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Previous sermon in this series This sermon is number 6 in a series of 6 This is the last sermon in this series

The Heart Of The Matter - Part 6

"The Trusting Heart"

by David Legge | Copyright © 2000 | All Rights Reserved | www.preachtheword.com

'Preach The Word'

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths

Now turn with me in your Bibles to Proverbs chapter 3, the book of Proverbs and chapter 3. We've been going through this series on Lord's Day mornings on what the Bible has to say about the heart - the human heart. We have looked at many studies so far, and we're looking this morning at 'The Trusting Heart' from Proverbs chapter 3 verses 5 and 6. As I said before these are very well known verses of scripture and we, many of us, know them off by heart - but, like many verses, it's a different thing living them with all of your heart. Verse 5: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths".

If you look at verse 1, we'll read right down to that verse to get the context of what Solomon has already been saying: "My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths".

'The Trusting Heart' - 'Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths'. Charles Bridges says of this proverb, one proverb it is together, that this is 'the polar star of the child of God'. This is the North Star - and just as it guides the mariners in the open ocean, these verses are able to guide the child of God in his life. It is a promise for each child of God that they can know and, indeed, after knowing and having revealed to them the will of God, they can do God's will in their life to the glory of God. I believe that the word of God teaches us that it is God's will that we should know His will, for God wants us to walk in His ways, to follow His commands and His precepts - and it is by doing that that we will be fully satisfied in God as our Father.

We know that we can know the will of God, and therefore we can do the will of God!

Ephesians, that we're been going through on Monday nights, spells that out - and indeed the verses that we'll be looking at tomorrow evening in chapter 5 and verses 8 to 10 tell us this: 'For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk therefore as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord'. We are to prove in our lives what is acceptable unto God, in other words: what is God's will. When we were in our trespasses and in our sins - dead, as we have been learning - there was no way of us knowing God's will for our lives, indeed God's will was purely that we should be sent down to hell and suffer for sin, for that is God's will for all of those who are outside of Christ. But when we became children of light, you remember how we learnt that we enter into a new adventure, whereby God blesses us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in the Lord Jesus. And now we are no longer darkness, but we are the children of light - therefore we are to walk in the light as children of the light, proving what is acceptable unto the Lord, what is the will of God. Therefore we know that we can know the will of God, and therefore we can do the will of God!

Many questions - and varied questions - are asked about how I can know the will of God. First all: is it possible for me individually to know the will of God for my life? And, if it is possible: how can I know it? I read a story in the last week of a woman who wanted to visit the Holy Land, and she began reading a pamphlet about that holiday. And she was wondering: should she go or should she not go? Was it the will of God? Before she went to bed one evening, she flicked through the pamphlet again and, just before she went to sleep, she happened to see that the plane she was going to be travelling out on was a Boeing 747 Jumbo. And that night as she lay in bed, she tossed and she turned all night, wondering whether it was God's will for her to go to the Holy Land on a holiday. And she woke the next morning abruptly, and as she woke her eyes opened and she was able to see her digital clock beside her bed and it read the time 7:47 - and she decided that that was God! God was telling her to go on that holiday, so she booked it and she went. I think many of us could tell stories about situations such as that - about how men and women believe that God has guided them into certain situations - and we maybe could have a television programme called 'That's Unbelievable!', about all these stories of how men and women are guided by God's will.

How can we know the will of God? And then, when we know it, is it possible to do what God wants us to do in our lives?

Another one was about a pastor who, before he became a pastor was a deacon in many churches for many years. And when he became a pastor he felt he was undereducated and he was very tempted to buy a doctor's degree. And he was seeking God's will concerning this: 'Should I buy it or should I not?'. One morning as he was doing his devotions he opened the Bible at 1 Timothy chapter 3 and verse 13 which read: 'For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a high degree' - and that's how he took God's guidance. And as we hear stories such as these - and some of us may even have the stories in our own life - it seems that, a great extent of the time, the guidance of God in our life has got more to do with pot luck, more to do with circumstantial evidence, hapness - things that happen, and because we are looking for them, or we are desiring a certain thing, we believe it is God's will. Like the prospective missionary that was driving along the street and his car ran out of petrol outside the Philippine embassy, and he decided that that was God's call to him to go to the Philippines. And one writer asked the question: what would he have done if he was stranded in an elevator with a single woman called Sally? Would he have taken it from God that that was his partner for life?

