There Is Only One in Whom We Can Trust
Beloved Family… I offer some thoughts that are, no doubt, extremely important elements in our boot camp training for the combat that lies ahead. And I believe it has a connection to what is meant by being ‘covered and protected’ by ‘the Full Armor of God’, as Paul discusses in Ephesians 6.
I understand the phrase ‘the full armor of God’ as another way of saying, ‘God Himself is our Full Armor’. He is able to serve as a disciple’s full armor through that person’s properly aligned faith in Him. As long as the disciple looks to, and relies upon, Almighty God alone, and nothing else, for his wellbeing, protection and provision, he remains in proper position to receive all that God wants to bestow upon him. That totally single-minded, exclusive faith, hope, trust and reliance upon the Living Word of God made flesh, corresponds to the Truth and Reality that there is only one true God. And since there is only one true God in existence, when we place all of our trust and expectations upon Him alone, everything fits and corresponds to Reality. In that sense, God is our only totally adequate Covering, because we’re placing 100% of our trust in Him alone.
So, for us, Yeshua must be EVERYTHING! We must look to Him alone, to be our Source, Provider, Protector, Shepherd and Kinsman Redeemer (in Hebrew: goel). At all times, and in all things, our attention must be trained upon His Perfect Presence and Everlasting Infinite Covenant Lovingkindness (See Psalm 136). This exclusive trust and focus that we give only to God insures that our faith isn’t scattering or being given to any other potential competitive ‘gods’ or ‘sources.’ God’s Living Word made flesh receives every bit of our faith and trust at all times and in all things! And that is what keeps us properly aligned and in the right position to receive what He intends to be and to do for us.
This exclusive single-minded devotion and reliance coincides with what the psalmist who wrote Psalm 91 was envisioning when he was inspired to pen these awesome words:
“He who dwells (entirely and perpetually) in the Shelter of the Most High will abide in the Shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My (one and only) Refuge and my (one and only) Fortress, my (one and only) God, in whom I trust!”
“For it is He (and He alone) who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. He (and He alone) will cover you with His pinions, and (it is only) under His wings you may seek refuge; (and only) His faithfulness is a (true and everlasting) shield and bulwark.
“You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but(because you place 100% of your trust in Him) it shall not approach you.
“You will only look on with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. For you have made the Lord, (and nothing else) my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place. (And it is for this reason only, that) No evil will befall you,nor will any plague come near your tent.
“For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands,that you do not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and cobra, the young lion and the serpent you will trample down.
“Because he has loved Me (as his one and only God and Source), therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My Name.
“He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see My salvation.” (Psalm 91, Emphasis added.
Beloved friends, the disciple that God is describing in this psalm is being set apart by God to receive His utmost blessing and protection, because he is fulfilling his part of the New Covenant into which God desires to engraft us all. Such a Covenant friend of God fulfills what being a ‘Blood brother’ to God requires:
“Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love Adonai your God WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5 TLV, Emphasis added.)
The reason why God so jealously requires all of us for Himself, and will not permit us to scatter our love and faith and devotion, and ‘dally’ with other gods, is incredibly simple and utterly basic: to do such a thing is to descend into the deranged thinking of one who is insane and completely out of touch with Reality! It is to live out and become the embodiment of DELUDED MADNESS!
There is Only One True God
The Truth is, that even in the midst of the most dire and dangerous of earthly situations that anyone could ever encounter, there is only one True God and Source for whatever is Real, True and Good! That God is the Living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And there could never be any other real possibility! It has one God and one Source alone, because only that conforms to Absolute Truth. This is why each disciple of God’s Living Word must be trained and taught to be single-minded. This is why we must be drilled and deeply grounded in a lifestyle that is described by the term, ‘the obedience of faith.’
True disciples never allow their faith, hope and expectation to split and scatter in various directions. There is never any other possible object for our faith, hope and trust in existence. So it is madness for us to even begin to think that way, much less build our entire existence upon such a horrid empty lie! So although the fallen, broken world in which we live teems with people that worship and pursue and hope in a vast variety of false gods and claim that there are many alternate sources of wellbeing, the true disciple knows for sure that all of his faith and expectations can only legitimately be concentrated and focused upon the God of the Bible!
