“Such is the confidence and steadfast reliance and absolute trust that we have through Christ toward God”- 2 Cor. 3:4
The word reliance is defined by Webster’s dictionary as “Dependence on or trust in someone or something.” Example: "the farmer's reliance on pesticides."
It’ s amazing the things we rely on. For thousands of years, mankind has looked to countless varieties of “devices” to get what they want in order to bring reliance. There are so many “devices”: horoscopes, superstitions, rolling dice, etc., etc. We look to so many empty things to bring us security.
Last years’ MLB playoffs ended a long time ago and a new season is rolling (Go Rangers). In the Cardinals series with the Phillies, they were playing great and were rolling along. They are my National League team but the Rangers are my American League team (I digress). Game #1 was going great. Then the announcer said this, “The Cardinals are 93-0 in their playoff history when leading by 2+ runs heading to the 9th.” I turned to Jeanie and said, “Oh no, jinx time! He shouldn’t have said that?” Sure enough, the Phillies came back and won the next two games, and the Cardinals were eliminated. Was it because of what the announcer said? Not at all, but we do rely on superstition and unfounded beliefs to help us make sense (supposedly) of difficult situations.
David, in the Old Testament, encountered a situation much more intense than a baseball game. First Samuel 30:6 captures the moment: “Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.” David had made some costly decisions, but he turned to God and relied on God to be his strength.
Paul, in the New Testament, had traveled all over Europe and Asia, risking his life daily to share the gospel with people. First Corinthians 2:1-5: “And when I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come as someone superior in speaking ability or wisdom, as I proclaimed to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I also was with you in weakness and fear, and in great trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of mankind, but on the power of God.” Paul was highly skilled and talented, but never let his skills and talents replace the power of God through the Holy Spirit using him. God was his reliance, not his skills and talents.
Call time-out in your life right now and ask yourself, “What am I relying on these days?” It may not be something bad or evil but is it anything less than our awesome God? He is always faithful. Someone defined faith in a beautiful way, "Faith is reason at rest with God”. I’ve been learning so much about rest these days.
Faith is understanding that we don’t have to have control in situations because we’re relying on God. The “reason” that we long for is in the hands of our wonderful Savior. We’re at our best when we discard control and pride and a selfish demeanor that must understand and control it all. It’s best to rest (and it’s a beautiful rest!). Again, I’m learning how to do that!
Freedom begins when we surrender ourselves and our circumstances to the incarnate and amazing God of it all. We acknowledge that God’s Son, Jesus Christ, is worthy of our surrender. We give our lives over to Him. Then, we strive to practically give our daily lives, with all its detail, over to Him, moment by moment, situation by situation. It may take a thousand times today for me to keep giving my “stuff” over to Him, but that’s what true reliance is all about.
May we all rely on the amazing God who is much more than we can imagine, and rest in His sovereignty, peace and grace.
By Eric Joseph Staples ©
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