Post updated 8/7/16
How far will you go to make your dreams come true?
That is the tagline of a movie we watched last night, and by the use of the word “make,” we might smell trouble brewing. Probably because deep down inside, we know it’s not by our own works that the real dreams–the right dreams–of our lives become reality.
We can’t make life do what we want.
Do we start with God?
We might attempt to force, control or manipulate life into giving us what we want. Maybe we don’t know we’re going astray with a new idea; we’re just feeling ambitious and driven. So the question is: What is driving us?
Are we more swayed to follow what we think is best for our lives versus trusting God’s will and plan? Are we leaning into our faith?
Perhaps we stay open as long as it’s convenient, but when our patience expires, we try making a few fast moves while no one watches. We spend time climbing the world’s ladder of success, only to reach the top and realize it’s leaning against the wrong wall.
4 Signs You’re Not Trusting God
1. You depend solely on the advice of others to determine which way to go with your life.
Are you trusting in the advice of others, even if it doesn’t feel right in your heart? Or maybe you get swept up in an idea without giving it thought and prayer (and time). If you’re struggling with this, these Bible verse could help focus your heart:
- “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.” (Psalm 37:4-6)
- “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
- “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28)
2. You think that if a person doesn’t hear or see what you’re doing, neither does God.
First, we’re told in a variety of ways that God already knows the thoughts that drift through our minds and hearts. For example Luke 12:2 says, “Nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing is secret that will not be made known.” So if you realize that your thoughts are not a secret to God, and you want to welcome him into those places with you, these verses could help:
- “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10)
- “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
- “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:6)
3. You consider crossing a line you wouldn’t normally cross or justifying an action you wouldn’t normally justify.
This could be an early warning sign for us to proceed with caution. It reminds me of this C.S. Lewis quote: “The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” If you’re struggling with potential compromise, these Bible verses could help your trust in God:
- “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (James 4:17)
- “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)
- “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5)
4. You compromise integrity for a “greater good.”
You need more. You’re tired of being the one to do good, to be the bigger person. It’s time for you to take matters into your own hands and do what you need to do. The keyword here: you. When we find ourselves tempted to do something drastic that compromises our integrity, that could be a sign we’re not trusting God. Would He want us to walk in darkness? Do we trust Him with His version of our greater good?
- “Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.” (Proverbs 28:18)
- “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Trust God’s Will for Your Life and Watch What He Does
Outside of God, whatever we put our faith in will eventually come to an end.
People die. Careers fail. Beauty fades. Money runs out. Reputations can be destroyed overnight.
When we sit in the silence of our lives, we can feel a presence with us… watching, listening, waiting. God is forever and always; there is nothing and no one greater; his love never fails.
The answer to our success does not come by the mastermind schemes we drum up; it comes from dying daily to ourselves so God can do his work in us. We can start right now by asking God for forgiveness, recognizing that he has a greater plan for our lives–one beyond our human limitations–and trusting that he will guide our steps.
As Paul writes in Romans 12:2: “Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God–what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.”