September 7, 2011

Have you ever had the experience where you're reading a passage from the Bible that you've read and heard a million times, and all of sudden it pops out at you? For the first time, you really understand what it's saying and you see the connection to your own life? I love when God opens my eyes like He did a couple of weeks ago.

I was skimming through a few chapters in Hebrews (chaps. 3-5...ish), when my eyes caught on the part where the author is reminding the readers not to repeat the sin of the Israelites. He goes on to summarize what the Israelites had done: they didn't have faith in God! Specifically, when God brought them out of Egypt and to the land of Canaan, they were too scared to take the land. Even though God had promised to fight their battles and give them the land, they didn't trust Him and, as a result, were sentenced to wander in the desert for 40 years.

Back to Hebrews, I focused on the part where it warned us not to harden our hearts (3:15) and not "fall short" of His promise of entering His rest (4:1). I thought to myself, is there anything that I might be doing that is hindering me from God's rest and His blessing? Am I hardening my heart and not trusting God?

Then God really convicted me! I've always known that I struggle with trying to control things (my life, others' lives, situations, etc.). But here, God showed me by me trying to control things, I was just like the Israelites! God has promised me great things and will fight my battles, but I have to surrender control to Him. I can't look at situations the way the world does and like the Israelites did when they came to Canaan. God is warning me that I need to stop controlling and let Him do His work or things will end up in a mess, just like they did for the Israelites.

Later, I wondered why I (and the Israelites) don't have faith in God to do what He's promised. Why do we feel like we have to do things ourselves? It's so much easier to rely on God. He's already promised to fight our battles! I think this is where our sinful flesh comes in. When things get tough or we face a difficult situation, it SEEMS easier to simply try to take the lead. We know God's promises, but in order to get to them, perhaps we feel it necessary to take things into our own hands. I know it took a while for me to realize this in my own life, because I was doing it subconsciously! But I thank God that He opened my eyes to the problem.

It is so much more comforting (not to mention less stressful) to surrender control of our lives to God! He will fight our battles! He will go before us! Let's trust Him for our futures!


Megan Brainerd, from New York, is a busy nursing student who loves to hang out with her friends, read, and play the piano :) Her email is


  1. Thanks for sharing this insight! It's always exciting to discover something new in God's Word. This is so true, and it's so easy to fall into the trap of trusting in ourselves. I'm thankful for this reminder to put my trust in the only One Who will never let me down.


  2. This encouraged me, thanks, Megan! I tend to make plans about my life too tightly. :) I think maybe it's an arrogance thing too. We think if we take control of the situation we'll reap great blessings because we'd be good at it. Which in practical situations is true for some, but in a lot of things we need to have a trustful, God-crediting attitude.