.
Trust is as much of a sense as seeing, feeling, or tasting.
Think of trust as clinging to God as oneís only hope.
The trust of John the Baptist was tested when he was imprisoned by Herod.
He sent two of his disciples to Jesus and said , Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?
The natural man in us always looks for another way apart from God.
The natural man in us never wishes to give glory to God and will always find a substitute for God.
In Godís creation it is Mother Nature that receives the glory.
Or evolution or natural selection but not God.
The natural man is anti-trust.
He will never trust God when there is someone or something else to trust.
But to the child of God there should be no looking around for another, for God is all in all.
Get in the prayer closet and it is just you and God.
There are no others to complicate the matter.
There is nothing else to cling to, nothing else to flee to, just you and God.
This is the nursery of trust, this is where trust will grow for the transaction is just between you and God.
You are the plant in which trust is to blossom and God is the sun that brings the life to the plant.
"Have faith in God," "Trust in the Lord" are the keystone and foundation of prayer.
We trust in the Person of God which will bring trust in the Word of God.
Jesus said, "Ye believe in God, believe also in Me,"
The person of Jesus Christ is central if trust is to be.
When Lazarus died Martha thought of the resurrection of the dead at the last day, as an event.
John 11:24, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
Yes, the resurrection is an event yet future but Jesus Christ taught her that the resurrection is much more than an event for the resurrection is a person.
Jesus Christ said, "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me, shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto Him, Yea, Lord: I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world." (John 11:25-27)
Martha had her eye or trust on the event of the resurrection but Jesus Christ quickly reminded her that he was the resurrection, he was the one in whom she should place her trust.
We are not to trust in an event but we are to trust in the person of that event.
An event does not answer prayer.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Focus on the person of Jesus Christ and less on the work of the person.
For the work of the person simply introduces you to the person.
The work of God is given to us to introduce us to God.
And yet the natural man simply focuses on the work and refuses to focus on the person of God.
That refusal brings doom.
The work of God provides us with knowledge to trust in God.
Remember this account in the 14th chapter of John.
5Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 8Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? 10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very worksí sake.