Friday, September 26, 2014

"The General and the Specific"

    "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6).

    Solomon's familiar command and promise graces us with an altar of heart we first build in general terms, and then visit often to specifically experience the power of God through faith and consecration.

    Walking with God involves the ongoing discovery of His faithfulness whereby we realize He can be trusted completely - "with all thy heart."  Of our Heavenly Father, Scripture declares "God cannot lie" and "the Lord is righteous in all His ways and holy in all His works" (Titus 1:2; Psalm 145:17).  Of ourselves, we cannot affirm such consistency of integrity, way, and work.  We nevertheless find ourselves tempted to depend upon our own understanding, often without realizing the path of inevitable frustration upon which we venture.  Our determination to acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ in all our ways beckons us to trust Him in this particular matter, or that specific challenge.  Indeed, when the focus of our faith narrows from the broad view of the forest unto a single tree, as it were, we discover how pointedly involved and dynamically active our Father is in our lives.

    We do well to maintain an ongoing conversation with our Lord concerning the general and the specific.  We must be sure we have built the altar whereupon we sacrifice our understanding as the lynch pin of our confidence.  We rather look to God, using our understanding as He illuminates and guides, but depending on Him as the source of all light and enabling.  The Spirit of God and the Word of God then specify our determination by the narrowed focus that pointedly directs our faith in the Lord Jesus.  Sometimes the matter involves realization - "I've never thought about trusting the Lord for this."  Or it may lead to repentance - "Father, I have failed to trust and acknowledge You in that, but rather have leaned upon my own understanding."  Both illuminations call us to the power of knowing God in the general and the specific, the former providing foundation for our confidence, and the latter building the walls of our dwelling in our Lord's presence, glory, and guidance.

"We are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh."
(Philippians 3:3)

Weekly Memory Verse
    Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted."
(James 6:1)

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