Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chili Contests and Trusting Man

Yesterday I participated in a chili contest representing my department.  I did not win.  I did not even place.  Of course, knowing me, I had to find message in this to post on, and there is a message in my loss.  My department had high hopes for me and had confidence I would bring home the trophy.  They all trusted me to make something spectacular to dazzle the judges and I trusted the competition to be run fairly and according to established rules.  We all learned a lesson.  Never trust in man.  Not in me or my abilities and not in human judges or organizers to run things properly. 
[It is] better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man.
[It is] better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in princes.  Psalm 118:8-9 NKJV
There are several reasons why you should not trust in man.  The first reason is that man is never perfectly capable.  No matter how skilled, no matter how talented, and no matter how experienced, no man is perfect in performance.  The best pitcher does not pitch a perfect game every game, striking out every batter.  No batter ever had a perfect batting average and none ever will.  When we put our faith and hope in any man, we are guaranteeing that at some point in time we will be disappointed and that disappointment often turns to anger and resentment.  We blame that other person for whatever went wrong.  An example of this would be blaming a kicker for missing one kick that would have made the difference between winning and losing a football game. 

Another reason we can not trust man is that no man is of perfect character.  There is no such thing as a man who is entirely without bias.  There is no such thing as a man who is above reproach.  No one has zero character flaws.  No one has no weak points.  Even King David, a man after God's own heart, had his Bathsheba incident.  The hard truth is that we have all sinned and we all still continue to sin.  Even for the Christian, sin still rears its ugly head in our lives.  Putting our faith in any man, once again, is setting ourselves up for disappointment.  How many were once considered role models for our children are now living prodigal lives?  How many politicians have we entrusted to lead us have turned out to be liars and crooks.  How many Christian leaders have fallen into sin and disgrace?  We should never put our confidence in man.

One other reason is that no man is of perfect intent.  We never really know the motives of others.  There is no such thing as perfect selflessness.  Even those who would die for another often do so with dreams of posthumous glory.  Even if someone is skilled, even if someone is of relatively good character, we do not know if they will have a lapse in that character or give you all of their skill in whatever you expect them to do for you.  Balaam, who I wrote about earlier in the week, is a great example of this.  God chose him to be a prophet and yet he used that gift against his own people.  One area of of own lives where this becomes an issue is in relationships.  We oftentimes trust the wrong person with our heart and end up having that trust betrayed.  He or she may have seemed great.  They may have said and done all the right things to give every indication that they were about as perfect as they come.  However, there comes a point in time, where either their motives were wrong from the start or their feelings changed along the way and they end up hurting you. 

In the end, the one Person we can trust with everything is the Lord.  Only He will never let you down.  Only He is of perfect character, skill, and intent.  His skill (if you can even call it that) is perfect.  There is nothing God can not perfectly do and there is nothing that can stand in the way of His work unless He allows it.  God will never fail in what He intends to do for you.  As for character, it almost seems trite to refer to it as character.  He is holy and righteous.  He is just with perfect justice.  Unrighteousness does not exist in any part of Him.  As for intent, His intent (or His will) is perfect.  God is not plotting and planning against you, but working His plan to complete the good work that He began in you.  If anyone doubts God's intentions for you, I remind you to look upon Jesus, His only begotten Son, who was sent to the cross the pay for your sins. 

If you put all your trust in God you will never be disappointed.  I do not think anyone of us has perfect trust in God, but the more you trust the less you will disappointed.  The more you trust in God, the less you will trust in man.  Man's skill will not matter because your trust is in God to make it work anyway.  Man's character will not matter because your life will no longer revolve around whether or not man comes through for you as you trust that the Lord always will.  And, finally, man's intentions will not matter to you because you know of God's promise to work all things together for good.  Nonbelievers are slaves to sin and believers still have their moments of not walking with the Lord.  Through our lives, we will be betrayed, hurt, failed, wronged, and robbed, and much of that will be from people we count as family and friends.  The Bible says that the heart is deceitful and that truth is played out in our lives time and again.  This is why we can not trust in man, but only in the Lord.  I say that because despite all of what I said, there is one truth of God that wipes all of it today.  I will close with that promise.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to [His] purpose.  Romans 8:28 NKJV

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