How can we know the will of God? And then, when we know it, is it possible to do what God wants us to do in our lives? Now I want to say this that: we have evolved into an 'instant society'. Everything is instant: instant coffee, instant everything, instant money from the wall - we very rarely have to wait, or have to look, or have to seek anything within our lives. And therefore, when we come to faith in Christ and we want to know what God has for our lives, we seek an instant formula for God's guidance. In other words: if I get A-B-C right in my life, then I know that that is God's will for me. We're a bit like Gideon - I'm not going to get into whether it was right or wrong for Gideon to put out the fleece, but we can make up all these sorts of signs and wonders that we ask God for in order to know the right path of our lives. There is no instant formula for the will of God - and because of that many believers, so-called, do not know the will of God for their life, therefore it follows that they are not behaving in a way that is according to His sovereign will. And I think the inference there must be that they have resigned themselves to a life that is of self-choice - what they believe is God's will for them, the path that their own intelligence has dictated that they should follow, and the life that they should be in.

We must have a continual regard to God's providence - what is that? God always guides!

But these two verses, if you look down at them, they tell us the exact opposite: that although there isn't an A-B-C-D formula of how to know the will of God, it is possible to know and to do the will of God in our lives. And although there isn't a quick formula, there are conditions that God says, if we fulfil them in our lives He will meet our directive in the paths that we follow and the choices that we make. Indeed Matthew Henry, the great commentator upon these verses, says this about the conditions that we have to meet for God to [give] guidance: 'We must have a continual regard to God's providence. We must own and depend upon it in all our affairs - both by faith and by prayer'. We must have a continual regard to God's providence - what is that? God always guides! It is the sovereignty of God, that God is in control and therefore we ought to throw ourselves on God's providence, we ought to own God's providence, not just know it in our minds or indeed feel it in our hearts in moments of sensationalism or emotionalism, but we are to walk our path day by day owning and depending upon His providence in all our affairs by both faith and prayer - the good man put it well.

And indeed that is what Solomon says within these two verses, and there are three expressions that I want to bring before you today from the word of God. What are the conditions that I must meet to know that I am walking [in] and fulfilling the will of God? Three verbs - one: trust. Verse 5: 'Trust in the Lord with all thine heart'. Two: lean not - 'lean not unto thine own understanding but in all thy ways...', three: acknowledge. One: trust; two: lean not; and three: acknowledge.

Let us look at the first expression in verse 5: 'Trust in the Lord with all thine heart'. That is what Matthew Henry means when he speaks of 'owning God's providence' - not just knowing about it, or recognising it, but in your own life owning it as your own and depending upon it in the affairs of your life - and he goes on: 'by faith and by prayer'. You could translate that word 'trust' as 'faith', couldn't you? 'Trust in the Lord', 'Have faith in the Lord', and what Solomon - the Holy Spirit indeed - is asking us as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ is to put our faith, our dependence upon your Heavenly Father. What are we to put our dependence upon in our Heavenly Father? The first thing is His providence, what we've already been speaking about, we are to depend, and inject our faith upon the fact that God is in control! Now that is very difficult to do when you are in the dark, when you're back's against the wall, when you're going through that tunnel and it seems that there's no light at the end of it, it is difficult to do - but that is when the rubber hits the road, that is when faith really counts, when you're able to put your faith in God's providence, you're able to know and own and depend that God is in control of all things, therefore God is in control of my world.

