Give Me That Mountain

Trust in Action

Day four...

If you've ever managed people, it's difficult to trust someone else to do what you're really good at doing yourself. It's especially difficult if you “own” the project—literally or otherwise.

I had employees for over twenty years. And it was always difficult to trust an employee with something I thought I could do better myself. As it is with any entrepreneur—at least initially—the critical tasks are done by the entrepreneur until he or she is forced to delegate because of time constraints, logistics, or other reasons.

taking out garbage

In running my business over the years, I learned that other people not only could often execute my ideas better than I could, but frequently had better ideas than I had. Logically, only a fool would cling to doing things his or her own way. But sadly, I was sometimes the fool.

Only the profit motive kept me from being a fool all of the time. It was just too costly to trust in myself to run my business all by myself.

It is just too costly to trust in ourselves to run our own lives all by ourselves. But I will never be able to convince you of that until you can taste and see that the Lord can run your life better than you can.

Oh, taste and see that the LORD [is] good; Blessed [is] the man [who] trusts in Him! (Psalm 34:8 NKJV)

It is by comparison that we learn to value one thing above another.

Canned peas are almost unbearable for me to eat, unless you load them up with something like pimento and bacon. Frozen peas taste considerably better. But peas, fresh out of the garden, are so superior in taste they are almost like a different vegetable.

If I had nothing to compare them with, I could be stuck on canned peas, thinking this is as good as it gets. I could spend my entire life trying to jazz up canned peas with extra ingredients—not knowing of a better choice. But let me taste garden peas, and I hold myself to a different standard.

I used to live pretty much entirely by my own wits. Oh, I would listen to the input of other people, but wouldn't act on that input without my own brain's stamp of approval. I valued my thoughts and my opinions above anyone else's.

This however, became an issue over time. I was okay until my goals exceeded my brainpower. I was okay until my problems pushed me to my wit's end. It was at this point stress began to take its toll. But it was also at this point that God began to reveal Himself to me.

Had I nothing else to compare my situation with, I would have continued fighting my way through by my own wits. But God showed me how to live by His wits. And by comparison, trusting in His mind is infinitely better than trusting in my own.

Just keep this in mind. It is His way or your way. No combination is possible. It's one or the other. His way will not peacefully coexist with your way.

For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath reason to trust in the flesh, I more. (Philippians 3:3–4 WEB)

Paul then goes on to list all the reasons he had to trust in the flesh (see Philippians 3:5–6):

  • I was circumcised when I was eight days old.
  • I am a pure‐blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one!
  • I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law.
  • I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church.
  • And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.

But he didn't trust in anything within himself. Though his credentials were impressive—even by today's standards—he didn't trust in those human credentials. He trusted in God alone.

I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God's way of making us right with himself depends on faith. (Philippians 3:7–9 NLT)

The Greek word translated “garbage” (translated “refuse” and “dung” in other English Bibles) means what is thrown to the dogs, or any refuse (as the excrement of animals, offscourings, rubbish, dregs).

Paul, who had more ability and intellect than most of us, considered his own resources about as valuable as fecal material in comparison to the resources of God. Paul understood, by comparison, God's overwhelming greatness and his own underwhelming weakness. He did not try to add God's greatness to his weakness, but he did with his own garbage what we should do with ours—he threw it out.

One of the great risks in life is to trust in someone other than yourself. To trust in other people is indeed a very real risk. But to trust in God is only an imaginary risk, as long as you don't try to mix trusting in Him with trusting in yourself.

God shares trust with no one. Trusting in God cannot occupy the same time and space as trusting in yourself. It is one or the other.

Have a good day,
Mike

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