The Righteousness that Comes from Trust
The mailbag is filled to overflowing with wonderful stories of God's work in people and with questions and comments from past podcasts. As Brad and Wayne sort through the email they land on a discussion about the damage self-righteousness does to people around us. In fact, they believe that self-righteousness is more damaging in our world than unrighteousness itself. At least that's how Paul got to be the chiefest of sinners. The only righteousness that has any value in our world is not that which grows out of self-effort, but that which grows out of a growing trust in God. So where does that trust come from? That gets to the heart of this podcast. Enjoy.
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“Trust is what grows out of a relationship” Thank you for that. I have felt like there is something wrong with me because I just have such a hard time trusting God. (and yes, there are lots of things wrong with me, but I’m glad that isn’t one of them!) And no one can answer me when I ask the question, “how do you trust Him?” But I am seeing that the times of panic when things aren’t going so well are becoming shorter lived. I spend less time disappointed in God for not doing what I wanted at the time and more time just hanging out with Him, talking to Him, and yelling at Him when I have no strength anymore and no hope either. And He is there. Regardless of how broken I am in His presence. Amazing.
I love that you used the term “Trust” instead of the religiously loaded word “faith” (i.e. belief?). there’s a wonderful book (that I have never read) the title of whixh is “Absolute Surrender! That says it all. The title is so pregnant with meaning that I’m still chewing on the cover story. Ture freedom came, for me, when finally I just gave up, closed my eyes and fell back into my father’s arms. Guess what! He caught me, held me, loved. Now I’m finally relaxed.
I believe you are talking about the awesome book by Andrew Murry called “Absolute Surrender”. You can find most of his books as free downloads on-line. It is just so amazing how well he pretty much writes the same God Journey message in many of his books authored in the late 18 and early 1900s. Abba spoke to my heart so much during my quiet readings of “Absolute Surrender, I reread and meditated several passages many times. Below are a few favorite excerpts:
GOD EXPECTS YOUR SURRENDER
Yes, it has its foundation in the very nature of God. God cannot do otherwise. Who is God? He is the Fountain of life, the only Source of existence and power and goodness. Throughout the universe there is nothing good but what God works. God has created the sun, the moon, the stars, the flowers, the trees, and the grass. Are they not all absolutely surrendered to God? Do they not allow God to work in them just what He pleases? When God clothes the lily with its beauty, is it not yielded up, surrendered, given over to God as He works in it its beauty? And God’s redeemed children, oh, can you think that God can do His work if there is only half or a part of them surrendered? God cannot do it. God is life, love, blessing, power, and infinite beauty, and God delights in communicating Himself to every child who is prepared to receive Him. But ah! this one lack of absolute surrender is just the thing that hinders God. And now He comes, and as God, He claims it. God not only claims it, but God will work it Himself.
GOD ACCOMPLISHES YOUR SURRENDER
God does not ask you to give the perfect surrender in your strength, or by the power of your will; God is willing to work it in you. Do we not read: “it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13)?
GOD IS LOVE
A great many of us try hard at times to love. We try to force ourselves to love, and I do not say that is wrong; it is better than nothing. But the end of it is always very sad. “I fail continually,” many must confess. And what is the reason? The reason is simply this-they have never learned to believe and accept the truth that the Holy Spirit can pour God’s love into their heart. That blessed text has often been limited!-“The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts” (Romans 5:5). It has often been understood in this sense: It means the love of God to me. Oh, what a limitation! That is only the beginning. The love of God is always the love of God in its entirety, in its fullness as an indwelling power. It is a love of God to me that leaps back to Him in love, and overflows to my fellow-men in love-God’s love to me, and my love to God, and my love to my fellowmen. The three are one; you cannot separate them.
Wayne & Brad – Greatly enjoy listening and learning how Father keep you guys “Absolutely Surrendered” each week! What’s it like to live life loved intimately fused 24/7 in that awesome place David called, “The Secret Place”?
God’s Best To All!
Thanks for again refusing to “sugarcoat” these truths. There is a reality of God’s affection that I am slowly growing into and especially meaningful is “not needing our desired outcomes”. It seems that this can only be learned through living it out and you both have been pointing us towards a living relationship with Jesus rather than giving us “easy answers”. There is amazing freedom in that…I’m also thankful that we can have Father’s affection where we are in the journey rather than cleaning ourselves up first. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed in my reactions and will trust Father to help me process this.