God doesn't just tell us to know His providence, but He tells us to trust in His providence through His promises

It is to put your faith in His providence and to put your faith in His promises. You see, God doesn't just tell us to know His providence, but He tells us to trust in His providence through His promises - and God has given us exceeding great and precious promises, whereby we have His word. We don't just have a knowledge in our heads, but in our hands in the word of God, we have it written in black-and-white from the very mouth of God that God will take care of you! We ought not just to know it, but we can put our trust and our faith in His precious promises. 'Trust in the Lord', in His providence, in His promises and also in His grace. You see this is where what we've been talking about in the weeks gone by - textualism - fails, when you just believe that God is something and can do something, and indeed you read it within the word of God so you believe it even more and you take it as read - but if that is not moved, and made an example in your own individual life, it is useless! Is that not true? If it's there in the word of God, if it's even in your head, but when life's experience comes along, it doesn't figure in experience - we might as well not have it! But the fact is, we can trust in God's providence in life, we can trust in His promises in His word, and we can also trust in His grace, His provision at the moment in time. We can trust in the Lord, yes, that He's in control; yes, that He says He's in control - but at that moment when we need to know He's in control, His grace will be sufficient for us.

Now do you trust in the Lord in that way? That is a trust of body, soul and spirit - it takes in the whole person, that you know that God's in control of your body. Now you could be waking up in the morning and look in the mirror and say: 'God's not in control of my body!'. Or perhaps you know some of the things that are going on inside your body, or without your body, and you think: 'Is God really in control?' - well, to trust God is to trust that He is in control! And although there are things taking place that are not satisfactory to you, and maybe not even to God, God is in control of it all! It is to trust Him for your soul, that is your personality, the seat of your affections, who you really are, the real you, your emotional mind and all that makes you up to be who you are, and the hurts that you've had, and the difficult trials and experiences that you've gone through - yes, your body can be hurt, your body can be ill, but it's when it comes into your heart and it brings emotional pain, it is to trust God that God is in control when you're going through even that! It is control of the spirit - and what I mean by that is: when you're staring death in the face, it is to trust that God owns your spirit and that it's blood-bought and it will go back to God who sent it. Now, my friend, do you know that? Can you say that? That when you lie there, about to give up the ghost - or rather, your ghost will be taken from you whether you like it or not - will you know and trust in the Lord, that He has providence over your soul that it will not be lost into eternal darkness for ever, but you can know from the authority of the word of God, and from a conversion experience, that God is yours! That is what it is to trust in God - it is a full commitment, without any reserve, to throw yourself - cast yourself - upon God, and listen: it doesn't stop at salvation, but it goes on as God directs our lives.

The sad thing is, an unbeliever cannot trust God. That is not that God cannot be trusted, but he cannot trust God

The sad thing is, an unbeliever cannot trust God. That is not that God cannot be trusted, but he cannot trust God. The reason being: he has no confidence toward God. The wrath of God abides on him because he has rejected God and His Gospel and His Christ and His cross - and, therefore, because he has no confidence toward God, he cannot trust God and he has made God his enemy, he has shaken his fist in the face of God, therefore he has no assurance toward God. My friend, that is the greatest mistake that you can make: to think that it'll be alright on the night when you meet God face-to-face - it will not! Unless you have this trust, this assurance toward God that is brought only through the cross of Christ, the atonement of God, the blood of Jesus Christ has reconciled men to God - and therefore, if we are in Christ, we are assured that we have Him as our friend and as our counsellor. Do you?

It is to trust in the Lord, look at the verse, and that word 'Lord' is the word for Jehovah: 'Yahweh'. It is the Hebrew verb 'to be' and it is in the three tenses here: the One who was, the verb to be past; the One who is, the verb to be present; and the One who shall be, the verb to be future. Meaning: this is the One whom I'm trusting, not some comic-cut figure, it's not some idea in a theologians head, or an image on a religious picture - this is the One who I am trusting, the One who always has been, is, and ever shall be: Jehovah. And this is a child-like, unwavering, confidence in our Father - why? Because He has been well proven, because He is wise and because He is faithful.

You remember in 2 Chronicles 14 and verse 11, Asa prayed unto the Lord and said: 'Lord, it is nothing with thee to help' - it means nothing to You, Lord, You'll not be tired from helping me, from giving me a little bit of strength - 'whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O Lord our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O Lord, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee'. That is trusting in God! That is a child-like, unwavering trust. Like the trust of Jeremiah, as God called him as a prophet to the nation, the cry came back from that little child: 'Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord'. That is trust.

