I’m in a season of waiting and preparing.
Waiting for the next location, home, job, friendships, and season of life.
I’m preparing for it as much as I can by reading, learning, planning, creating Pinterest boards, and joining Facebook groups.
While reading about Joshua and his big “sun stand still” prayer in Joshua chapter 10, my heart was convicted of its motives behind my latest prayers.
I have been praying for all these things I’m “trusting God” with, but at the same time I’m also crafting together a backup plan for if or when God doesn’t say yes to exactly what I desire.
But that’s not really trust is it?
Trust isn’t sitting in a chair and shoving a pillow underneath to break my fall in case the legs fail. Trust doesn’t affirm its loyalty all the while bracing for the worst.
It’s not remembering the past faithfulnesses of God and doubting he’s got a plan even if he answers certain prayers with no or not yet.
Trust requires something from me. It’s not as passive as I would be comfortable with. It requires a vulnerability to trust in someone else’s ability more than my own. It requires me to step back and stop relying on myself and my ability.
As I was reading about Joshua’s “sun stand still” prayer, I realized that I find it easier to lean on God’s ability and trust him for the outcome when all my personal resources have been depleted.
Joshua was faced with battling five kings and their combined mega army. He knew his army couldn’t stand a chance if they relied on their own abilities and resources. So, he prayed for God to do something that seemed impossible by any human account (read more here).
I find it easier to trust God with the big things. The things when I am literally unable to make things happen on my own. In the impossible is where I find it easy to trust God fully because I know I can’t do it alone… because usually by this time, I’ve already tried.
But the little things? The things like being offered a house on base or looking for a rental to hold us over until what we really desire happens. Those are the things I have trouble trusting God with because I can easily and proactively create a solution to the problem. Proactivity is supposed to be a good thing, right??
Every day at my last job, I had to come up with temporary to more permanent solutions for issues that weren’t a part of the original plan, usually due to limited resources.
I’m pretty good at finding solutions or the right people with a solution. Give me a problem, and I’ll give you a few options to fix it. Give me a desired outcome, and I’ll give you a couple contingency plans because I know plans don’t always go the way we think they should.
But this doesn’t really work with trusting God. I can’t come up with better fixes than the one who is so detailed that he cares for the sparrows and clothes the lilies.
God is the master Fixer and Solution Finder and what does he ask of me when I worry and start creating my backup plans?
“Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.”Luke 12:27-31, NLT
And that was Jesus speaking! God Himself. What did he say?
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else.
But what does that look like? What does that even mean?
While you can google the phrase and come up with 60.5 million entries (yes, it’s true), I’ve come to learn the best place to find out what God actually thinks on a matter is to go straight to the source: His Word.
Instead of copying and pasting several different passages, I’ll add links below for reference and share what I found with just a few minutes of searching “kingdom of God” on The Bible App.
The Kingdom of God
A physical location, a place where God reigns or has authority, heaven.
A person or presence, specifically Jesus or the Holy Spirit.
An inheritance given by God to those with faith.
A time period, the end of time to come.Matthew 6:10; 12:28; 19:24; 21:43; Mark 1:15; 10:15; Luke 7:36-50; 17:20-27; 19; 21:31
Keep in mind this is a very limited and partial definition of the Kingdom of God, but for now it gives me a glimpse of what it looks like to seek the Kingdom of God above all else.
If I break it down into the simplest form possible, seeking the Kingdom of God looks like me pursuing the things of Jesus, valuing what he values, living and seeking out his presence, and living in a way that honors the inheritance of heaven and communion with him I have been promised.
According to God, if I’m seeking his kingdom, then 1) I have nothing to worry about and 2) He will provide what I need and that should give me reason to trust him.
In Winning the Worry Battle: Life Lessons from the Book of Joshua, Barb Roose introduces the idea of shifting my focus from fear to the reason for why I don’t have to fear. For example, in Deuteronomy 31:8, [Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.] I don’t have to be afraid because the Lord will personally go ahead of me, He will be with me, and he won’t fail or abandon me.
It’s going to take some time for me to shift my perspective to focusing on the reasons I shouldn’t fear versus the fear itself, but it’s a practical and no-nonsense step I can take on this road to trusting God.
Trusting God doesn’t require my back up plan, or anything I can provide.
Trusting God requires me choosing to seek him every day, even in the worries. And even when I want to fix all the things.