When we hear the phrase “loving God,” we often think about the spiritual high we had when we gave our lives to Him. Sometimes, we think of getting caught up in a worshipful moment or even doing acts of service on His behalf. However, there’s an important piece of loving God that often gets overlooked, and it’s a concept we’ve been learning over the past year – trusting God.
Trust is a key foundation for any relationship, but especially our relationship with God. God demands and requires our complete trust if we’re to be the most effective followers we can be. However, God also wants our trust because He knows that where we place our trust influences where we have our hearts. And our trust in Him (or lack thereof) is directly linked to our love for Him.
In Jeremiah 17:5 (NIV), God tells His people “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord.” God is angry when His people don’t trust Him, and it’s not just because He wants our loyalty. He also knows that our hearts will turn away from Him when our trust does. Trusting anyone more than God is idolatry, and history has shown that when mankind’s trust shifts from God to another person, mankind’s love shifts as well.
Mistrust isn’t limited to trusting people more than God; it’s trusting any thing more than God. Isaiah 31:1 (NIV) says “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the Lord.” The things of this world – a career, bank account, or possessions – are undependable places to put our trust. Instead, we should rely on God, who is completely dependable for strengthening us during our trials.
In the challenges of the last year, Christians have been putting their trust in a lot of places. For me, I had been trusting my health to avoid getting COVID-19. When I got the virus in spite of my health, I was reminded that my trust was misplaced because it wasn’t in God. Trusting my health had diverted my heart from the only One I could truly rely and depend on.
Compared to worship, service, and speaking of God’s love, trusting God can be challenging. Yet, our trust in God will speak volumes about our love for God, and our lack of trust in God can lead us on a slippery slope that can ultimately take our hearts away from Him.
What are you trusting in? Your health? A political candidate? A vaccine? Your finances? If you’re trusting anything more than God, your trust isn’t the only thing that’s on shaky ground; your heart is at risk too.
Whatever this year brings, let’s be aware of where we’re placing our trust. If we put our complete trust in God, our hearts and our love will follow after Him too.