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Posts Tagged ‘trust’

Are you self-sufficient?

December 29, 2010 1 comment

One of the desires of sinful mankind is self-sufficiency. It’s reinforced in modern America. But is it biblical and godly to be self-sufficient? I say “no.” We are to be Christ-sufficient or better yet, we are to find our sufficiency in Christ alone.

We need to depend (trust) in God and not ourselves (Prov. 3:5-8). We need to depend upon God. We are not self-sufficient though we like to think we are and can be, but it’s simply a lie of Satan and this world to tell us that we do not need God or His Word.

Did you realize that Adam and Eve were created to depend and trust in God’s Word even before the Fall of mankind in Genesis 3? Before sin, mankind was created as a being who must depend upon God alone and to obey/trust His Word. Look at what happened when man disobeyed in Genesis 3: consequences to sin and death/suffering, etc. The result in our world today is tragic and we are daily reminded of the sin of our first parents to be “self-sufficient” and trusting in their own ideas rather than the Word of God.

It is hard to live by faith in America but God is allowing us to experience some hard consequences now that will bring us to our knees showing us we are not self-sufficient but ever dependent upon the King of Kings.

-Mark (don’t be self-sufficient and don’t even desire it; desire Christ and find your sufficiency in Him alone)

Faith-based

July 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Everyone lives by faith.

Everyone.

People are either living by faith in mankind or faith in God. But everyone lives by faith.

For those who are trusting in mankind, it is a sad existence. They keep hoping for man to be redemptive and instead, mankind fails them. Crime rates increase, sin abounds, oil spills grow, and the world becomes an increasingly pornographic and sinful place. Mankind has little power for good and even that little power comes from God Himself.

For those who are trusting in God, it is a content existence in a fallen, sin-cursed world. Man’s disobedience in Genesis 3 led to the world we live in. We call it the Fall of man. But God is redemptive. He brings good from bad. We who are trusting in Him have hope. Hope in this life and greater hope in the life to come everlasting! Our hope is not in mankind but in a good and loving and redemptive God Who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Now, who are you trusting in?

The implications of this for counseling are this: 1) are you going to trust in man’s theories/ideas of psychology and go see a secular therapist? OR 2) are you going to trust in God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit?

God is sufficient. We need no one and nothing else. We need only Him.

-Mark (trusting in Christ alone)

Utter Distrust of Self?

June 30, 2010 Leave a comment

I read a Christian leader say recently that the early church leaders had an “utter distrust of themselves and a living trust in God” as they traveled and established the local churches in the book of Acts. 

I don’t know about you, but it was a refreshing thought to me since I live in day where religious leaders tend to trust themselves more than Christ Who is their Head.

We are to trust Him not ourselves. In fact, I have found nowhere in the Bible that says, “Trust yourself. Do what you think is right. Do what you feel.”

On the contrary, I read the opposite in Proverbs 3:5-8 below:

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
   and do not lean on your own understanding.
6In all your ways acknowledge him,
   and he will make straight your paths.
7 Be not wise in your own eyes;
    fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
8It will be healing to your flesh
   and refreshment to your bones.”

Nothing in this passage says, “trust your heart.” Nothing there to indicate that! In fact, the Lord says He will make straight your paths which means you are going to walk down crooked paths if not for His power to straighten your paths.

Let’s trust God and do what He says to do in His Word. Let’s get rid of “our experience” as the standard of living and live by faith according to His standards in the Scriptures. This is a key for both biblical counselors and counselees.

-Mark (utterly distrusting myself yet learning to trust Him daily as I walk and He straightens)

Maslow had it backwards according to Jesus!

January 2, 2010 3 comments

One of the psychological theorists that CHRISTIANS embrace is Abraham Maslow and his theory of self-actualization. Maslow developed a theory (did you catch that it is a THEORY not a law, not a scientific fact, but a thought or idea that is unable to be proven even by so-called scientific testing?).

Maslow had a theory about the “hierarhy of mankind’s needs” beginning first with physical needs (food & shelter) then moving to security “needs” like income and family. The third level of his pyramid is love and the fourth level at the top is purpose. Only when these 4 levels are met in this order can someone be “self-actualized.”

Sounds good from a humanistic perspective, doesn’t it? Makes some sense but did he get his ideas from the Bible?

