For the past few days, we’ve been reading through portions of Matthew 6 and asking ourselves what the standard for our year should be in light of the words of Jesus. I have my own opinions and my own preferences. I would like things to be done my way and on my schedule, but the Kingdom of God doesn’t follow my rules. Often things happen in ways and times that I wouldn’t like. I would rather things go a different way.
When my preferences contradict the Word of God, then I have to make a choice. I can choose to trust in myself or in him. Sometimes I courageously choose to believe what God says above all else. Other times I would rather trust in myself.
In 2021, I want to trust God more deeply than I have in the past. I’ve learned that I’m really good at trusting God with the big decisions—quit your job, move across the country, launch a book, etc.—but I’m less inclined to trust him with the little things throughout my day. I tend to want to divide the tasks between us: God can handle the big vision-casting for my life, but the day-to-day operations are the ones I want to maintain control of.
God doesn’t just want us to trust him with some things (even if they are the big things), but is calling us to trust him with all things. While I don’t think I will get to that level of trust in 2021, I want to work toward that incredible goal.
“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:30-34 (ESV)
When I read through this passage, I don’t think about managing anxiety, but I think about who I’m trusting in. If I’m trusting in myself to be my provider, then it’s likely that I’ll be filled with anxiety. For me, anxiety isn’t the root problem, it’s a symptom of my misplaced trust.
What is your standard for trusting in 2021?
Reading through the Gospels is really incredible! Jesus was fully dependent upon God and the disciples were fully dependent upon Jesus. Jesus was homeless and relied upon others to provide for them—I wonder how many people were pricked by the Holy Spirit to offer him a place to sleep. Jesus and the disciples didn’t have a regular income, so they had to trust that God would provide food either miraculously or through the obedience of other people. Everything they did was an act of trust and surrender.
Because I’m so self-sufficient, I can rely heavily upon myself. I can do a lot and I trust myself to do those things well. I’m so grateful for the competency I’ve developed but I also know that this trait is something that I need to keep in check. There are times when my trust in God goes against what my rational brain tells me to do and I have to know the voice of God well enough to follow him there.
I don’t think we should ever kick wisdom to the curb, but I do think that we can use “wisdom” as an excuse for not trusting in God. I know I can use it as a crutch to avoid being obedient. And I don’t want to do that in 2021. I want to be more willing to trust God with the day-to-day of my life and be willing to go and do the things that stretch me.
Our God is a good father who loves us. He is our provider, our protector, and our guide. His ways are so much better than our own. He has proven time and time again that he can be trusted with the little and big things in life.
Let’s use 2021 to trust God more deeply with the big picture and the day-to-day details of our lives!
What is God saying to you about reflecting?