What does it mean to trust? Part 2

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
(1 Corinthians 13:7)

I will refer you back to Monday’s article for part 1 of “What does it mean to trust?” My daughter learned a lesson in trust when we were at the farm store the other day.  She saw the stock tanks that hold the baby chicks but did not trust me that the chicks were not in there. It wasn’t until she put her ear to the side of the tank that she “confirmed” that the chicks weren’t there.

What she was looking for was not there. It was an empty tank. I’ve been thinking about this even more in a lot of applications to our lives. What I’m looking for may end up being an empty tank. The tank promised to deliver something, but I didn’t trust my Father and in the end the tank was empty.

Pleasure. It may be that you think you are going to find relief, satisfaction and pleasure in excessive entertainment, immoral sexual behavior, or in substances like alcohol and other drugs. But in the end, God told you to trust Him, and you didn’t. You found an empty tank. What you were looking for wasn’t to be found. All of us can think of things that promised to make us happy and we ended up empty. Notice the following two passages from letters to Timothy. What was Timothy to “pursue”? From what was he to “flee”?

But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.
(1 Timothy 6:8-11)

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
(2 Timothy 2:22)

Knowledge. Some of us try so hard to find new ways to think about things. We really work hard to find things that our spiritual ancestors didn’t discover before. So much energy is exhausted to find new interpretations that “nobody has thought of before” (see Acts 17:21). In fact, we become so arrogant and smug in our pursuit of new ways to think that we spit on those who labored for years in study of God’s word to arrive at their conclusions. It might be that we have convinced ourselves that we are “testing all things,” but I believe we can be looking for something that God says isn’t there. We end up coming to an empty tank. The irony is that many times we arrive at the same conclusions our fathers did because those conclusions were solidly based on the word of God combined with years of experience.

Certainly, “test all things” as God tells you (1 Thessalonians 5:21). But have some humility, young men and women (1 Peter 5:5). You might be running toward an empty tank. What you thought was promising to be a wealth of overflowing knowledge may end up being a disappointing vacuous hole. Before you disregard the wisdom and wealth of study done by those who preceded you, trust that they may have some great insight to share.

Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know.
(1 Corinthians 8:1-2)

Are you trusting the Father? Or are you running toward an empty tank?

The First 60 for 30 Challenge

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8

How do you start your day? The alarm goes off, maybe you hit snooze or maybe you get right up. You head to the bathroom, taking your phone with you. Perhaps you head to the kitchen for the first cup of coffee and you sit down with your phone to get caught up on social media or email, and review your schedule for the day.

I don’t know what your mornings typically look like but I’ll bet the first hour includes your phone or tablet in some way. Jim Kwik is a leading expert on speed learning, memory retention, and how the brain works. He emphasizes the need to protect the sovereignty of the first hour of our day.   We need to develop habits and routines that allow us to frame our mindset and set the course of our day. One thing he stresses is to avoid the phone for the first hour. When we immediately grab our phones and start looking at social media and email, we surrender our thought process to the demands of others.

So I have a 30 day challenge for all of us. Let’s call it The First 60 for 30 Challenge. For the next 30 days, start off your day like this:

  • Get out of bed and stretch for 5 to 10 minutes, concentrating on taking deep breaths
  • Head to the kitchen and drink a big glass of water
  • Put on some comfortable shoes and take a 10 to 15 minute walk. Don’t put in the headphones, just listen to the sounds around you
  • Upon returning to your house, get another big glass of water and sit down at the kitchen table
  • Make a list of 5 to 10 things you are thankful for. Things that money can’t buy
  • Say a prayer, focusing on thanking God for the things on your list
  • As you get your third glass of water, read for 20 minutes
  • Do all of this before you touch your phone

Our brains need certain things every morning to help us be at our best all day. We need to hydrate and we need to increase blood flow. Drinking water, deep breathing, and movement will help jump start our brains and remove the morning “fog”. We also need to train our minds towards gratitude.

Do this for 30 days. You’ll find that your attitude is improved, interactions with others is improved, and you have less stress throughout the day.

“We form our habits and then our habits form us.” – Jim Kwik