Who Do You Trust?

Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart

And do not lean on your own understanding.

6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He will make your paths straight.

New American Standard Bible

It is a simple question with a surprisingly complex answer.

Of course, we ALL KNOW what the answer should be. We trust Jesus. But no matter how much you repeat that childhood Sunday School answer, you may find yourself doubting or confused. 

Times couldn’t be more confusing, troubling, complex, and even threatening to the minister. Our country seems to have gone off a cliff politically, socially, and culturally. There are many reasons to believe that there may be a course correction in the near future but whether or not it is to be a God-honoring course correction will largely depend on us, the church. AND the course of the church largely depends on the ministers that lead it.

So, what do you do when you face Trouble? Confusion? Shock? Adversity? Change? Burnout?

Unfortunately, if you answer honestly, you may be like I often am. I turn to strategy or professionalism. I turn to a new technique or system. I study harder or work more. I try to emulate some pastor or speaker that I respect or admire.

These are all fine responses to anything we might face but there is something missing. Did you catch it?

Look again at the list of possible responses in the previous paragraph.

Did I pray? 

Kind of obvious now isn’t it.

If you are like me, you may find yourself talking confidently about trusting God but when the problems come, you turn everywhere except God. Oh, of course, you are turning to “Christian” solutions, and that is well and good. But our techniques and strategies matter little without the Holy Spirit to empower them. We can have a tendency to turn to our own understanding of ministry, people and administration; and we leave God off to the side, or worse, completely out of the equation.

Now it is true enough that even if you pray, the Holy Spirit will lead you to a professional, organizational or administrative solution to your issue. But the difference is that the power of God is in that solution! 

So, here is the litmus test. Before you take action, on any issue, have you covered it in prayer? Do we pray desperately like David did in his conflicts?  Do we know that we are woefully inadequate for the task of advancing God’s kingdom? Or do we think that we pretty much got this? 

Dear pastor it is easy to lean on our own professionalism or skill. Why not today take this old familiar verse from Proverbs and get on your knees and desperately pray to Jesus? Let’s see what He will do!