This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
He is my God, and I trust Him.
Psalm 91:2 NLT
You might be thinking, Oh… That is just semantics. There is no difference between trusting God and trusting “in” Him. And, You just might be right, but let’s just take a look at this together.
I typically will read any Scripture I want to study in several translations or versions to broaden my understanding of the passage.
So I perused a couple of my favorites:
As I think of these two passages both the Amplified and the New King James Version says, “in Him I … trust.”
But in the passage from the New Living Translation, it simply says “I Trust Him.”
What keeps us from trusting God completely?
In my life the inability to trust God seemed to stem from three things:
- My inability to trust people.
- The failures and woundedness I carried in my heart.
The key to unraveling all three of these issues in my life centered on my ability to draw near to and absolutely trust God with my whole heart.
Let’s examine trusting God in prayer. I had memorized Scriptures and learned to pray them. Perhaps you know these:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding…” Proverbs 3:5 NKJV (My Memory)
“I am a flourishing Olive Tree in the house of my Lord, my heart safely trusts in His unfailing love forever and ever.” Psalm 52:8 HCSB (My Memory)
These Scriptures rolled around in my heart during the waning months of 2009. I allowed them to marinate in the deep places inside that held me captive to my fear and pain. In the quiet of my heart I considered what it means to trust God completely.
Earlier that year I stood at my kitchen table getting ready to leave for church when I heard these words: You do not trust Me.
I immediately recognized this prompting for further discussion as the Holy Spirit and gave chase. “Of. Course. I. Do. I know all the Scriptures. I pray believing by faith. I trust you.”
You say you trust Me, but you don’t trust people.
My head began to go all sorts of places. After all, God, He is good. But, People… They are fallen, fleshly creatures who are often only interested in themselves. I know because I “are” one.
“Do we really have to do this?”
Yes, child, we do.
“Okay, then what do I need to do?”
And that is where I landed these last two days when considering this verse of Scriptures from Psalm 91:2. You see, in December 2008 a friend of mine gave me the word “peace” for Christmas. When I say that she gave me the word “peace,” I mean she gave me a book about spiritual warfare and a card with the word peace and a snowman on it for my Life Group Christmas gift.
Inside she wrote a stirring message to me about how God wants to bring me peace in the coming year. I had no idea why I would need a word about peace in the midst of spiritual warfare in those days, but I decided to receive the word. While we were visiting she said, “Michelle, God wants you to trust Him. Really Trust Him. He wants you to know He is your strong tower, your refuge, and you can trust Him.”
Did I say that a few months later God would have this really serious conversation with me about trust? Oh, yes. I think I did.
I cut and pasted Scriptures printing them on index cards, and began to pray prayers of faith. As I did, He began to move mountains in my life. During 2009, my marriage escaped near destruction in the aftermath of an emotional affair, while our family moved three times between June and November. The third move was into a home that we are purchasing on an 18 year note in spite of our past financial failures. A home I believe and said would be impossible for us to buy in this season of our lives. He offered me a job that would launch me into healing, maturity and a brand new season. And all the while, He was teaching me not to just trust in Him for salvation, to have my needs met, and to overcome extreme adversity, but He was teaching me He is absolutely, unequivocally and unconditionally trustworthy.
I mentioned those three things up there… Here is what trusting God allowed me to do to overcome those three obstacles in my life.
1. Fear – I had to face down every spoken fear I’d ever confessed. I mean FACE. IT. DOWN: “I will not survive the death of one of my children. That will do me in.” Imagine the enemy’s dismay when he came against my family in August 2005, he aimed for the child I had fought the hardest for – the Prodigal and it was a kill shot. My son went home in the safe keeping of the Lord on August 23, 2005. And if you believe I’m typing these words – IT. DID. NOT. DO. ME. IN. Add to this maximized fear the fears of others finding out about my prodigal history and the disqualification that will surely come with it, and the fear of applying for credit to buy a home with bankruptcy on your credit report. I felt doomed to live in “borrowed tents” forever.
2. He required me to confess the ugly facts of my life with others. And, He blessed me with favor to overcome any judgments that might have come with that confession.
3. He placed me in a safe and healthy environment with loving people who walked me through a difficult season of preparation that included the deep cleansing of my heart and the forgiving of those who I perceived had wronged me throughout my life. I had to release soul ties, break inner vows, allow the truth of God’s Word to break the self-erected strongholds I had pulled together around myself, and open my heart to live fully in the mercy and grace that His death affords me both toward myself and toward others. The bonus was I got paid for the effort of healing and becoming who He always meant for me to be.
Which brings me to the juicy part of Psalm 91:2. If you think of it, a fortress is a fortified place that protects us from the enemy – a stronghold. 1 Corinthians talks about our weapons of warfare have power to demolish strongholds. Not godly strongholds of protection and love, but those of our flesh. The ones we erect that are unhealthy, self-protective and ultimately keep God out. Funny how the enemy will convince us a counterfeit will take care of us in place of God’s real thing!
A few years ago, I had to face down forgiving my husband for an emotional involvement he developed with a woman online. We agreed back then that we would open our hearts to tell our story when it would help others see God, and we have told it many times.
When these things came to light, I prayed two things… “Lord, keep me from going in there and blowing this thing out of the water. And, please forgive him because right now I can’t, but I am asking you to forgive him because You can, and then work that forgiveness out in me.”
I spent the next few months working through my own issues. Repenting of pushing my husband out and preferring God over him because of the judgments I had made in my heart against the man I married. I apologized to my husband for allowing him to believe I did not care for him and his needs. While, at the same time I had to learn how about being vulnerable and honest with him and how I felt without beating him down over it. Eventually the forgiveness I chose by my will in those early days took root in my heart. We will celebrate 14 years of marriage on August 22, 2012. That is double redemption if you ask me.
All of this in the same year that God would say to me, “You don’t trust Me.”
Coincidence? Perhaps, but more likely a divine appointment. What I have come to realize is that God did not allow the difficult circumstances, woundedness or people to come into my life so much as I did. I embraced them, and agreed with them, about them and listened to the voice of the enemy over my God’s love for me. I failed to realize the one truth that would set me free… Jesus was the full expression of God’s absolute love for me. He died so I could be free from everything meant to cause me harm and pain. God is trustworthy not because I trust in Him, but because that is who He is. A fortress where I can run and safely entrust my heart, my mind, my will and my emotions and as a result He will take care of my every need. I will flourish in the house of God when I run to Him as my refuge and protection and trust Him unconditionally no matter what life may throw at me. And that day at the kitchen table, I also realized people have no power over me and lose their ability to hurt me when I trust God with my heart.
Selah. I’m going to pause and quietly think on this for a while.
Please join Twinkle Mom at Sunflower Faith and discover what others are saying about Psalm 91:2 In Other Words. If you would like to learn more about In Other Words, then visit Loni at Writing Canvas and Just. Jump. In!