Is this what Jesus taught Christians? Did Jesus say, “Get your physical needs met, store up lots of income, find human love in friendships and family, and then find your purpose in me to do ministry”?

I think not. Jesus said to His followers, “Come and follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” Jesus gave His disciples PURPOSE first. They had a vision to follow and only the promise that Jesus would take care of their real needs (food, clothing, & shelter). In other words, these men had to walk by faith and not by sight. Maslow’s hierarchy promotes sight and not faith.

Maslow would have you believe, “Get your ducks in a row and then find your purpose in life.” Maslow encourages people to live for themselves and to advance their temporal kingdom for material possessions in this life.

Jesus would say, “Find your purpose in Me and I’ll care for you though it won’t be easy.” Jesus calls people to die for Him and His kingdom which is advancing daily.

We get it backwards. We think we have to be experts in the Word to do God’s will for discipleship and biblical counseling. We think we have to have a seminary degree but that’s not who Jesus chose in His twelve disciples. He chose ordinary men whom He discipled so that they would be strong in their faith to do ministry.

That’s our focus in 2010 at TIL. Equip ordinary people to do extraordinary ministry by the power of the Holy Spirit working in conjunction with the truth of God’s Word.

Are you ready to do biblical counseling and discipleship even though you do not know the Bible backwards and forwards yet?

Are you ready and willing to follow Him even if all of your needs are not met yet and even if you don’t have all of the answers because God does? You proclaim Christ and His Word not yourself! 

Are you ready to step out in faith in Christ?

Do you trust Him to work through you to reach hurting souls for the glory of God?

-Mark (I am learning to trust Him more and more every day!)

Knowing God

November 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Do you know facts about God?

Or do you KNOW God intimately?

There is a difference. God wants you to know Him relationally, deeply, and intimately. He doesn’t want you to simply know facts about Him.

When you know Him, you find eternal life (John 17:3; I John 5:20). Think about that: eternal life is knowing God, not knowing a bunch of facts about God, but knowing Him relationally.

Christianity is NOT a bunch of rules, rituals, and do’s/don’t’s. It teaches a relationship with God through Jesus Christ only Who is the way and the truth and the life.

God is relational. Read all the books you want, but when it comes down to it, talk to Him in prayer and listen to Him in Spirit and in the truth of His Word. Then, trust Him by obeying what He says because when you truly know Him, you know He is good. He will take care of you.

In fact, He likes you.

-Mark (God likes me better than I like myself)

What is the “heart” biblically speaking?

October 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Society mistakenly promotes the “heart” as ONLY emotions sometimes today but the “heart” refers to the central part and CORE of someone’s inner person.

The HEART, biblically speaking, includes THINKING according to Strong’s Concordance: “fountain of thoughts…”

So when you think of your heart, think about your inner self including thoughts, emotions, attitudes, desires, passions, motives, etc. and you’ll better be able to understand what the Bible means by “heart.”

We are to trust God with all of our heart (Prov. 3:5) and we are to love God with all of our heart (Matt. 22:37). In biblical counseling, this is what we direct our counselees to do every daybecause only God can be fully trusted. God has the power to transform hearts and to conform them into His heart of compassion. Then, He gives us the desires of our hearts (Ps. 37:3-7) as we delight ourselves in Him!

-Mark (thankful God changed my heart and gave me the capacity to love and trust in Jesus Christ)

Where’s the Bible say “trust God”? (part 4)

October 3, 2009 Leave a comment

Isaiah 26:3-4 states (ESV):

“You keep him in perfect peace
   whose mind is stayed on you,
   because he trusts in you.
4Trust in the LORD forever,
   for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.”

What a promise from the Lord!

We have to  keep our minds focused upon Him! We need friends and loved ones to help us with this. We need the truth of God’s Word to do this. We must read it and meditate upon it daily to keep our minds on Him, but then here’s the awesome promise of God: He’ll give us peace! His peace, which is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).

Doing our part to focus on Him enables us to better trust Him!

I’m convinced that the more we know God relationally, the more we will trust Him. That’s why biblical counseling is so powerful! What a message to tell people daily!

-Mark (being intentional in my thinking these days to stay focused upon the Lord)