In recent weeks, I noticed that there has been an increase in airport security which has the whole nation in an uproar. People are being searched in places that, quite frankly, should be left private.
I also noticed a recent poll revealing the condition of the hearts of Americans—44% of young people and 33% of older Americans are now a part of a growing trend in the belief that marriage is obsolete (source 1).
Do you see the relationship between the two? A third statistic in this correlation reveals that more than 25% of Americans have left their faith and 25% of young Americans say they are not affiliated with any religion (source 2).
How can these events be similar? What is the common thread between airport security, marriage, and faith?
The answer: TRUST… or lack of it.
Trust is hard for Americans. We’ve been brought up to be self-sufficient, self-conscious, to have a good self-esteem and to lift ourselves up by our own bootstraps. Americans are in the mindset that if a job is going to get done right, “I have to do it myself.” Many Americans spend their whole lives climbing, clawing, fighting, and stabbing their way to the top, only to find someone looming behind them, waiting to stab out with a law-suit of their own.
Trust requires that we lose ourselves, and become vulnerable. Americans don’t want to do that. As Christians, however, losing the sense of self is what we are called to do—practice humility.
My wife Diane’s favorite Bible passage is proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge HIM, and He shall direct your paths.” When I asked her what was so significant about this passage, she said, “Two words: the word trust, and the word all.” She said that when we go into relationships, with a group, a lover, or God, we tend to hold back just a little. We tend to leave an escape hatch. We go into the relationship expecting to fail and planning to be unsuccessful. If our hopes for the relationship are not met, we don’t try to work it out; we take our ball and go home, just like a five-year-old.
I remember one preacher saying, “All means all and that’s all all means.” As believers, we are called to “trust with all.” Yes, we will get hurt. Expect to get hurt, plan to get hurt—no matter what the consequences, we cannot fail at trusting. No matter who you are, your expectations will not be met 100% of the time. That’s not what life is about. True happiness is not found through a sense of self-satisfaction in which there is no trust. I’ve found that when I am happiest, I am letting God direct me, without leaning on my own understanding or power. I am happiest when I am putting all of my trust in God.
So what does it mean to put all of your trust in God? It means stepping aside and allowing Him to take the reigns. If God is merely your co-pilot, switch seats. Allow Him to take control. Here’s a hard question: who is sitting on the throne of your heart? Who is in the driver’s seat of your life? If you are fighting for possession of the throne of your heart, give it up. Submit to his Lordship. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart…” If Jesus is your king, why are you wearing the crown? When we adopt the name “Christian,” we are saying that we belong to Christ Jesus, and that HE sits on our throne. We are saying that HE IS LORD. If Jesus is not LORD of your life, please stop using the name, “Christian.”
One of the greatest joys I have is finding other believers who “Trust in the LORD with all their heart.” The joy is that I automatically know that Jesus is on the throne of their hearts—I know I can trust them.
Pastor Jay Merritt
Source 1: pewsocialtrends.org/2010/11/18/the-decline-of-marriage-and-rise-of-new-families
Source 2: religions.pewforum.org
Pastor Jay Merritt writes about God in every day observations.