Figure It Out

Michael Beck

We could all use a little (or a lot) of help from our friends from time to time. The lost man who is too proud to stop and let someone give him directions is not wise (and will probably get more lost!) But there is a difference between the afflicted and needy one who lifts up their soul to God and the person who is continually looking to the arm of flesh.

God calls each of us to bear our own burden. “For every man shall bear his own burden” (Galatians 6:5). This may sound strange in that we think of Him as our burden bearer, the One whom we cast all our cares upon. But in actuality, bearing our own burden is the prerequisite for learning how to trust in the Lord. As we grow up each of is responsible before God for our own well-being. As children we depended upon our parents or caretakers who were given charge over us. We didn’t have to give a thought as to what we were to eat or wear. We were provided for. But who is to care for us when we get older, when our parents are gone? “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.” (Psalm 27:10)

We run into trouble when we continue to depend upon man into our adult years. Instead of taking ownership of our lives we expect others are still going to look out for us. And what happens when this doesn’t happen to our liking? We become bitter and rail against those who don’t seem to care. But we are not entitled to anything. Mercy flows from the sheer generosity of the giver. God would not have us make demands on anyone. He would have us seek Him in and for all things. The more we are looking to man, the less we are looking to Him. He has a stern warning to all who trust in men and depart from Him: “Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.” (Jeremiah 17:5,6)

God would not have us make demands on anyone. He would have us seek Him in and for all things. The more we are looking to man, the less we are looking to Him.

The judgment upon those who rely on man instead of God is a promise of nothing. But here is the promise to those who depend on God: “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. (Jeremiah 17:7,8)

There is no need for those who are depending on the the Lord to ever worry. What though is our need? To reach to Him for guidance and direction. If the brook Cherith dries up what does He want us to do next? Each of us has the responsibility to hear from God for our own welfare. If we are expecting man to take care of us we can point the finger of blame at man when we lack. But that lack may have nothing to do with man’s failure, it could well be God’s chastening upon us for trusting in man.

You have a Father in heaven who knows what you have need of even before you ask. He keeps count of every hair upon your head. Not a bird falls to the ground without His knowledge and you are worth more to Him than many sparrows. You are not out of sight, out of mind. He wants you to come to Him with all your cares because He cares for you. He wants you to tell Him all about your trouble. He is not asking you to figure it all out on your own, but He is wanting you to figure you it out in close conjunction with Him. There are times when He would want to give immediate light to your path and there are other times when He would want you to trust Him in the darkness knowing His answer is on the way. Our Father always has something good up His sleeve for His beloved children who look to Him.

Don’t look for a hand-out from men. Don’t look for anyone’s pity. Keep yourself in the love of God, looking for the mercies of our Lord Jesus Christ. He has promised to never leave, fail, or forsake you. He will make a way where there seems to be no way. He will open for you streams in the desert. He will keep your soul alive in time of famine. He will surround you with songs of deliverance if you make Him your Refuge and your Portion, the God in whom you trust.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.