EXPOSE | The Ultimate Dare
While it is presented as a command, it sure feels like a triple dog dare: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding…” – Proverbs 3:5
Not half, or most, but ALL your heart.
Trust–complete trust–is a thing to behold.
EXPLORE | Seeing is Believing?
“Who wants to get in?”
Charles Blondin, the world famous tightrope walker, is said to have uttered words to that affect to an audience nervously watching as he crossed Niagara Falls pushing an empty wheelbarrow.
Blondin was the first person to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope. But not only was he the first, he did so repeatedly. At first he crossed alone, but eventually went on to cross with a number of different objects–even stopping at one point to make an omelette.
Not surprisingly, no one took him up on his offer. But why? He repeatedly proved he could do it, right before their very eyes!
Intellectual assent cannot hide true belief. We’ll find that to be the case when understanding is called on to act. Belief is something we demonstrate.
Regardless of whether or not he actually asked for this level of audience participation, the story paints the perfect picture of our challenge with this command: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart…” Our minds tell us we shouldn’t have an issue with this, but our hearts drag their little feet.
When given the choice, we pass up the opportunity to hop in the wheelbarrow.
EXECUTE | Take the Dare
Why is it so difficult to trust in something so completely trustworthy? How is it possible that we would stop short when we have every reason not to, only to trust in something less worthy? Jon Bloom frames it perfectly when he says: “…it is not the one who trusts in the Lord that is irrational, but the one who leans on his or her own understanding. It is insane to trust such pitifully limited understanding when one can trust the unlimited understanding of God.”
Here are a just a few things to weigh when questioning where we ought to place our trust:
Understand and accept that “our understanding” is severely overrated.
What comes before a fall? Pride. Thinking more of ourselves than we ought, only brings on the heartache:
“So many of the things that cause us the most difficulty and heartache in life, the source of so much of our anxiety, fear, doubt, and anger with others and with God, is the result of leaning on our own understanding.” – Jon Bloom
Understand and accept that there is no one more ‘for you’ than God.
Including ourselves. We don’t even have our best interest in mind as much as, or as truly, as He does. True pleasures are found at His right hand (Psalm 16:11). That is, ‘in the wheelbarrow.’ Trusting wholeheartedly in the Lord, and not our understanding:
“…preserves for us all the pleasures God provides us in the world. To not do this is the height of foolishness and the path to misery.” – Jon Bloom
Understand and accept fear, so as to not fear it.
There are things to be feared, but fear them in context: in light of the One who is to be feared above all.
“…it’s important to note that when Jesus rebuked the disciples, it wasn’t merely because they feared the storm. Fear of a danger stronger than we are is appropriate, right in line with God’s design. Jesus rebuked them for fearing the lesser power over the greater Power.” – Jon Bloom
Understand and accept that we are to obey God’s Word, not just agree with it.
They saw. They agreed. They stood there. That is how the bystanders watching Blondin responded to his invitation to catch a ride in his wheelbarrow as he crossed back over Niagara. God is not looking for consent. His Word is meant to lead us away from our foolish mind towards God’s way of thinking:
“If I’m reading the Bible for excuses for what I want anyway, my heart has already drifted from the Lord. But if I trust him wholeheartedly, I will let the Bible challenge my most cherished thoughts and feelings.” – Ray Ortlund
Go ahead, take the dare. “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.” – 2 Chron. 16:9