To not trust in God, as a child of God, is a sin

An ever expanding world around us gives many, many choices, and at times we don't know what choices to make - but God says: 'Look to Me. Trust in Me'. And to limit your confidence in God is a sin! To not trust in God, as a child of God, is a sin - you remember in Psalm 78, we looked at it a few months ago, the children of Israel out in the desert and they were complaining about the manna, the bread that was sent down from heaven, they wanted something more spicy like the food from Egypt and it says: 'They tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust. Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?'. 'Is God able to be trusted? Is God able to give grace that will meet my need? Is God able to stand where I am at this moment and minister to me in such a situation that I am in?' - yes! And if we do not trust God it is sin: 'Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? Can he provide flesh for his people? Therefore the Lord heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel' - why? Because they didn't trust in their God.

If I have a message from the Lord today, it's this: God wants you to trust Him. He just wants you to put all your faith upon Him, to take Him at His word - His word has been proved - and to the utmost extent prove His power in your life! Believe He is able for your situation, believe He is able to do what is wise, to do what is best, to be faithful to His promises - and we can live upon the fact that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose. Those who love Him, those who serve Him, can trust Him! Do you trust Him? Do you know who the One is you're trusting in? Jehovah, Jehovah-Jireh, God my provider. 'Trust in Jehovah with all your heart' - that's what the verse says, isn't it? 'With all your heart', that means it's an entire trust, it is an exclusive trust, there can be no other confidence in anyone else, or anything else whether internally or externally. As Paul says [in] Philippians 3:3: 'have no confidence in the flesh' - no confidence in yourself, no confidence in a loved one, or a doctor, or medicine, no confidence in anyone except God!

Our own knowledge and our own ability and power can become our idol - and we can know so much that we lean too much upon our own understanding, and our own understanding can take the place of God because we start to trust in it

It's hard, isn't it, to have entire submission and dependence on God to rule our lives? Why is it hard? Do you know why it's hard? Because fallen man - right from when he fell in the garden of Eden, as the children were learning today - fallen man leans on his own understanding. He is misguided by his own ideas and desires and wishes - therefore the second thing that God tells us today: 'Yes, trust in Me and I will lead you if you trust in me, but you've got to lean not unto your own understanding'. We're very able in our age today, we're maybe the most educated age that has ever been, technologically speaking it's mind-blowing what men are able to do today in the medical field. It's amazing, isn't it? Sometimes when you watch programmes - and recently I watched someone getting a hand transplant - it's amazing, isn't it? But do you know what can happen? Our own knowledge and our own ability and power can become our idol - and we can know so much that we lean too much upon our own understanding, and our own understanding can take the place of God because we start to trust in it. And the proof that we do that is that we look at God's truth and we think upon it before we act upon it! Don't we? I suppose we're doing that this morning in a way - we're taking God's word and we're weighing it up to see if it's worth trusting. God is to trust, God is the truth - and we're even leaning on our own understanding when we're contemplating whether or not to trust in God! Yet we forget what God said in Jeremiah and in chapter 17 and verse 5: 'Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord'. Cursed is everyone that trusts in themselves - not because God curses them, but because they are fallen in their own heart and inevitably the choices they will make will curse them themselves!

Charles Bridges says in his great commentary on Proverbs: 'It is nothing less than self-idolatry to conceive that we can carry on, even in the ordinary matters of everyday, without God's counsel'. Harry Ironside put it: 'Confidence in self is like leaning on a broken reed'. Do you see this? This is the mother of all sins! This is the confidence that Adam and Eve had in themselves in the garden of Eden! They believed: 'We shall be as gods! Just think of what we'll be because we take of this fruit!', and they ignored God's advice and they leant on their own understanding and they sinned and fell upon their face. It is the mother of all sins! But the tragedy is: in our own lives we can unconsciously be making these decisions apart from God - making decisions everyday and we don't even realise we're doing it without God! I thought when I was preparing this, that at times I'm sure God sees us as the know-it-all teenagers that we see in the world today. 'We know best, we know the choices to make' - and if we're honest with ourselves, largely our own understanding guides our course, and when we ask advice even of others, we ask those who we know we're going to get the right advice from - the advice we want!

We do trust in our own hearts so much, don't we?

