Trust – Delight – Commit – Be Still
3 Trust in the Lord and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.
5 Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you.
6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
7 Be still in the presence of the Lord,
and wait patiently for him to act.
What words stand out in this verse? For me: trust, delight, commit, and be still. To sum it up in a phrase… ride the wave.
Riding the wave means that we need to accept that we cannot and should not try to control different outcomes. Our job is to walk with God and trust God and work at our faith in God. Life is messy and relationships are messy, so exerting too much energy trying to control all the outcomes of life is a losing game. So let’s stop fighting the current.
When the ground soaks up the falling rain and bears a good crop for the farmer, it has God’s blessing. But if a field bears thorns and thistles, it is useless. The farmer will soon condemn that field and burn it.
Dear friends, even though we are talking this way, we really don’t believe it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation.
Hebrews 6:9 (NLT)
God always makes things better. One way to know if you are with God is the question: am I growing and getting better?
God helps us mature, develops our hearts, and deepens our relationships. If you want your marriage to get better, put more God in it. If you want your family to get better, put more God in it. If you want your emotions to get better, put more God in you. If you are lonely, grow in your relationship with God and you will see your friendships grow too.
Sometimes we ask – why is this happening to me? Or – why do I feel this way? Well, it’s probably God making you better. God will uproot, rebuild, teach, and train us because we are meant for better things.
What is God doing in your life? How is he making you better?
It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward.
Hebrews 11:25-26 (NLT)
God makes everything better.
God is better than everything else.
- The heart is better than the head
- Being compelled is better than being controlled
- Relationship is better than rules
God is better. God is better than financial security. God is better at running life than I am. God is better than comfort. God is better than a girlfriend or a boyfriend. God is better than anything else.
A prevailing theme of Hebrews is that faith in God is better than rules. Sharing our faith involves building relationships and sharing what is most important to us. When we lose our faith that things can get better, we lose our grip on God. When we are always fearful about the future, we lose our grip on God.
Where Inspiration Begins: Hearing the Voice of God
Faith, hope, love, joy, conviction, confidence… all begin with hearing the voice of God. We have to hear his voice through all of the other voices that echo in our heads: our own voice, your boss’ voice, friend’s voice, spouse’s voice, parents’ voice. What is God saying to me?
God Speaks to Our Hearts
But Christ, as the Son, is in charge of God’s entire house. And we are God’s house, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ.
That is why the Holy Spirit says, “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested me in the wilderness.
Hebrews 3:6-8 (NLT)
The first thing we need to understand about the voice of God is that he speaks to our hearts. Fear is one of the biggest things that can take us away from God. Fears of the future, being alone, rejection, exposure. If we are going to be with God, we need courage to talk about our fear and deal with it.
The natural human reaction to hearing God’s voice is to harden our hearts. Why? It is an emotional experience to hear God’s voice. If you’re not experiencing God emotionally, you aren’t really experiencing God. Not wanting to mature emotionally and grow emotionally will limit our spirituality and crush our faith.
When we read our Bible and pray, we need to involve our hearts. God speaks to our hearts, and that is where faith comes from.
My Response to God’s Voice
There your ancestors tested and tried my patience, even though they saw my miracles for forty years. So I was angry with them, and I said, ‘Their hearts always turn away from me. They refuse to do what I tell them.’ So in my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my place of rest.’”
Hebrews 3:9-11 (NLT)
Listening and doing is what matters most. Are you doing what God tells you?
When we listen and do, we find God and we find rest.
With a Little Help From Our Friends
See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heartthat turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.
Hebrews 3:12-14 (NIV)
As friends, it is our job to make sure that neither us nor our friends miss God’s voice. We need to look out for each other so that our hearts don’t become hard and turn away from God. Our job as friends is not to fix each other, make each other like us, or make each other feel better. Our job is to make sure that we are all listening to God.
Do you have friends like this? Are you a friend like this? The drift toward isolation is a powerful force. None of us can do this alone. We need each other.
A Voice That Reveals
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Hebrews 4:12-13 (NIV)
God’s word penetrates and reveals.We need to be ready for this when we read the Bible. If reading the Bible isn’t generating emotions, sins, and dreams in us, then we aren’t really listening. If we are not growing in our depth, exploring, and discovering when we read the Bible, then we are not hearing his voice. The excitement of God’s word is that is penetrates and reveals.
What is God revealing in your heart? Are you talking about it with your friends?
A Voice That Matures
There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.
Hebrews 5:11-14 (NLT)
When we are dull and stop listening to God, we also stop growing. We stay emotionally immature. This is God’s voice of repentance.
Have you stopped repenting? What is God calling you to repent of now?
A Voice That Heals
You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.
Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain.
Hebrews 12:24-27 (NLT)
God speaks of forgiveness instead of vengeance. This is different than the Old Testament days. God is speaking of healing and the freedom of forgiveness. But don’t refuse to listen! God is also a fire, so he always knows how to get our attention.
Forgiveness heals relationships. We need forgiveness from God so we can forgive ourselves and forgive others. Failure is ok. We are going to go through hard things in life and in relationships, but failures are what helps us learn and lead us to later victories. Refusing to listen to God’s voice that heals just leaves us deceitful, hidden, and isolated.
A Voice That Inspires
Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”
Hebrews 13:5-6 (NLT)
One big reason we love money is when we lose our faith and confidence that God is taking care of us. We become afraid that God will not take care of us, so we start trying to take care of ourselves.
Believing that God is my helper means believing that God will help me. It sounds simple, but you can tell you believe that when you are filled with confidence, not fear. Do you ever ask yourself: how will _____ ever change? The answer is that God will help.
Everyone can change and grow, because God is our helper.
Hearing the Voice of God
- The Voice That Reveals
- The Voice That Matures
- The Voice That Heals
- The Voice That Inspires