Our God is a Trustworthy God

Our God is a Trustworthy God

Continuing on with our conversation about the New Covenant and God’s Sufficiency for Godly Living, we are now going to look at some examples in the Old Testament of men who trusted in God’s Sufficiency for their lives. The idea that in order to serve God we need His empowering, and that in order for it to be a work of God, it has to be God at work, is not a new idea in the New Testament.
The New Covenant is not taught and seen only in the New Testament.
The New Covenant is not synonymous with the word New Testament. It is a teaching from the beginning of time, that if man was going to do a work, it must be in faith and dependence upon God, not trusting in himself.
The reason that the whole New Testament is within the context of the New Covenant, is because Jesus came in the New Testament. He ushered in and imparted  the New Covenant when He walked this earth and died on the cross. But the New Covenant is in the Old Testament as well. The Old Testament is filled with teaching that one day this promise of the New Covenant would come. Also, the Old Testament is filled with New Covenant principles of the Holy Spirit coming upon a person, or trusting in the Lord and denying self.
Any time an Old Testament saint did a mighty work for God, it was either in trust of God or the Holy Spirit came upon the person.
This was a work of trusting in the sufficiency of God and it was actually God at work in the Old Testament times.
These Old Testament examples were pointing to the future when Christ would come and make this a way of life for the Christian. The average Christian would have this available moment by moment in Christ. It would become a way of life. Their heart would be changed and the Holy Spirit would fill them as they accessed Him through faith, prayer, and dependence.
When the Holy Spirit filled New Testament believers and baptized them with His power, it multiplied exponentially the impact of God’s work through His people, in sanctification, becoming Christlike, and reaching the world for Christ.
God’s Empowerment is available for EVERY Christian, through the New Covenant.
Over the next couple of weeks we are going to be looking at Old Testament examples of men who trusted in God’s Sufficiency–men who experienced this power of God that would be so freely given in the New Covenant, when that time and new era would be ushered in by Jesus Christ, when He would come to earth and die on the cross.
We’re going to start by looking at Deuteronomy 20:1-4:

“When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt. So it shall be, when you are on the verge of battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people. And he shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.'”

Moses knew that every battle they would face belonged to the Lord.

The Israelites were not warriors. They were not even sufficient in themselves to deliver themselves from Egypt. The Lord delivered them, and He is teaching them here not to take courage in themselves when difficult circumstances come, but to trust in Him as their all-sufficient resource for victory.

He reminds them of where they came from and what He has already accomplished on their behalf. They were saved out of slavery in Egypt, but they still had to face the battles ahead in the Promised Land.

In the same way, after we accept Christ’s salvation we still have to face the battles of life. But we have the same hope that Israel did: no matter what numbers or forces come against us in overwhelming circumstances, our God is fighting for us every step of the way.

Another man who trusted in God’s Sufficiency in Old Testament times was Jeremiah. He wakes us up with some serious words about how despicable it is to trust in ourselves or in other men, when we have such an infinitely great and almighty God!

“‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited.

‘Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.'” (Jeremiah 17:5-8)

This was written in the Old Testament before the full revelation of Jesus Christ came. In fact, if we study the lives of the saints in the Old Testament, we will see that God has always been sufficient for His people. God has always provided His resources to those who put their faith in Him; that isn’t something that just started in the New Testament. But how much more do we have access to now in Christ? If we trust in ourselves or in man, we will wither up like a shrub in the desert! But those who trust in God will have abundant life! They will have a fountain of living waters flowing into their heart! They will not fear drought, feel dryness, and their leaf will be green! What life-giving truths!

Over the next couple of weeks we’re going to look at the lives of Abraham, Joshua and Caleb, and David and see how they relied on the power of God instead of the power of man.