(Jeremiah 17: 5-8)
"Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and who's heart turns away from the lord. That person will be like a bush in the wastelands: they will not see prosperity when it comes, they will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives."
However, "Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in HIM. They will be like a tree planted by the water, that sends out its roots by the stream, it does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries [anxieties] in a year of drought and never fails to bear [yield] fruit."
I love and fear this passage in Jeremiah as he presents the utter simplicity of the choice that we have, which is only one of two: man or God. When we put our faith and trust in man, the result is that we are cursed. spiritual abandonment and blindness to all prosperity, as dry and as lonely as a desert bush in the wilderness, "cursed is the. . . man."
However, when God is the object of our faith and we trust Him by completely depending on Him in every area of our life, the result is great blessing. "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD."
The spiritual blessing that comes from trusting in the Lord is like a tree that is growing by the continual flow of a stream or river. "They will be like a tree planted by the water." The riverside has always been the ideal location for a flourishing tree. I've never seen many dead trees by a constant flowing river or stream. So, as I understand it then, trusting in the Lord is the only location or setting in which a flourishing spiritual life in God can be developed. A tree that is located by the river sends out its roots to take in more and more life giving water, "sends out its roots by the stream." The Christian who is trusting in the Lord is always reaching out for more of the spiritual life from God for which he yearns.
When the heat comes, the drought comes, the constant difficult circumstances of life come, it threatens the life of the tree, unless the tree is located beside a sufficient water supply. So then, when the heat of battle or impossible circumstances arise, as they always do, and pose a real fearful threat, pose real feelings of anxiety, of worry to us and we are tempted to give in to those feelings, we have a way out by putting our Trust in the Lord. When we put our Trust in the Lord, we will not "fear when heat comes…and will not [be anxious] or worry in a year of drought." Instead because of the heat we will continue in growth and spiritual fruitfulness. "[our] leaves are always green. . . no worries. . . never fail to bear fruit."
I began by saying that I both love and fear this passage. I love this passage because of the utter radical simplicity that God presents to us concerning our human (sin) nature. All we have to do is say "No" to mans ways and "yes" to God. And when we say "Yes" to God, the work of binding has all ready been completed. In Luke chapter eleven, Jesus has bound the strong man and now we are free to move about and rebuild our room the way God had intended it for us to be. In future attacks our "No," is now back up by the name of Jesus, the name above all names.
My fear is in how the world has presented the human condition as complex, complicated, and in some cases, like mental illness, incurable, and how daunting a task it can be deconstructing that worldly knowledge from those who are new in the faith. However, by the power of the Holy Spirit and when we Trust Fully in God our spiritual life becomes like a luxurious giant tree beside a flowing stream, bearing fruit. Blessed, and able to be a blessing to others, instead of a shrub in the desert. We experience the "Grace" resources of God, instead of the "flesh" resources of man, and we become whole, having eternal glory in Christ Jesus right now.
Lord, I praise You for the abundant grace that flows from You into my heart every time I put my Trust in You, I am blessed beyond all measure. Nothing, no devices or ways of man can ever keep me from fear and anxiety than You. Nothing less could ever bring growth and fruitfulness in the midst of those ever threatening circumstances than You. You are my strength day in and day out, Amen.
Trust your eyes when we read His word. Remember, Jesus has already bound the strong man.