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Trust in Divine Power

“What I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do.” Every one of us can identify with these words of the Apostle Paul in the Holy Scriptures (Romans 7:15). They are as true for our health practices as for any other aspect of life. Often we know what we ought to do or avoid doing to stay healthy, but oh, how we struggle to follow our knowledge with our actions.

Chapter comments

A) Common reasons for our inability to put knowledge into practice

B) God is trustworthy

C) Learning to trust God

 

A) Common reasons for our inability to put our knowledge into practice

1. Addictions and habits

We may have developed habits and perhaps some addictions before we were old enough to know better. Some came to us as family customs or influence. Others developed because of peer pressure. Some things just struck a cord in our hearts signaling instant delight. There are many reasons why people form the habits they do and become addicted to the substances that enslave them, but in one way or another, they have enslaved us all.

2. Rebellious attitudes

All of us have a bit of rebellion lurking deep inside. All of us want to do things our own way. We all enjoy a sense of exhilaration when we think we have beaten the system.

3. Living for the moment

While some people plan for the future, expecting to enjoy the works of their labors then, others live for the moment, believing the age-old dictum, “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” They are not able to “see” how things can be any better in the future.

4. Discouragement

Many have good intentions for living “right.” They know what they ought to do to feel better, but become more discouraged every time they try and fail. Such ones forget that babies learn to walk by falling and getting up again, over and over again.

5. Fear

The fear of failure causes some not even to try. For them it is better not to have tried than to have tried and failed.

6. Guilt

Guilt may be good when it leads us to change some destructive practice, but it can be destructive in itself when it is believed the “sin” is too big to be forgiven. It is easy for such persons to reason that since they are already lost, they may as well continue on with the abhorrent behavior.

Any or all of these reasons may be found in those who believe in God, as well as those who do not believe. In fact, even the most honest and devout believer may struggle with lifestyle habits and the desire to change. For all of us are victims of the many influences and powers present in this world—genetics, culture, family history, personal experiences, etc. Merely believing in God does not magically take them away.

Furthermore, as surely as there is a God in heaven who created this world (and even now sustains it day by day), so there is a devil, fighting in opposition to Him. Only in understanding this conflict between good and evil in our world can we begin to understand the significance of our impotency. Thus, in addition to the reasons mentioned above, we have the devil, as well, and his forces of evil, tempting, tricking, deceiving, enticing, placing us on guilt trips, and doing all manner of other pressures.

B) God is trustworthy

But God is trustworthy! Though we live in a troubled and troubling world, we have this assurance, “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

There is power in prayer to God—when we seek Him on our own, when others pray for us, and we for them. There is power to overcome any habit, any addiction, indeed, any inherited predisposition, if we will but take our needs to God in prayer. While statements such as this may appear as foolishness to one who has not experienced the power, for those to have honestly and earnestly put Him to the test, God is faithful (Section XII, chapter 5—how to connect with God).

No. God’s power is not magic! Nor does He usually suddenly remove the temptation, the urge, or the desire compelling us to some harmful practice. But He will guide us along a path of providential experience if we will but trust Him and will grant us the desires of our heart. Though the devil may test us severely, God will not permit him to overcome us if we will place our trust in the Lord.

C) Learning to trust God

We may read the Holy Bible, and believe that it is indeed the Word of God. We may go to church each Sabbath day, become members of the local congregation, and join in fine Christian fellowship. Yet, many people never really learn to trust God. Most people never get to the place where they are willing and comfortable going to their God for help with every troubling doubt, every evil temptation, every uncontrolled impulse, every family problem, and yes, even for every physical need. Yet, He has promised to hear our every request and respond.

Two things are necessary in order for one to truly learn to trust in God.

One must be “real!” God does not play games with people’s lives. But, if in true sincerity, one humbly approaches God in prayer, seeking to know His will, God will hear that prayer and respond in the appropriate way—in the way that the petitioner would like, could he/she see the end from the beginning—see the whole, big picture.

When the answer comes, tell God thanks! Not that He needs to hear your expressions of gratitude, but that to do so reinforces your own faith and helps it to grow.

Beware! The tempter is always waiting to help you rationalize away the answered prayer, suggesting some other explanation than the real one. It will help to keep a written record of your prayers for a while, checking each one off when the answer comes.

As over time one “sees” prayers answered over and over again—often many times a day—it isn’t long before faith takes over, and one is willing to walk anywhere, knowing his/her Lord walks before him/her, leading the way.

Test him! (See also Section XII, chapter 5).

 
© Copyright 2010 by A Place of Healing.