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Can God Trust Us?
By David A. DePra
Faith in God is trust in God, dependence upon God, and surrender to God. And the outcome of our faith towards God will be obedience, leading to holiness. But there is another angle in all of this revealed in the Bible: Godís trust of us.
Can God trust us? Of course, this is not a question God is trying to figure out. He already knows the answer. But often we think only in terms of whether we trust God. Seldom do we think in terms of whether God can trust us. Yet, according to Jesus, much about our eternal relationship with God depends upon whether God can trust us.
Of course the irony is that the way in which we become trustworthy to God is by trusting Him. Indeed, unconditional faith in God is the only way in which we can become those whom God can trust. For it is only if all that I have, indeed, all that I am, has been relinquished into the hands of God by faith, that I can be trusted with those things.
Faithfulness to God towards anything is the result of my refusal to take ownership over it. Thus, to be faithful, I must treat the object, or issue, or person, as if it (or he) belongs to God. All things belong to God anyways, even if I donít want to acknowledge it. Thus, if I live as if everything belongs to God, and not to me, I am walking in reverence to the Truth. I am, in effect, being faithful to God.
Apply this principle to specifics. If I live towards my fellow human being as if he or she belongs to God, doesnít that change things? Sure. It means I cannot violate Godís purpose for that person. Or if I live towards my church as if it belongs to God, doesnít that gender in me a greater reverence towards that church? Sure. I am dealing with Godís property. Not mine. The result will be obedience.
Get more personal. The Bible states, "You are not your own. You are bought with a price." (see I Cor. 6:19 and II Cor. 13:5) So we donít even belong to ourselves. Indeed, the sin of the human race is that we demand that we belong to ourselves Ė that we own ourselves. Thus, living in accordance with Godís ownership over all things is fundamental to the Truth.
This Truth is all through the Bible. When we pray, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven," we are at once acknowledging Godís ownership over all things, and asking Him to exercise it. In fact, the name God uses most often for Christians in the Bible, "saints," means, "holy ones," which, in the Greek, means, "to be set part for God." In other words, "a saint," is one who belongs to God. Despite our failure to live like it, a saint who belongs to God is the ONLY KIND of saint God knows anything about.
Faithfulness Ė being one whom God can trust Ė is the result of seeing that God owns all, and living like it. It means to do right by Godís property. It means to seek Godís glory and Godís highest through all things.
An Eternal Issue
God wants to build in us faithfulness. But not just for this age. Faithfulness is valuable here in this age, but itís primary purpose is for the next age. And the way in which God builds into us faithfulness is by giving us a few things over which to be faithful. Jesus said:
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. (Mat 25:21)
And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Luke 16:9-13)
Now notice something here: The THINGS over which we are to be faithful may be important. No question about that. But what God is after are not those THINGS. He is after the FAITHFULNESS which is built in us through them. If we are faithful unto God over that which He has given us, the things given may all pass away into history, but what will remain is our relationship to God: Have we become, through what God gave us, people who are faithful? If we have, then God CAN trust us Ė He can actually trust us with MORE over which we will be faithful. This is a principle, not only for the here and now, but describes the relationship between now and the eternal ages.
Chief among those things over which God has given us to be faithful is His life in us. Of course, this isnít a THING; it is a Person. So the question becomes, "What have I become because of the Holy Spirit in me?" I do not belong to myself, and the Holy Spirit isnít mine. Am I growing to understand this, and walk in the reverence of this Truth?
Never think that when you die, what you are in relationship to Jesus Christ is going to be altered in any way. It is NOT going to be altered. What you have become Ė I mean the real you, not the faÁade which we all carry Ė is going to be SEALED. You will be exactly who you are in relationship to Christ. If you are faithful to Him, that is sealed. If you are not, that lack of faithfulness will be sealed. And according to Jesus, this will determine whether God can trust you with MORE in the eternal ages.
The Basis for Blessing
Whether God can trust us is actually the question that is the basis for whether God can bless us with much in this age. At the end of the day, Godís blessing upon us is not going to be determined by whether we keep the right law, or do the right thing Ė although these things will be involved. Rather, at the root, Godís blessing upon us is determined by whether God can trust us with the blessing. Are we faithful people?
Often, when we ask God to bless us along some line, God does not do it. Why? Well, it could be that we are not faithful. But most often, God is indicating that He must first MAKE us faithful. How does He do that? Through testing and proving. By seeing whether we are faithful over the little we have. That may determine whether God can trust us with more.
God is not going to help us destroy ourselves. For instance, people often ask God for money. Thatís fine. We ought to look to God for our provision. But suppose I am in bondage to money in a destructive way. If I ask God for money, it is highly unlikely that He is going to answer. Why would God feed a person the very thing that is destroying them Ė even if that person thinks it would be a blessing?
God would say to us: "Surrender to me all that you are, and all that you have." This would include financial needs. Perhaps then God would test us along that line. If we are faithful to God Ė by trusting Him over what little we have Ė we are then, ummmm -- faithful! So God can then be freer, if it suits Him, to bless us with a greater abundance. Why? Because He can trust us!
For unto every one that has shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that has not shall be taken away even that which he has. (Matt. 25:29)
So why do some people who are clearly NOT trustworthy seem to get blessed? Well, blessing can come a number of ways, not all of which are of God. Some people serve mammon, and mammon can be quite the profitable master! Or God may bless people for the purpose of building in them faithfulness. In the end, however, everything comes back to the same end: We must be faithful.
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Cor 10:31)
Trustworthiness is not the result of me trying to be faithful to God so that I can get Him to do what I want. Trustworthiness is something that is built Ė by my surrendering everything to God, and then beginning to live as if everything belongs to HIM. If I do this, I become faithful to God Ė one whom God can trust, because I have trusted Him.
God wants to bless us more than we know. But He must shape us FOR the blessing, otherwise it would be our undoing. And that, "shaping," is faithfulness.
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