Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart

by Mike Ratliff

1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
But let your heart keep my commandments;
2 For length of days and years of life
And peace they will add to you. Proverbs 3:1-2 (NASB) 

The Protestant Reformation was not a reforming of Christianity, but a rediscovery of God’s Truth that had been covered up, squandered, perverted, and misrepresented by the Roman Catholic Church for several centuries. Christianity has once again reached a point of contention where there are those who claim that the Protestant Reformation went astray and we need another reformation. I agree that the Church is very sick right now. However, the fault isn’t with the Reformers or what they did. The problems seem to be centered on a complete loss of godly wisdom spawned by there being no fear of God. Man is seen as sovereign and God is seen as subservient to Christian leaders.

This environment has been the breeding ground of neo-evangelism that is so devoted to evangelism that it suppresses and does away with Bible Study, discipleship, and all other things that distract from their evangelical push. They do this to such an extent that evangelism has become their golden calf. Admittedly, there has been much wrong with the church since the end of Spurgeon’s time. Aberrations of Christianity has always plagued the Church, but it seems that since the latter part of the 19th Century with the passing of Spurgeon and Broadus and their contemporaries, there has been an increasing emphasis on man-focused religion. The current push into neo-evangelism and the emergent church movements are actually quite natural expressions of rebellion against what these folks see as deadwood religion. If we take a look at TBN, for example, it is clear that something is very wrong.

The answer is not the reforming of our churches into the seeker-sensitive, post-modern, flesh-pleasing enterprises that are run by marketing experts and MBAs. Their solution is to build churches based upon what sells. If we study the ministry of our Lord and the Apostles we find very quickly that they did not use that model for a very good reason. Christianity is not supposed to be an evangelical push. Instead, it is a declaration of the Good News that there is peace available between God and men made possible by the work of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross and His subsequent resurrection and ascension. The call to this Good News is to those who will believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour as they die to self and live out their lives for Him. That is not a message that will sell well. However, that is not the point. The point has never been about quantity of converts. Instead, it is about quality.

Puritans would never allow people to profess Jesus openly and join their church without examining them first. They understood that the call to salvation could produce false converts. They knew that they did new converts no favor if they indulged any false conversions. That is something to ponder in our time when anyone can claim to be a Christian simply because of his or her religiosity or feelings.

Again, what is the answer? It must be a return to very high standards for Christians that come only from a regenerate heart. Those who are truly God’s have been regenerated. As the Lord circumcised their hearts he also engraved His Law there. Their conscience and will is now His. These are the ones who will trust in the Lord with all their heart.

1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
But let your heart keep my commandments;
2 For length of days and years of life
And peace they will add to you. Proverbs 3:1-2 (NASB) 

Those whom the Lord regenerates are new creations and the Lord’s Law is in their hearts, but they must still work out what God has put in them. Of course, the Lord will empower them to do so. These are the ones who have peace with God even in the maelstrom of this sin sick and demon infested world.

3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man. Proverbs 3:3-4 (NASB) 

God’s loving-kindness and His faithfulness will sprout and grow within those whom He has truly regenerated. They will love God with their all and His love and grace will overflow from them to those around them. That is, if the believer surrenders to the Lordship of Christ, walks by the Spirit in His power. If these are true then the believer will be that person who’s Christlikeness will be used by God to draw many to Him. That is not to say that this believer will not also suffer much at the hands of the infidels, but that is what the Bible says will happen to those who seek to live godly lives.

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NASB) 

The ways of God cannot to be understood with Man’s reason. God’s ways are perfect and spiritual. Man’s ways are imperfect and contaminated by the fall and curse. Therefore, God’s people must not try to help God out with their intellect and learning and worldly wisdom. Instead, they must surrender to the Lordship of Christ as they simply obey Him no matter what their circumstances. They must not lean on their own understanding, but simply believe God and obey. It isn’t blind faith that does this, but an educated faith about the faithfulness of God. Those who make this huge step of faith are the ones who find themselves on a part of the Narrow Way that they never thought they would ever reach.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones. Proverbs 3:7-8 (NASB) 

Humility is key. Without it we are full of pride and we do not fear God. With it, we see ourselves for what we really are and know that God has every right to wipe us out because we deserve no better. When we fear God and submit to Him, we will turn away from evil. When we repent it is like the end of a long illness or that long cold drink of water after a very long time in the heat. It is like the new skin on my arms and hands after the Poison Ivy reaction subsided as God healed me. God is good!

9 Honor the LORD from your wealth
And from the first of all your produce;
10 So your barns will be filled with plenty
And your vats will overflow with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10 (NASB) 

This is isn’t Health, Wealth and Prosperity. This is the fact that if we live our lives in light of God first in all things then we will be lead by Him and we will find ourselves in a very dynamic relationship with Him. He will use us and we will be part of Him being glorified. I can’t think of anything I want more.

11 My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD
Or loathe His reproof,
12 For whom the LORD loves He reproves,
Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. Proverbs 3:11-12 (NASB) 

In John 15 we learn that Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches. The Father is the vinedresser who prunes the vines. This disciplining is to make us fruitful. This is isn’t fruitfulness for our glory. Instead, it is for His glory. Those who are pruned by God learn to love the humility as they commune with their Lord in a close intimate relationship that the world would never understand. Tragically, most Christians won’t either.

Soli Deo Gloria!

3 thoughts on “Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart

  1. These things need repeating, I’ve reposted on my own site. Hopefully someone will read. Btw, J. A. Wylie has a great 3,000 page + History of Protestantism for looking to fully dig into it.

    “ Puritans would never allow people to profess Jesus openly and join their church without examining them first.

    The answer is not the reforming of our churches into the seeker-sensitive, post-modern, flesh-pleasing enterprises that are run by marketing experts and MBAs. Their solution is to build churches based upon what sells. If we study the ministry of our Lord and the Apostles we find very quickly that they did not use that model for a very good reason. Christianity is not supposed to be an evangelical push. Instead, it is a declaration of the Good News that there is peace available between God and men made possible by the work of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross and His subsequent resurrection and ascension.

    The Protestant Reformation was not a reforming of Christianity, but a rediscovery of God’s Truth that had been covered up, squandered, perverted, and misrepresented by the Roman Catholic Church for several centuries. Christianity has once again reached a point of contention where there are those who claim that the Protestant Reformation went astray and we need another reformation. I agree that the Church is very sick right now. However, the fault isn’t with the Reformers or what they did. The problems seem to be centered on a complete loss of godly wisdom spawned by there being no fear of God. Man is seen as sovereign and God is seen as subservient to Christian leaders.”

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  3. In our present time and space, there is fear and people seem addicted to it. But their fear is misplaced. They fear everything but the one whom they should fear; God. When I tell people that I don’t fear a virus because I trust God, the reactions I have gotten are incredible. The most incredible are usually from professing Christians. Too many church leaders have focused on the man-made fear. How can they teach Fear of God when they don’t have it themselves? Thank you for this accurate handling of God’s word. I treasure it.

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