Yes, in the beginning we were made in the image of God and we, perhaps, had a capacity to understand correctly - but now because of the fall we are darkened. We learnt from Jeremiah that our heart is deceitful above all things, desperately wicked, who can know it - and I would translate that in this context: 'Who can trust it?'! It is rebellious because of the fall, and God pronounced that in Jeremiah 2:13: 'My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water'. Jeremiah 9:23: 'Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches' - for if he does all that, he will come to ruin. As Isaiah said in 47:10: 'Thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me. Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know'. When we direct our paths, when we trust our own wisdom and guidance it is inevitable, God says, that we will fall flat upon our faces.

Solomon, in Proverbs 28, pronounced that: 'He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool' - we do trust in our own hearts so much, don't we? But bluntly, to lean not on our own understanding - do you know what it is to do? It is to lean on our knees. Remember Henry: 'It is to own the providence of God and depend upon it in all our affairs, both by faith and by prayer' - the faith that's trusting God in His providence, in His promises and in His provision of grace - but it is to fall on our knees and never for one moment rely on our own experience or our own knowledge, and fall upon our knees before God and cry to Him, throwing our understanding aside! What does the hymn say? 'Cast care aside, lean on thy Guide'.

The majority of the time our own understanding doesn't give us the answer...but usually we stand looking into the dark and don't fall upon Him!

Trust, lean not, and acknowledge. Verse six: 'In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths' - do you know something? God loves to be trusted! God loves to be consulted! God loves to be acknowledged! And therefore what I want to encourage you to do today is to take all your unresolved problems to God! Do it! Bring them to God and trust that God is able, and that God will, and God will provide - and get on your knees before God and acknowledge God, and gave Him over everything and trust Him! We need to cultivate the habit of going to God first - we don't do that, do we? We go to our friend, or our wife, or our husband, or we lift the phone, or to an experienced Christian - and we don't go to God first! As one author says: 'We ought to consider no circumstance too clear to need God's direction'. Faith is how we own God's providence, prayer is how we own and depend upon God's providence - and even in circumstances where we feel that we don't know what to do, we fall upon God. You see, that's the proof that we are never to lean on our own understanding - why? Because the majority of the time our own understanding doesn't give us the answer. The majority of the time we're looking into the dark - and it is faith, it is to fall upon God - but usually we stand looking into the dark and don't fall upon Him!

You see, this Christian life is not the survival of the fittest, it's not who knows the best, or who can do the best, or who can come out the other end in one piece. A little girl was about to undergo an operation, and the doctor was just about to put her on the operating table. He said to her: 'Before we can make you better, we must put you to sleep' - and the girl smiled and looked up at him and said: 'Well, doctor, if you're going to put me to sleep I must say my prayers first'. She knelt down beside that operating table and she said those famous words: 'Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray Thee Lord my soul to keep, and if I should die before I wake, I pray Thee Lord my soul to take'. And the surgeon said that afterwards he prayed that night for the first time in 30 years. That's what trusting in God is - to take to God all that is in your heart, and like a little child to leave it with your Father, your Abba Father, to 'acknowledge Him' - and this is what it says - 'in all your ways'. And this must be one of the hardest directives here to know the will of God, you might be saying: 'Here, He's not giving us any direction' - this is the direction! To trust God, for without faith it is impossible to please God - and the antithesis of faith is to lean on yourself, and not depend on God - and then to acknowledge God in all your ways, whether they're small ways, whether they're great ways, small concerns, large concerns, personal affairs, temporal things and eternal matters, is to come before God and acknowledge Him in all your ways.

Abraham, every time he moved house relatively speaking, he pitched his tent and he built an altar onto the Lord. He acknowledged God in his home life - and even when he was choosing a wife for Isaac, there was no worldliness about it. You go home and read it, in Genesis chapter 24, he didn't talk about wealth, he never talked about honour, he didn't talk about beauty. All he talked about to his servant, all he was concerned about was: what was the will of God and what brought honour to God's name - now that is acknowledging God in all your ways. Not worrying about God's choice, just worrying about whether it's God's choice. It is total surrender, it is the lordship of Christ in your life - where you say: 'Not my will, but Thine be done', where you have one single and pure desire to know God's will and to do it. As the Lord said in Matthew 6:22: 'The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light' - listen! If you want to know the will of God for your life: you follow Christ with all your heart! That's the only way! And the question must be asked that: if we aren't following the Lord with all our heart - can we expect to be guided of God?

