In Whom Do You Trust?
The Prophet Jeremiah, through the Holy Spirit’s lead, had a good understanding of human nature (2 Peter 1:21). His classic statement about the deceitfulness and wickedness of the heart is insight not gained from the natural mind (Jeremiah 17:9). With this understanding he proceeded to give us some vitally important instruction.
“Thus says the Lord: ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord’” (Jeremiah 17:5). The fact that it is God who delivers this instruction through Jeremiah makes it all the more important for us to pay attention.
Since the mind is naturally in opposition to God, the inclination is to trust in the only other alternative — self. The above quoted words were said to a people who were in a covenant relationship with God. They were given an alternative. They could know God and all His benefits. They could understand the law and its implications. Yet they continually walked, “… according to our (their) own plans, and we will every one obey the dictates of his evil heart” (Jeremiah 18:12).
Yes, we are God’s covenant people and unlike our forefathers have been granted access to the Holy Spirit by faith in Christ’s sacrifice. However, being still in human form, we have the ability to tune in to Satan’s wavelength and absorb his attitudes. We may delight in the law of God in our minds, but we are exposed to another force that wars against what is in our minds by God’s Spirit (Romans 7:22-23).
Project this scenario into the environment we find ourselves in today as God’s people.
For those of us who live within “western civilization”, the physical world is falling around us. Bad is good and good is bad. Those institutions we looked to as foundational to life are failing us. Almost daily we are struggling to know what we can look to for stability.
For those in the Church of God, we do not look to the world for our stability, as we have been called out of it in a spiritual sense. We have become “… fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God …” (Ephesians 2:19). Clearly in reference to the spiritual body of Christ – the Church. The Church should be a strong foundation upon which we can stand while the physical world fails mankind.
But for many it is a struggle. Since the death of the Church as a single organizational entity the many corporate organizations have come to represent where many members have placed their “true church” trust. But we have seen in many cases that the trust has failed with time and experience. As a result, many members lose confidence in human leadership and turn to trusting themselves.
It doesn’t matter how you get there, if you trust in man (especially ourselves), it will fail – like a shrub in the desert (Jeremiah 17:6).
There is only one answer for us to consider. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord” (Jeremiah 17:7). “A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary” (verse 12).
We need to look at the world and the Church through eyes that see very clearly, “… The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). This takes a purposeful directing of a spirit led mind.