Seeking and Trusting God

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Bible.com

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

You hear a lot of stories about religious people who go on long journeys and undertake strenuous challenges to achieve “spiritual enlightenment” and “transcend the corporeal realm.” Sometimes they are looking for God, sometimes they are just seeking to be more in tune with the non-materialistic or non-physical aspects of this world. And a lot of them do succeed, some even becoming gurus or great masters in whatever religion that they practice. How could one help but feel at least a little spiritual when you behold the world from the highest peaks, or fast for weeks and hit that point where the physical just doesn’t matter as much? (or the point when you hit hunger delirium). But some of them, I’m sure, achieve one challenge or another and go back home and think, “Is that it?” Although they felt that high when they were doing the thing, once they get back to day-to-day life, they don’t know how to stay in touch with that greater power.

The God of the Bible assures us that it doesn’t have to be that complicated, and that this sense of deep connection with Him will last even in the mundane and the profane areas of life, when we truly seek him. This is the connection to the Holy Spirit, which is present whether we are marvelling at the breathtaking beauty of nature, in the midst of a breakthrough during a powerful sermon, or simply doing the dishes. It’s there whether we “feel” it or not, which I think is pretty cool. Are there any other religions that offer that?

This connection is what allows us to grow deeper in our relationships with God, and find more wonder in simply learning more about him than even diving into a tidal pool and discovering the magical world beneath. And trust me, once you start reading the Bible, you’ll find out that God has quite the personality.

Our Daily Bread

Everyone who was willing and whose heart moved them came and brought an offering to the Lord for the work.

Exodus 35:21

This connection and awe is what empowered the Israelites in the book of Exodus to pour out gifts for the construction of the sacred tent. It took a lot of back and forth, because seeing is not believing, but at that point they were so moved that they gave more than could even be counted. Some of this was gold used to make embroidery thread for Aaron’s priestly robes, and the devotion today explained how the ancient art of gold embroidery was lost in Korea. How can we be certain that all that we try to put into the kingdom won’t be a waste, especially since a lot of the seeds we plant in  our lifetimes won’t sprout, flourish, or bear fruit for several generations after we are gone?

This connection and awe is what empowered the Israelites in the book of Exodus to pour out gifts for the construction of the sacred tent. It took a lot of back and forth, because seeing is not believing, but at that point they were so moved that they gave more than could even be counted. Some of this was gold used to make embroidery thread for Aaron’s priestly robes, and the devotion today explained how the ancient art of gold embroidery was lost in Korea. How can we be certain that all that we try to put into the kingdom won’t be a waste, especially since a lot of the seeds we plant in  our lifetimes won’t sprout, flourish, or bear fruit for several generations after we are gone?

This connection is what gave leaders like Moses and Joshua the ability to lead an entire nation into the future that God had prepared for them, despite regular rebellions and a multitude of frustrations, and their own mistakes.

In our Old Testament reading, we see a few war schemes planned and executed: one with God at the helm, one undertaken without seeking Him, and one that blatantly spits in the face of what He has commanded. Achan from the tribe of Judah stole war spoils when the nation had clearly been told not to take anything, and because of that, Israel suffered a defeat when they tried to take the town of Ai. Joshua had been advised by his leaders that they only needed a percentage of the army to capture the town, and it doesn’t say whether Joshua tried to confirm this with the Lord before the battle to make sure they wouldn’t suffer the curse of being chased from The Book of God’s Law. Likely not, because God probably would have told him to search the camp first. So, God told him that someone in the community had sinned, making all of Israel guilty. They followed a step-by-step process for discovering the culprit, and Achan and his entire family were found and punished. This shocked me, especially the part about Achan’s sons and daughters being stoned to death along with their father, but I can only imagine that they knew what their father had done, and didn’t report it, incurring the curses that they had surely known about.