The only dangerous place to be is outside the will of God

Billy Strachan is able to put things in very pithy ways, and he says it like this: 'God is not so much interested in where you are, but rather in who you are' - isn't that right? You're maybe praying: 'Is it Mongolia? Is it Africa? Is it Brazil? Do You want me in that factory, in that firm? Do You want me at that University studying this? Lord, where do You want me?'. But God is not asking where He wants you, He's asking what He wants you to be - and when you become, in a holy way, what He wants you to be, you will be in no doubt about where He wants you to go! We get everything upside-down, don't we? Are you what God wants you to be? Are you trusting in the Lord? Are you leaning not on your own understanding? Are you acknowledging Him in all your ways? As Paul put it in Philippians: 'In everything making your requests known unto God'. In good times, in bad times, acknowledging Him - and here's the climax! 'He shall direct your paths' - no doubt about it! He'll do it, if you trust Him and if you don't lean on yourself and if you acknowledge Him in every area of your life, you can be sure He'll guide you. Now don't get me wrong, I believe He guides us at times even when we're unaware of it, for the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord, and a man perceives something in his heart, but it's the Lord guides his steps. I believe God's sovereignty will always overrule, but if you want to enjoy the conscious direction of a Father God pointing you in the way to go, 'Walk ye in the way! Here it is!' - you've got to do these things! He'll direct you and, my friend, let me encourage you: if you put yourself under the divine guidance of God, you will always benefit from it! You'll never be disappointed. The only dangerous place to be is outside the will of God and, as Bridges says: 'If we be weaned from the idolatry of making our bosom our oracle, and our heart our counsellor, and if in true poverty of spirit we go every morning to our Lord as not knowing how to guide ourselves for this day, our eye continually looking up for direction - light will come down!'.

Do you study the word? Do you say like the Psalmist: 'My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, oh Lord. In the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee and I will look up. Show me thy ways, oh Lord, teach me thy paths - lead me in thy truth and teach me, for thou art the God of my salvation, on thee do I wait all the day long'! There is no A-B-C, but God does say this: 'Trust in Me. Don't lean on yourself. Acknowledge Me in every way and I'll direct you'. Old Horatius Bonar put it like this in a poem, and I finish with this:

'Thy way, not mine oh Lord, however dark it be
Lead me by Thine own hand, choose out the path for me.
Smooth let it be, or rough, it will be still the best,
Winding or straight, it leads right on toward Thy rest.

I dare not choose my lot, I would not if I might,
Choose Thou for me, my God, so shall I walk aright,
The kingdom that I seek is Thine, so let the way
That leads to it be Thine, else I must surely stray.

Take Thou my cup, and it with joy or sorrow fill,
As best to Thee may seem - choose Thou my good and ill.
Choose Thou for me my friends, my sickness or my health,
Choose Thou my cares for me, my poverty or wealth.

Not mine, not mine the choice in things of great or small,
Be Thou my Guide, my Strength, my Wisdom and my All'.

And those who faithfully follow the pillar of cloud and fire will find, though it leads them perhaps at times through the desert, eventually it will bring them to Canaan at last. Let us bow our heads together, and if you are here in this meeting and you haven't trusted the Lord and you don't know the guidance of God in your life - in fact you don't know where your life's going at all - the Lord is here today, and He's here to save your soul and give you a direction in life. And all of you are children of God, why not afresh throw yourself into the arms of your omnipotent God and trust Him to lead the way?

Our Father, we thank Thee for such an one as Thee, who is able and who will do, and we pray that we will have the grace to trust Thee and to trust Thee to the end. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Transcribed by:
Andrew Watkins,
Preach The Word.
November 2000
www.preachtheword.com

This sermon was delivered at The Iron Hall Assembly in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by Pastor David Legge. It was transcribed from the sixth tape in his 'The Heart Of The Matter' series, titled "The Trusting Heart" - Transcribed by Andrew Watkins, Preach The Word.

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