I believe there are five areas in everyone's life where it really is difficult to trust God. (This is not based on a research poll, but on 25 years of being in the ministry). Giving up control to God and laying these at the cross and leaving them there isn't something within our human nature.
But, always remember to "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths" (Prov. 3:5-6).
Here are five areas of line that are difficult to relinquish control of to God:
1. Our career. Life is too short to do something you hate doing.
I once read someone say their greatest fear in life wasn't that they might not accomplish anything, but they would get to the end of their life and realized they accomplished a bunch of things that did not matter.
What we do with our lives is a pretty big decision—which is why I believe if we make God a priority and not just a passing thought that He will make our path straight in regards to what we are called to do.
Each one of you reading this right now has been custom designed by the Creator of the universe on purpose, with a purpose and for a purpose. There is something you really do enjoy and you really do well that you know makes a difference, and that is most likely the direction God is calling you in.
Often times we believe our career is about making much of us, climbing the ladder, making money and getting recognized; however, if you are a follower of Jesus then He has you in a career not to make much of you, but to make much of Him. When that becomes our goal and when we are willing to do what He is leading us to, then we can experience genuine joy—and we don't just "go to work" but rather we get to make a difference.
2. Our kids. There is not one single parent who has not struggled with really trusting Jesus with their children.
I can remember the first ER trip me and 'Cretia had to take with Charisse. She fell off the kitchen counter and hit her head really hard. 'Cretia went into the room where they were going to do the test to see if there was any swelling on her brain, and I had to stand outside the door. In order for them to be able to do the test Charisse had to remain completely still ... which she did not like and so she began screaming as loudly as I had ever heard.
My heart was absolutely torn to pieces. I heard my daughter screaming and there was nothing I could do. In that moment God whispered to my heart, "I loved her before you, and I love her more than you."
That is a truth I have to keep coming back to over and over again!
Charisse just finished the second grade. She has dreams and ambitions and is such a joy to be around. As a parent I am seeing more and more that my role will move from control to influence as she gets older ... and I must trust that the One who has been with me every step of the way will be with her as well.
3. Our relationships. If you are in a marriage that is struggling right now then I know you are having a serious bout with doubt in regards to whether or not you can trust God. As we said yesterday, nothing will cause doubt like a drought.
However, one of the things you can rest assured on is Jesus loves your marriage and will equip and empower you to do what is right and best if you will make the conscience decision to place Him as a priority and not just a passing thought.
If you are single there is a different type of doubt. Yesterday I said ...
If you are 20-25 and are single, you are in the "Uh-Oh Zone." This is where a single person looks at others dating and getting married, realizes they are alone and begins to say, "uh-oh, what's wrong with me?"
If you are 25-30 and are single, you are in the "Oh No Zone." This is where you fight with God because you feel as if you've done everything right and nothing is going right. You believe that in order to date someone and get married you are going to have to compromise.
If you are 30 or over and are single, you are in the "Freak Out Zone." This is where there is a nuclear meltdown in your soul because you are convinced that your devotion to Jesus has been nothing but a waste because if He loved you so much you would be married by now.
I know it's tough ... but when there is doubt you must view it as an opportunity to trust Him more. When we make the tough (sometimes painful) decision to put Him first, He ALWAYS leads us to a place way greater than we could have ever imagined.
4. Our "Other Life." For far too often (especially in the southeastern part of the U.S.), becoming a Christian has been nothing more than accepting an invitation from God to come to heaven.
Heaven is going to be awesome, and Christians do go there when they die; however, being a Christian isn't about going to heaven—it's about you and I becoming more like Jesus.
The idea of "I am going to heaven Christianity" has caused our society to buy into the lie of compartmentalization ... where we take Christianity and put it in a compartment, not allowing it to touch any other area of our lives.
Stepping into this and trusting Jesus with EVERY area of our lives allows us to live in freedom as we can confess when we are weak, ask for help, deal with temptation out loud and allow others to come alongside of us in our journey to walk with us (instead of fearing them walking over us).
5. Our money. Money is the most unsurrendered part of most people's lives. It's also one of the most out of control areas in people's lives.
And, until God is in control, things will be out of control.
Money is huge!!! Jesus said more about money than any other subject! He said that where our money is that is where our heart is (Matthew 6:21), He said that money is the No. 1 competitor of our hearts (Matthew 6:24) and later on in the Scriptures Paul said that the LOVE of money is the root of all kinds of evil (I Timothy 6:10).
I can remember my pastor teaching me when I was really young in my walk with Jesus that how I handle my money really does point to who or what was the object of my affection and worship.
If I am going to be a fully devoted follower of Christ, then I must trust Him with EVERYTHING ... and the more I make Him a priority (and not just a passing thought) in the area of my finances, the more free I become and the more generous I can be.
Perry Noble is the founding and senior pastor of NewSpring Church in South Carolina. The church averages 25,000 people during weekend services at multiple campuses throughout the state.
For the original article, visit perrynoble.com.
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