Then, God gives Joshua the winning strategy for defeating Ai, and I was struck by the go ahead He gave for them to keep whatever they wanted from the town once it had been captured. God didn’t care so much about what the nation had, but rather whether they respect Him and trust Him to provide not only material goods, but leadership and direction. If Achan had just asked for permission or sought the Lord with all of his heart, he would have not only a robe, silver and gold, but the blessing of the Lord as well. He’s not against material goods or us enjoying the finer things of life, but rather wants us to make sure we never place these things above obeying and loving Him. After all, He wants us to pour out these things for the glory of His Kingdom, as the early Israelites did in the book of Exodus. But we are to call on and rely on Him, and do with our riches, whether big or small, what He commands.

Is there anything in your life that you would be hard-pressed to give up if God asked you to? For me, I’m getting more into the groove of tithing my ten percent of any money that comes into my account, even if it’s just reimbursement or returning money that I had leant out. I still struggle with stress about money, but today I was struck with the thought that one day I might be called to give away my Extreme Faith Bible. Even now, I’m literally, like, “No, take anything else you want, but don’t make me give that away.” This was the first full Bible I had received as a child when I went to Camp Caroline at nine years old, given to me by my counsellor called Melissa, and we’ve gone through so much drama together. I’ve taken it across country to Quebec, and possibly even down to California if my memory serves. I LOVE my Bible, ironically possibly more than the commands that have been given in it. Isn’t that strange? I’m sure I’ll have to reckon with this at some point in my life, and I kid you not, I’m on the verge of tears right now even writing this.

What about you?

What about the New Testament? For some of us, our reputations are worth more than gold. Without the connection, Mary the Mother of Jesus would have run for the hills when she was told that she would become pregnant by what she would probably think is magic. I’m sure a lot of us have imagined what we might do if we were Mary, told that we would bear a child out of wedlock in a society where that would have been seen as a death-penalty offence. What kind of laughable story would it be today to insist that we are pregnant by the power of God? Unless we suffer some Jane The Virgin – esque mishap at the OBGYN, there wouldn’t really be an explanation. Especially if your fiancé knows he hasn’t slept with you, so the only logical conclusion is that you must have cheated on him, and his family is going to know, and so is yours, and so is everyone at the church picnic and the office bruncheon and every Tom, Dick, and Harry on social media and….

Okay, maybe Mary wasn’t quite thinking about all of those things. But when God asks something bat-shit-crazy from us, whether it’s walking around a town blowing trumpets, going around naked, walking on a stormy lake, or giving birth to GOD HIMSELF, it’s likely that we’ll be worried what others will think of us. And yet, according to Scripture, all Mary asked was how it could be possible that she could have a baby when she wasn’t married. She was given the sign of her cousin Elizabeth, and reminded that nothing is impossible for God. As the good Jewish girl that she was, she was probably well-versed in the history of her nation, and all the things that God had done. So if he can stop the sun and breath life into a barren world and let David defeat a giant with a pebble and give old women like Sarah and Elizabeth children, her reputation and His plan for her and for His Son were surely better left in His hands than hers. Not only would she receive the real-time blessing of bearing the Son of God, she was also promised that this impact would last forever, long after she has passed away. And what do you know? She still got to marry Joseph and have other children by him. God made the way for her and protected her, using her as an example of faith for young women more than two thousand years later.

In Conclusion

The threads of people who seek, trust, and follow God are woven throughout all of Scripture and all of history. While each person may not know the far-reaching manifestations of their faith and how it would impact generations, God is faithful to provide real-time blessings and results for a lot of these leaps of faith. We may not know all of them, but we can trust that we are not merely some pawn in a grander game, or that our only rewards will come in heaven. God wants to bless each one of us within our own lifetimes, no matter how long or short they may be. And we don’t even have to climb a mountain to experience that joy of filling that space that only He can fill.

Try to spend a bit of time in the word every day! It will be amazing, confusing, uplifting, perplexing, and at times disturbing – just like life, and so much better when you’re holding God’s hand.

For daily Bible verse breakdowns and more, go to http://www.bible.com. Don’t forget to download the app!

For a daily guide and devotionals on how to get through the Bible in a year, go to http://www.ourdailybread.ca

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  • Believing is Not Believing
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“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.”
~ Romans 15:13

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