If you take a quick read of Genesis 13:8-9, you will see a man in Abraham who felt so secure in God and His guidance, that no matter where Lot chose to live or what he chose to do, Abraham knew God was in total control of his life and fate. This is one of the greatest benefits God gives to His children, confidence. The world we happen to live in offers the child of God no such confidence, but we are not to look to the world for anything, but rather we are to look to God for everything. To Abraham, God was the very backbone, base and foundation of his life, morally and otherwise. God means to be the same for us today.
Because Abraham knew God in a personal way and God personally led him, Abraham had the confidence in God to give preference to Lot as to where he (Lot), chose to live. Thus Abraham lived out the scripture “giving preference to one another” (Romans 12:10, NKJ), perfectly in his life. This is the effect of knowing God in a true and personal way, because as long as you obey from your heart and let God fully have His way in your life, you will grow and learn to have no worries as to what anyone or anything throws at you. Why you ask? Because you know God is behind you and for you all the way, and nothing will be able to thwart His purposes and plans for you. Just as well, nothing can ever thwart what He teaches you in His word for you either, “If God is for us, who can be against us” (Romans 8:31, NKJ)? Now this, is a large, large promise to us considering who God is. But very few Christian’s I’m afraid go through life supremely confident in God. But one look at Abraham, King David or the Apostle Paul, and we should see it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s God’s will that we mature up into supreme confidence in Himself.
Is God, almighty and powerful to us personally, or just in principle? Have we allowed Him to be the very backbone and strength of our lives? Do we derive our personal confidence and security from God alone, or from good paying jobs, savings accounts, insurance plans, IRA’s or retirement packages? Take the Apostle Paul, he had absolutely none of these, but he didn’t need them, he had his God. The world we live in has been set up for us not to put any trust or confidence at all in God, but rather in government, Social Security, other people, etc. Will we allow God to be all of who He promises to be to us by an entire obedient surrender on our part to His goodness, character and faithfulness to us? Or will we just settle for less and trust a little of God “with this here, but not with that over there?” It’s not that God does not want us to have good paying jobs, homes, retirements, etc. But it’s how we look at these things and do we derive our personal security and confidence from them, or God. What if God stripped us of these things, then how would we feel? That’s the point. Because again, people like the Apostle Paul and the disciples had none of these and it mattered nothing to them, because their sole source of security and confidence was in God and He alone. Thus they were able to come to know God in an incredibly unique and beautiful way.
God wills this kind of freedom and confidence to us if we but take Him at His word. What changes in our lives will God have us make if any, in order to gain what Abraham or the Apostle Paul had, is anyone’s guess. But this freedom and confidence does not come cheaply or without a fight. But Jesus Christ came to set us free and a great part of this freedom is for us to solely put our lives and futures at the sole discretion of our Father God, as His life always was. With God, it's always a matter of the heart and what we set our hearts on, that matters so much to Him. But if we take up this freedom we have been given, then our hearts will be kept safe, strong and supremely peaceful, all in God of course. Whether we have much, or little, it matters not. Whether surrounded by sinners or saints, again, it will matter not. Because when we put ourselves out there on the line for God as Abraham and Paul dared to do and dare to go where He leads us, we will come to know in reality and not just in principle, that only God matters and He really is Almighty. To earn the privilege of having God’s word come into the very realities of our lives, sometimes we have to put ourselves right out there on the line for God. Just make sure if you do go out there on that line, make sure you are Holy-Spirit led and driven, because it's a thin one.
I speak from personal experience. I had a thirteen year career with a state agency and it paid well with greatly needed medical insurance and very good retirement benefits. I was always a pretty hard and good worker, and became a supervisor my last two years there. But in the last year I worked there, something (or Someone) came over me that I had never experienced before. I lost all heart for the job. I altogether lost both my will and heart for the job. Every morning I simply forced myself out of bed to go to work. I stopped eating and lost a lot of weight. I was stressed out to the max. I would sometimes sit at my desk and just stare out my window. I was becoming irritable with my management and was becoming a very unproductive worker. I simply could not figure out what in the world was wrong with me.
I continually prayed on the matter before God, but there was no change. I thought about looking for another job and even had an interview for another one of which I was pretty sure I had a great chance at getting. But when it came time for my interview I got sick, but not sick enough that I couldn't go to the interview. Instead, I just called the supervisor and told her that I couldn't make it. She then asked me if we could do a phone interview and I simply told her to forget about it. I could tell she was shocked at my total lack of indifference about the whole thing, because I knew this woman quite well. I was simply existing, not living. But again, I didn't know why.
