According to Our Ways

Trust in Man
Jeremiah 17:5-6 ESV

Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
and makes flesh his strength,
whose heart turns away from the Lord.
He is like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land.”

We live in a society today where trust in man dominates, where people are looking to other humans to save them from the evil which is all around us. This is obvious on social media with all the talk of which politician is best for our nation, and regarding which one will be able to pull us out of the mess we are in. Christians are even fighting one another over who is best.

But this isn’t just about putting our trust in other humans to save us. It is also about putting our trust in ourselves, in our own flesh, and living in our own strength and willpower, rather than us living in the strength of the Lord.

Many people who profess faith and trust in Jesus Christ do not live as though their faith and trust is in the Lord. For, they are still living under the power and control of Satan and the flesh. They are still the ones driving their own lives, making their own decisions, and doing what their flesh dictates.

For, they love the darkness rather than the light, so they won’t come into the true light for fear that their evil deeds will be exposed. So, they will profess faith in Jesus Christ with their lips, but by their lifestyles they deny and dishonor him. For, they don’t want to surrender to Jesus. They just want a quick fix so that they can be assured heaven when they die.

But by trusting in themselves, and in their own flesh, rather than surrendering their lives to Jesus Christ, thereby not making him truly Lord (owner-master) of their lives, they have sealed their own destiny. But it is not the destiny they hoped for. It is the opposite of what they hoped.

But it isn’t as though they didn’t know. They know. They just choose to reject the truth to follow the lie, because the lie allows them to keep on in their sinful practices, only now without guilt. So, they choose to trust in their own flesh, rather than to trust in God, for they want to retain control.

Trust in God
Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

Nonetheless, if we truly put our trust in the Lord, which should be obvious by our lifestyles that our trust is in him, and not in our flesh, then we will be blessed of God. We will be blessed with spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus.

For, Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. So, when we place our trust in the Lord, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (1 Pet. 2:24; Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).

The old man (the flesh) has now been put to death so that we can now live new lives in Christ Jesus, our Lord, for his praise and for his glory. But that is just the beginning. Now we must walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. For, if we continue to walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God (Rom. 8:1-17).

But, if our trust is truly in the Lord, we will listen to him, and we will follow him in obedience. And, in his power and strength, we will begin to grow in our walks of faith and to become more and more like Jesus in all that we do.

And, we will be strengthened in our faith, often through trials, and we will learn to persevere in trials, and to be steadfast in spirit and in hope. And, we won’t be shaken by fear or by what is going on in the world all around us. For, our hope and trust is in the Lord, and he will save us from evil.

The Lord will help us to walk faithfully to him. He will guide and direct our path. He will teach us his will, and he will give us words to speak. And, he will heal our diseases, and comfort us in our sorrows, and he will teach us to know and to do his will even in the face of opposition from the enemy. For, he has a purpose for our lives even in these dark days.

Search the Heart
Jeremiah 17:9-10 ESV

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
‘I the Lord search the heart
and test the mind,
to give every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his deeds.’”

The human heart is deceitful and desperately sick, for we are all born with sin natures. Thus, we are unable, within ourselves, to be approved by God or to be righteous before him. We are prone to wander, and to go after the desires of the flesh, to do what our wicked hearts dictate (Romans 3).

And, that is why God the Father sent Jesus Christ, God the Son, to the earth, to take on human form, to suffer as we suffer and to be tempted in like manner as we are also tempted, yet without sin, so that he could be our compassionate priest, and so he could be our sacrificial lamb to die for our sins. For, in his death he put sin to death that we might die with him to sin.

Only by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, can any of us be saved from our bondage to sin and have eternal life with God. We can only come to obedient faith in Jesus Christ if the Father first draws us to him, and if he gifts us with the faith to believe in Jesus, and if he gifts us with repentance, too, and if he empowers us to live for Jesus, too.

For, you see, our salvation is from God, from start to finish. But that doesn’t mean we do nothing. Although we can’t earn our salvation by works done in the flesh, we are saved to good works, which God prepared in advance that we should walk in them (Eph. 2:10; Tit. 2:11-14; Phil. 2:12-13).

But these works are not of the flesh, but of the Spirit, done in the power of the Spirit, for the glory and praise of God. And, they are for the building up of the body of Christ to maturity in Christ. And, they are for our own walks of faith, and for holiness and righteousness, that we walk in obedience to our Lord, and that we grow in his grace.

And, even though we are saved by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, we are going to be judged by our works. For, we will all have to give an account to God. For, if we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap corruption. But if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 2:6-8; 2 Co. 5:10; Gal. 5:16-21).

Many people misunderstand this because they don’t understand God’s grace. God’s grace to us is not just forgiveness of sins. His grace to us is deliverance from our slavery to sin and empowerment of the Spirit of God to live godly and holy lives while we wait for our Lord’s return (Tit. 2:11-14; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Lu. 9:23-26).

There’s a Stirring

By Annie Herring

There’s a stirring deep within me
Could it be my time has come
When I’ll see my gracious savior face to face when all is done
Is that his voice I am hearing?
‘Come away, my precious one’
Is he calling me?
Is he calling me?

I will rise up, rise up
And bow down
And lay my crown
At his wounded feet

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5 thoughts on “According to Our Ways

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