In 2016, because no incumbent is running, a little over half of the American people will be looking for someone new to trust as President of the United States. The rest of the country will just sit it out—some undoubtedly because they've just run out of trust. But those who'll vote will believe (or at least hope) their candidate's going to be a better President than the last one. It's probably been that way since George Washington.
People have trouble living up to expectations, and Presidents are just people. By the time he leaves office, if you voted for the guy, he will have lost some, if not most, of your trust. And if you didn't vote for him, you knew he was already guilty of a breach of trust, and every wrong decision he made will just prove that you were right in the first place.
News stories are usually about some breach of trust by somebody, from the President on down. Notices of court proceedings are primarily about a breach of trust. Local jails and state and federal prisons are full of people guilty of some sort of breach of trust. Couples in divorce court are guilty of a breach of trust in their vows to each other. Children in foster care are victims of a breach of trust on the part of their biological parents. High taxes are a result of a breach of trust on the part of past or present elected officials, who have failed to properly steward public funds.
You would think we would catch on at some point: It is a bad plan to trust in any man... a very bad plan. Even the best of men will commit a breach of trust from time to time.
Trust does not exist apart from God. Trust is not possible unless it is powered by God. God is the only One capable of meeting His responsibility to you. Look again at the verse we closed with yesterday.
[As for] God, His way [is] perfect; The word of the LORD [is] proven; He [is] a shield to all who trust in Him. (2 Samuel 22:31 NKJV)
Man is simply not trustworthy on his own:
- No man can stay in the middle of the road on his journey. Even the best of people run off into the ditch every once in a while. And they will take you along, if you're riding with them.
- No man can keep his word. I value the integrity of my words, but sometimes I can't live up to what I say. On our own, none of us can.
- No man can keep you safe no matter how much you trust him. I can come between you and a bad guy. I can even take a bullet for you. I can lose my own life in an effort to protect you. But that doesn't mean the bad guy can't still get to you.
God will not share responsibility for your care with anyone else. He certainly uses people to help Him care for you, but they don't share in the responsibility. They don't have a place at the table with you and Him.
God has no intention of blessing our efforts to trust anyone or anything other than Him.
You must worship no other gods, for the LORD, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you. (Exodus 34:14 NLT)
In fact, our attempt to put our trust in other human beings sets us up for failure.
This is what the LORD says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the LORD. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land.” (Jeremiah 17:5–6 NLT)
If God isn't always our first‐responder, we should not be surprised when we feel like we are living under a curse. Because… without God we are living under a curse.
“But Mike, didn't Jesus free us from the curse of the law?” Yes, He did.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree” (Galatians 3:13 ESV)
He paid with His own blood to buy off the curse that was against us. But just because He's paid for it does not mean we have received the benefit. We have a part to play, as well. Otherwise, everyone in the world would have been free of the curse the minute Jesus said, “It is finished” on the Cross. And that's simply not the case.
When we put our trust in mere humans, we are not putting it in God. And as long as we are trusting humans we are living outside of God's grace—that place where only blessings can live. God is not being mean. But He won't share your trust with anybody or anything. He has the world set up to trust in Him. Otherwise… we're on our own.
[It is] better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man. [It is] better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in princes. (Psalm 118:8–9 NKJV)
Please note: I am not saying that people without God cannot be trusted. I am saying that people without God can only be trusted to a point. And at some point everybody—no matter how good they are—will run out of the necessary resources to keep their responsibility to you.
But there is good news:
But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don't lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. (Colossians 3:8–10 NLT)
There is a way for each of us to represent the trustworthiness of God, with God Himself backing us up, which we will discuss next time.
Have a good day,