“Lord, what is wrong with me? Where is your strength that you have always given me to endure the difficult times in my life? Where is Your power, Your courage of heart in me? Where did my work ethic go?” Oh did I ever beg God to know the answers to these questions. But again, nothing changed in me or my circumstances. God's word felt cold and dead to me. I literally felt like I was slowly dying. Then within a very short time God gave me two scriptures that stuck a knife right through me. The first one was “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord” (Colossians 3:23, NIV). Since I had been a Christian at my workplace for about eight years, when it came to my job, I lived by this verse and I always found God's strength in me to do my job well as “unto Him.” I had lived out this verse in my life for years. But God was showing me that I wasn't doing it anymore and we both knew that fact was not going to change. But at least God was speaking to me, and for that, I was thankful.
Then a few days later the second death blow verse came from Matthew 4:18-20 (at least at the time I felt as if it were a death blow) “And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fisherman. Then He (Jesus) said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him” (NKJ). I had read this verse many times previously, but God had never gripped me with it like this before. God had impressed upon my heart in this verse, that these two men were just like me, they were working at their jobs and then when Jesus called, they then left all they had, including their jobs and they “ left their nets.” That is, they let down their safety nets to God Himself by their own free-will. They left their source of income and security, and had to trust that Jesus would provide for them.
I have had numerous non-cancerous polyps removed from my colon in the last ten years and so far, they again, have all been non-cancerous. But without my health insurance, I would have never been able to afford the colonoscopy's and no doubt, would more than likely have died from cancer. I have had 24 done on me because the polyps still come back, so I had been having one every year for the last few years (at first I approximately had 12 done within eighteen months when they had first discovered my condition. When the doctor did the first colonoscopy, he said there were between 300-400 polyps and could not get them all out of me at one time, for I certainly would bleed to death. So they pulled out about 40 polyps at a time, every six weeks from my colon for the first year and a half).
“Lord, certainly you understand that I cannot quit my job because of my need for health insurance?” “Come, follow Me.” “But Lord you do know I don't have very much money saved up to pay my mortgage on my condo, for bills and for food?” “Come, follow Me.” “Lord, I could lose everything I have worked for, even my very life!!!” “Come, follow Me.” “Lord, where are You leading me to?” “Come, follow Me.” “Father, Abba Father?” “Come, follow Me.”
So I quit my job and left everything, to God my Rock. I had no clue as to where He was leading me to or what He wanted me to do now. But I felt He was leading me to do it, His word confirmed it, and so I obeyed, even though I felt as if He were leading me off a cliff. He was simply leading me to a place where I had never been to with Him before- absolute dependence and utter helplessness. Suffice it to say, all my self-sufficiency and safety nets were gone. I had no choice now but to completely rely on God. That was God's great goal for me all along. Ah, “the terror of the Lord,” (2 Corinthians 5:11, NKJ). He would now have to provide for His boy, in every way. “You are good, and do good” (Psalms 119:68). “I know you are my Lord and my God. I know you are.” “Lord, just one more thing if you don't mind?” “Yes My son.” “If you don't come through for me now, I'm screwed.” “I know, so you had better learn to trust Me.”
When it comes to who or what we put our trust in for all of our personal securities in life, it's pretty painful and shocking at times. These matters sometimes are not easy to come to terms with, depending on your personal relationship with God (not easy to write about either). But these are the questions that God wants us to answer for ourselves and in our relationship with Him. Where would we be, if God stripped us of everything we have? How would we feel about God, where would we go, what would we do? But if we do the heroic thing in God's eyes and really comes to terms with Him on these things, and if we are honest with Him, then know one thing, He will have no condemnation for you no matter what state of heart you have. God loves it when we become honest and real with Him. “Lord, I realize I really don't trust You.” “You truly are not the Lord of my life, but rather I am.” “My confidence and security for my life is really not in You, but is in my _.” These are hard, hard realizations to come to in our life with God. But if we are honest with God about them, He'll take it, and then He will go about to grow our trust and confidence in Him. He really is for us and sincerely wants His children to come to know and comprehend His care and love for us. But it doesn't mean it's easy...and it's not sometimes.