So, the true disciples remain totally focused on His Living and written Word… no matter what! They only have eyes for Yeshua, their Lord and Messiah. He is the Authentic Living Word of God. He is the one and only Source for all things. So we must look to Him 100% of the time, for 100% of all that we will ever need! The Lord is everything to us; we need nothing else, and therefore, we must not look to anything else, but only to our God alone.
So dear ones, this exclusive, single-minded level of faith, hope, trust and reliance is exactly what God requires of us all. This is faith that is utterly pure, and single-mindedly focused upon God alone! And because only the One True, Living God is worthy of that level of trust, reliance and expectation, we must all be thoroughly trained and disciplined to remain focused upon Him, even as the Lord in turn is focusing 100% of His attention, care, concern and solicitude upon us!
“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.
“My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.
“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You!” (Psalm 139:13-18 NASB, Emphasis added.)
And so… because Almighty God is 100% present and faithfully involved, and wholeheartedly loyal to us, the Covenant Bond we enjoy with Him requires us to respond and reciprocate in kind. Since He designed and created us in His image and likeness, it is proper and fitting for us to mirror back to Him that same 100% exclusive loving attention and devotion that He is always showering upon us. Because He gives all of Himself to us… then… in response, Covenant Loyalty and Faithfulness require us to give of ourselves to our God in that same wholehearted, exclusive way:
“Because he has loved Me (exclusively, and has not shared his love for Me with any other false god,) therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My Name (as it really is, and therefore,). He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see My Salvation (My Yeshua).” (Psalm 91:14-16, Amplification and emphasis added.)
This is in keeping with what God commanded Moses to relay to the chosen people that had been recently released from their centuries of slavery and bondage in Egypt:
“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, AM A JEALOUS GOD, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” (Exodus 20:4-6. Emphasis added.)
God is warning His people against the sin of idolatry. He’s telling them exactly what that terrible sin and betrayal means to Him, and how He feels, when His people fail to look to Him and instead seek after other false sources of wellbeing and satisfaction. He’s describing what ‘spiritual adultery’ is, and how it comes across to Him when His own chosen people insist on indulging in it. What humans convey to Him when they scatter their hope and trust and allot only part of it to Him, while at the same time, looking to other created objects, or persons, or activities, or pleasures for their safety and provision and overall wellbeing, is proclaiming to Him that He really cannot be fully trusted or believed!
And they’re proving to Him that they are rejecting His Word that He gave to them in the promises He made when He entered into the Blood Covenant Bond with them! They’re ignoring all the times in the past when He proved Himself to be faithful to us all, in so many gloriously compelling ways. And so, when people chase after other gods, they force Him to watch them cavort with other lovers, other sources of comfort and pleasure and security… because in their sight… the God who chose to make them His own, is not good enough to rely on exclusively. And therefore, their faithlessness proves that He is not their God at all!
“Then God said, “Behold, I am going to make a Covenant. Before all your people I will perform miracles which have not been produced in all the earth nor among any of the nations; and all the people among whom you live will see the working of the Lord, for it is a fearful thing that I am going to perform with you.
“Be sure to observe what I am commanding you this day: behold, I am going to drive out the Amorite before you, and the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite. Watch yourself that you make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land into which you are going, or it will become a snare in your midst. But rather, you are to tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and cut down their Asherim—for you shall not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God—otherwise you might make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land and they would play the harlot with their gods and sacrifice to their gods, and someone might invite you to eat of his sacrifice, and you might take some of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters might play the harlot with their gods and cause your sons also to play the harlot with their gods. You shall make for yourself no molten gods!” (Exodus 34:10-17. Emphasis added.)
