Reliance; May 21, 2023

Proverbs 22:19 So that your trust may be in the Lord,
I teach you today, even you.

We seem to have gotten past the part of Proverbs that was written specifically by Solomon, but that can be hard to determine definitively. Regardless, this verse gives the reason for assembling any collection of “wise sayings,” and that is to teach people to rely on God. The Japanese here makes it clear that is the meaning of “trust.” We may say we trust God, but at the same time look for a “plan B” in case He doesn’t come through. How foolish! It’s not bad to lay out possible courses of action for various contingencies, but we’ve got to remember that God has the final say, and His plans are good and right and just. God will always enable us to do anything He has told us to do. As I quote frequently, Paul stressed this in his letters. “It is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13) “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) In the Old Testament, Asaph very rightly noted, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26) The whole Bible talks about how transitory the physical things of this world are, and we need to remember that. Nothing but God is worthy of our total reliance and trust.

This is something I’ve always got to remember. My father’s physical heart failed him, but God never did. I’ve failed myself and others more times than I can remember, but God has never failed me. When things look black, in almost every case the problem lies in me. I am a Teacher by gifting, and teach both in secular schools and in the Church. I need to be careful that my teaching always points people to God, to rely on Him. I am to teach people to be good stewards of all they have been given, but always to remember where those abilities and resources came from. Many people and even whole ministries have failed because they forgot that everything came from God in the first place. I must never let that happen to me, and I am to seek to keep others from that pitfall as well.

Father, thank You for the privilege of teaching. It is a joy to exercise the gifts You have given me. May I do so always in obedience to You and not for my own gratification, pointing and drawing people to You for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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