I’m sure glad the recorder was going for this conversation! So helpful. I love the part where you come down to the very core of what trusting God is. I was certainly taught (and for years I myself preached with fervor) that trusting God meant that there was something specific that I expected him to do. In this podcast you get to the core of what it really means to trust God.
GOD IS WITH ME EVEN IN THIS
GOD IS BIGGER THAN THIS, WHATEVER IT IS
GOD WILL SEE ME THROUGH: MY WHOLE LIFE IS IN HIS HANDS
and he is going to see me through, shape things in my life, draw me closer to him. I don’t NEED the outcome I want.
So often I have gotten emotionally attached to the OUTCOME I wanted, instead of the PERSON of my loving Father. Thank you so much for putting into words what I have begun to live, in relationship with Father.
Wayne & Brad,
I’d like to hear a podcast sometime where you guys unpack that word “righteousness”. What is it? How does it work? For me it’s one of those “stained-glass words” – it’s nice and pretty, but I can’t see through it.
The idea that there was a holy swap-meet where I traded my unrighteousness for Christ’s righteousness sounds good. But then I wonder – why is the unrighteousness He supposedly took still hanging around to kick my can? It just doesn’t make sense to me anymore.
Nor am I thrilled with the notion that I am hopelessly unrighteous, but Jesus stands in front of me to obscure the Father’s view. “He doesn’t see me, He only sees Jesus.” Great. How will I ever have a relationship with the Father if He won’t even look at me?
And I’ve pretty much given up on the illusion that, through some religious experience, I was magically sprinkled with righteous fairy dust, so now I can ride around in my pumpkin carriage and show the whole world that the fairy godmother has come into my life.
I’m getting absurd here, but it seems like this word “righteousness” invokes a lot of different images when people talk about it. I’d enjoy hearing what you guys think.
I really liked your absurd descriptions, I share the same questions. **pulls up her chair next to Ken and waits.**
I do struggle with the suggestion that the only way I am loved is because God loves His Son and in Him I am lovable and only through that way.
Maybe this is an IC lie Ken – not sure – waits.
I’m pretty sure they are IC lies. For years I’ve tried to shoehorn my experience into them, but now I’m just ready to admit that the glass slipper simply doesn’t fit…
Thanks for waiting with me… 🙂
Debbie and Ken,
Sorry, still new here… What is IC? CS Lewis talks about how God transforms us, bit by bit, as we let Him. The transforming mechanisms are often difficult, and often painful, but as much as we yield to Him, He will make us into what He wants us to be. He says that when Jesus told us to “Be ye perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect”, he was not telling us that we need to “be good”, but that as we live in Him and He in us, He will make us perfect, or “perfect us unto the end”. I don’t expect ever to be what humans might consider “perfect”, and if I were, I might well be unrelatable, even unbearable to others (not to mention self-righteous, which would make me very IMperfect!). But He does seem to work in us through failures, through various relationships, through joys and pains, and so many things of life, to bring us a step at a time to where He wants us to be, and that MIGHT be what we refer to as righteousness.
I wanted to mention something about trust. I’ve lived in many places and taken part in many initiatives. One thing I’ve pretty much learned to count on is that no matter how well I have an understanding in my own mind of how this project is going to work out, it never does work out that way. Some seem to be successful, some not so, but He can use us wherever we are if we’re open to His leadings, and He brings about His results the way He sees fit. Sometimes I worry that I haven’t won so many to Him, or helped to “disciple” so many. Then He reminds me that the ones who led me to Jesus years ago has no idea of where I’ve gone or what I’ve done, I’m just one more person that they prayed with. We never know where He’s leading, and we usually don’t know what results He is bringing about, either in our own lives and hearts, or in the lives and hearts of those we touch, or even in the lives of the ones that those people touch. Jesus even mentioned that idea in the prayer He prayed just before His arrest. “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also who might believe on Me through their word”.
Sorry, I’ve gotten long winded again. I’m not deep, I’m just not clear. My main point is that trust is not only in what situation I want, but also in whatever direction He brings some project or ministry that I believe He is initiating. Thinking about it, it’s pretty presumptious to figure we will know from the get-go just where He is trying to lead us, or some project we’re involved in.