God’s Blood Covenant Terms… And Our Betrayal of Them
Beloved, when you ponder these texts, you can see that God is speaking in marital Blood Covenant terms. He’s letting His people know that He regards their dalliances with other gods and sources as an utter betrayal of the Covenant they had chosen to enter into with Him. So He compares such behavior to that of an adulterous wife, who gives of herself to other men in ways that she had promised to give of herself only and exclusively to her husband! And so God lets us know that He feels our betrayals deeply and in ways that are so deep and grievous that we cannot even begin to fathom the depth of meaning in His responses to what we are doing in His sight:
“Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your dress was of fine linen, silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour, honey and oil; so you were exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty. Then your fame went forth among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of My splendor which I bestowed on you,” declares the Lord God.
“But you trusted in your beauty and played the harlot because of your fame, and you poured out your harlotries on every passer-by who might be willing. You took some of your clothes, made for yourself high places of various colors and played the harlot on them, which should never come about nor happen. You also took your beautiful jewels made of My gold and of My silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself male images that you might play the harlot with them. Then you took your embroidered cloth and covered them, and offered My oil and My incense before them. Also My bread which I gave you, fine flour, oil and honey with which I fed you, you would offer before them for a soothing aroma; so it happened,” declares the Lord God.
“Moreover, you took your sons and daughters whom you had borne to Me and sacrificed them to idols to be devoured. Were your harlotries so small a matter? You slaughtered My children and offered them up to idols by causing them to pass through the fire. Besides all your abominations and harlotries you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare and squirming in your blood.
“Then it came about after all your wickedness (‘Woe, woe to you!’ declares the Lord God), that you built yourself a shrine and made yourself a high place in every square. You built yourself a high place at the top of every street and made your beauty abominable, and you spread your legs to every passer-by to multiply your harlotry. You also played the harlot with the Egyptians, your lustful neighbors, and multiplied your harlotry to make Me angry. Behold now, I have stretched out My hand against you and diminished your rations. And I delivered you up to the desire of those who hate you, the daughters of the Philistines, who are ashamed of your lewd conduct.” (Ezekiel 16:13-27)
So texts like this describe ways in which people, who are supposed to belong only to God, and to no other, violate their Covenant bond with Him. And we know that this kind of offense is so incredibly serious that it warrants a death penalty when people dare to indulge in such gross betrayal. And so God is warning His people that when the trials of life in this broken world come upon them, and their enemies swarm around them to do them harm, and seek to plot their destruction, He will not come to their defense… because His Justice requires Him to allow the penalties of their broken Covenant to overtake them.
“But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
“Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country. Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Cursed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.” (Deuteronomy 28:15-19)
So we might understand this state of affairs, and the right way of interacting with our God, by envisioning a funnel-type of structure. The funnel is wide at one end, but gradually it narrows until when you come to the other end of it, the structure becomes increasingly narrow, and confining, and selective, and discriminating as to what it will, and what it will not, allow to pass through it:
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to Life, and there are few who find it.”(Matthew 7:13-14. Emphasis added.)
The broad way that leads to destruction will allow a large variety of things to pass through, and that is the most preferred way for most of the people of this fallen world. They ignore God’s first commandment that forbids us from worshipping and serving an array of possible gods. And so they indulge themselves, and they pick and choose the variety of gods in which to trust that suits their personal fancies. And thus the way they choose to travel is what leads to deception, falsehood, and the horrifying fate that befalls those who wallow in unreality and expect to gain success and prosperity and pleasure and satisfaction by relying on things that do not even exist!
But it is impossible to achieve real results from fake ingredients! Everything we do must be based upon Truth and Reality! And this is why the narrow way that leads to real eternal Life is extremely confining and discriminating. Nothing false or unreal is allowed entry! The narrow path only allows one person at a time to pass through it. And each person is never allowed to bring anything with him or her. Only our bare naked self is allowed to squeeze through. It is impossible to take even the smallest object with you. So to pass through, you must be alone, with nothing else for you to rely upon… except the One, True, Living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! Only you and He can fit through such a discriminating and demanding opening!
“Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.” (James 4:7-9)
Beloved friends, false gods, and their deceptive allurements, are like deadly fish hooks that are concealed behind a variety of attractively arrayed ‘baits.’ The demonic powers of Darkness are very adept and well-experienced in being able to cast their hooks effectively right in front of the naïve, unsuspecting humans that do not really know the One True Living God, and His ways. Because they are ignorant of God, they also remain ignorant of the existence of His demonic enemies. And therefore, they are very easy prey for the deft fishing techniques that the demonic powers are always using to get them to notice the alluring bait that effectively conceals their sharp deadly barbs. And that is why so many people strike at the bait.
And, tragically, when they go for the bait, the hooks they did not see, are deeply embedded into their innermost being. And they are hopelessly ‘hooked,’ captivated and enslaved by enemies whose malevolence we poor clueless humans cannot even begin to imagine.
Our Faith Must Be Placed 100% Upon Our God And His Finished Work
And so, God reveals to us, that by the end of this age, when the Last Days have run their course, the critical issue for each human being will be whether they ended their journey at the widest part of the funnel… or whether they reached the end by going through the narrow part of the funnel… that leads to Life. In that case, because we placed 100% of our faith, hope and trust in our risen Lord, and because He truly became everything to us, He was able to gain all of the Preeminence in our panorama of awareness. And at the end of our Journey, His Light will have become so bright and so blazingly brilliant in our awareness, that everything that was not Him became correspondingly dimmer and it faded and shrank and dissipated to nothingness, before His inevitable Advance and Ultimate Takeover:
“… And leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet:
“The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light, and those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death,upon them a Light dawned.” (Matthew 4:13-16, Emphasis added.)
“He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.
“In Him also we have obtained an Inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His Glory.” (Ephesians 1:9-12, Emphasis added.)
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also Head of the Body, the Church; and He is the Beginning, the Firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have First Place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the Fullness (of God) to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on Earth or things in Heaven.” (Colossians 1:15-20, Amplification and emphasis added.)
“For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, SO THAT GOD MAY BE ALL in all!” (1 Corinthians 15:27-28, Emphasis added.)
“And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
“Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end (by the obedience of his faith in Me), HE WILL BE SAVED!” (Matthew 24:4-13, Amplification and emphasis added.)
Beloved friends… we will be tempted by the various kinds of ‘bait’ that the demonic powers will continually dangle in front of us, to draw us away from our true God. Their lures will be very appealing because they will reflect what we feel, in our heart of hearts, are our deepest and most pressing necessities for survival, comfort, relief and a sense of safety and wellbeing. But don’t fall for any of that! Nothing that is created will ever be able to meet any of our real needs! There is only one Source… only one True God from whom we can receive whatever we will ever need.
Therefore, we need nothing else, nothing from this created world can add to, or improve upon, who our God is and what He has already provided to meet all of our needs! There is no need for any mixture, no need for God plus this or God plus that. God alone is our All-Sufficient Fullness and Treasure. Only the Infinite, Eternal, Uncreated One ¾ He and He alone can be our True Good Shepherd and Champion. Only He will be able to see us through the tumultuous, chaotic, violent frenzy that will be sweeping over the entire world when the End arrives!
So rivet your heart’s focus and attention upon His Perfect Indwelling Presence. Just as He always abides in you, you too must learn to abide in Him. He will never leave, or forsake, or disappoint you. Heaven and Earth will pass away and be completely replaced by brand new versions that will descend upon us from the Kingdom of Heaven. But the Living Word of God made flesh will be abiding within us here, even as we experience the shaking and disintegration of all of Earth’s temporary riches, and assets, and pleasures, and honors. He and He alone will remain and abide forever!
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My Word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it!” (Isaiah 55:10-11, Emphasis added.)
Our beloved Messiah is always abiding within us, dear ones! By the Power of God’s Holy Spirit, He, in all of His Perfection, is present, ready, willing and able to fulfill everything the Covenant requires God to do… to empower us to embody and reveal Him… as He fulfills everything the Covenant requires of us! And, if we are wholehearted in our reliance and dependence upon Him… He is free to be and do for us, everything we will ever need and require in order to be right with God. And this is the awesome and gloriously beautiful Fruit of that meaning-filled phrase we see in Scripture… ‘the obedience of faith’.
“Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever! Amen.” (Romans 16:25-27, Emphasis added)