Categories
Articles VOH Article

Trusting in the Lord and Not in the Flesh

What do you think about when you hear the word trust?

Google defines trust as:

Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.

To trust in someone or something means to firmly believe; this could be as simple as trusting that your car will take you to work or that the sun will rise again in the morning. In the context of trusting or relying on another person, this means you feel safe with them and have confidence that they will not hurt you or let you down. Like a friend you can share your secrets, knowing they won’t judge you or tell someone else, or a partner you have confidence in knowing they will be a good parent and help you in providing for the household. 

Yet, when trust is broken, it can be very hard to repair. Throughout our lives, a lot of us have been let down time and time again in our relationships. Whether it be a romantic partner, a parent, or even a friend, there are many wounds and hurts within our souls, and a lot of them can stem from people who have let us down and broken our trust. Perhaps a friend gossiped about you behind your back, which led to people turning against you; or maybe a parent wasn’t able to meet your emotional or physical needs when you were a child, and left you no choice to rely on them to provide for you. These are a few examples of the many factors that can lead to a person having trust issues.  

Not only do these past hurts lead to having trust issues with people, but also with our heavenly Father – God. Because we have been hurt and let down by people in our lives, this can lead us to not trust God to meet our needs. Depending on how badly someone has been wounded, they might not even think or believe He (God) cares about their needs or wellbeing. Because of these deep-rooted hurts, people end up relying upon themselves, or having confidence in their only ability alone in order for their needs to be met. 

There is a verse in John’s epistle where he speaks on things that are of the world and not of the Father which includes the pride of life:

“For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world”

(1Jn 2:16).

The word for pride is the Greek word alazoneia, which the Thayer’s Dictionary defines as:  

an insolent and empty assurance, which trusts in its own power and resources and shamefully despises and violates divine laws and human rights

– an impious and empty presumption which trusts in the stability of earthy things (1)

When one trusts in the stability that comes from their own works and accomplishments, whether it be from the money they have earned, a successful career, the house they bought, or when a person relies on their own ability, doing everything by themselves and believes they don’t need help from anyone else – this is pride. 

While having a job, money, or accomplished goals isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if our trust is always in what we can do on our own, how can we learn to live in the faith that the Bible talks about? How can we learn and grow in a relationship with our heavenly Father if we have walls of distrust blocking us from Him and others? The Apostle Paul tells us not to have confidence in our flesh:

“For we [who are born-again have been reborn from above–spiritually transformed, renewed, set apart for His purpose and] are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory and take pride and exult in Christ Jesus and place no confidence [in what we have or who we are] in the flesh” (Php 3:3 AMP).

The word for ‘Flesh’ in the Greek is the word ‘sarx’ and it means: 

– The flesh, denotes mere human nature, the earthly nature of man apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God (2)

The problem with confidence in the flesh is that it will only take a person so far, and that is because human nature is not divinely influenced by God; rather, it relies on working out of its own understanding and decision making. Eventually, situations will arise that they don’t know how to handle: financial, emotional, maybe physical problems, even relationship problems, and the list goes on. Eventually, things pile up, causing the person to be very emotionally and physically taxed. 

You can see this with how high the mental health problems and suicide rates are worldwide, and in the amount of people stuck in jobs they don’t like just so they can pay their mortgages and feed their family. There are also many people living paycheck to paycheck each week – hoping they have enough money to fill up their fridge and their gas tank.

The point being, whether it be financial, family, or emotional problems, God never intended us to carry all this weight on our shoulders. He wants to be our provider and bring peace to our anxious minds that are occupied with the cares and worries of this life: 

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”

(Php 4:6-7).

In the teachings of Jesus, He tells us not to worry about what we will eat, drink, or wear because God knows all our needs. We can see His words spoken in Matthew 6:25-32:

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” 

God provides for all of His creation! Just think about how every animal is provided for, every sheep that eats grass in a field or every vulture that finds a carcass, and here Jesus is saying we are of more value to God than any animal!

One of the words for trust in Hebrew means: 

A clinging onto someone or something for support or security (3)

To trust, to be confident. It expresses the feeling of safety and security that is felt when one can rely on someone or something else

– In addition, this expression can also relate to the state of being confident, secure, without fear (4) 

Trust means to cling to someone or something for support and security. It is a place with no fear or worries. The Bible says God is our refuge; a refuge is a place of safety and protection – where one would run to for both support and security.

“I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust

(Ps 91:2).

Words that are synonyms to “trust” include: belief, faith and confidence.

Belief and faith go hand in hand with trust; the Apostle Paul said that we walk by faith and not by sight (2Co 5:7).  God doesn’t want us to be moved by our external circumstances and be led by our own understanding, or by how we feel about a situation. He wants us to trust in Him – which means trusting in what is written within the 66 books of the Bible He has given us, because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom 10:17).

Scripture says we are not to learn on our own understanding, but on God:

 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths”

(Pro 3:5-6).

The word ‘acknowledge’ in Hebrew means to have an intimate relationship. Intimacy means to be familiar or close – God wants us to have a close relationship with Him where we confide in Him about everything happening in our lives. He wants us to understand the very nature of who He is and what He has planned out for our lives. 

After talking about God’s provision in Matthew chapter 6, Jesus goes on to explain how when we seek God’s kingdom, everything else is added unto us:

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you”

(Matt 6:33).

The word for righteousness speaks of: the doctrine concerning the way in which man may attain a state approved of God and also correctness of thinking, feeling, and acting (5).

God doesn’t want us to lean on our understanding or have confidence in our own works; He desires to have an intimate relationship with us, in order to restore our soul and break down all the walls of distrust. This comes through our minds being transformed as we seek Him through prayer, and by learning the right understanding of His word, so that when we hear that word, we can act upon it in faith (Jas 1:22).

References:

  1. Strongs Number: G212 in Thayer’s Dictionary 
  2. Strongs Number: G4561 in Thayer’s Dictionary
  3. Strongs Number: H982 in Ancient Hebrew Lexicon Bible 
  4. Strongs Number: H982 in Word Study dictionary
  5. Strongs Number: G1343 in Thayer’s Dictionary

Share Now