The Confirmation of RayAnne Annala

Pastor Steve Bauer
Pastor Steve Bauer
The Confirmation of RayAnne Annala

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

Iwant 110%. Years ago, RayAnne, when I was your age, I was on a football team. And that’s what the coach told us. He wanted us to give 110% of our effort and energy on the field. And I remember thinking to myself, first of all, that’s just plain bad math. The most I could give is 100\%. But second, could I even really give 100% of my energy? This morning God’s word says the same to you, RayAnne. In the book of Proverbs, God’s words says to you, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding;” (Proverbs 3:5 CSB17)

So I want you to think for a moment, RayAnne and ponder this thought: How can you not just trust in the Lord, but also trust in him with all your heart? What follows in the rest of these words are answers to that question. If we ask, “how can I trust in the Lord with all my heart,” Your Lord says to you, “in all your ways know him,” (Proverbs 3:6 CSB17)

There’s a very simple but important point that God’s word makes here. How can you trust in the Lord, if you don’t know him? Think, for example, what we learned in the book of Genesis. Adam and Eve rebelled against God. And the result of this is that they did not trust him anymore. And they did not trust him because they did not know him.

Now, you, RayAnne, know the Lord. You were introduced to him as a tiny baby when you were baptized and God placed faith in your heart. You grew in that knowledge of him in your years of Sunday School, and when your parents brought you here to church to hear God’s word, and now, finally you know God even more after two years of confirmation class. But notice what God’s word says here. It does not say, “Know the Lord until you are 14 years old.” It says, “Continue to know him.”1(Proverbs 3:6 BHS-T)}} The only way we know about God is to continue learning about him in his word. And this is a lifelong task and joy for us.

And this becomes even more important when we see how deeply sin affects us in our every day life. When we were in catechism class and we got to Genesis 3 and Adam and Eve heard the Lord walking in the garden in the cool of the day, what did they do? They hid. You cannot hide from God. And yet they tried. Sin makes us stupid. It was true then. And it’s true now. That’s why we are in God’s word, reading it at home, hearing it here in worship, and studying it in bible class. And so, let me give you an example from my life to show what this looks like. After my first year in college I sold stuff as a summer job—stuff that nobody needed, and nobody wanted. But I thought everything would work out fine for me. Why? Because God’s word says, “ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9 CSB17) I didn’t go home with any money that summer. Why? Just as sin made Adam and Eve stupid, so also, it made me stupid. That “ask, seek, knock” part of the bible had nothing to do physical blessings. Instead, it had to do with spiritual blessings. But I did not know the Lord because I did not study his word.

RayAnne, learn from my mistakes. Know the Lord. And the only way you can know the Lord is to be in God’s word, reading it at home, hearing it here in worship, and studying it in bible class. Then, when that is in place, what will happen? God’s word tells us: “and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:6 CSB17)

When we know the Lord, then we are able to trust in the Lord—yes, even with our whole heart. For the Lord makes all these promises in his word. And he keeps them all. And we make all these blundering mistakes, and yet, he still forgives us because of Jesus and watches over us.

So God’s word says to you, Trust in the \textsc{Lord with all your heart.} And that means knowing the Lord through his word. But there’s more: 7 Don’t be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. 8 This will be healing for your body and strengthening for your bones.” (Proverbs 3:7–8 CSB17)

Not only do we know the Lord, we also fear the Lord. Now, here is where we learn that we cannot trust the Lord with all our heart if we have the wrong relationship with the Lord. Again, to use a picture from your every day life. You have a different relationship with your Dad than with your friends at school. Your dad is not your BFF. Your dad will tell you when you’re on the right track. And when you’re on the wrong track—when you say or do something wrong, he will tell you. It’s like that but even more so with your God above. Our relationship with our God is based on fear. But notice that the way the bible uses that word is completely different than the way the world does. When the Lord gives us rules and laws, saying “Don’t do this’” we can trust him. Compare this with the rules at school. One of the problems I had with school when I was your age was that, for so much of the time, the rules didn’t seem to apply. They would put up a sign, “don’t walk on the grass.’” And then what happened? Everyone walked on the grass and nobody cared. It’s not like this with God. When he says something is wrong and dangerous to us, we can trust in him and rely on him.

And the same is true when it comes to forgiveness. When the Lord says to you, RayAnne, “you are forgiven,” you can trust in those words. Jesus obeyed all the ten commandments in your place so that you could rely on those words. Jesus died to pay for your sins so that you could rely on those words. Jesus rose from the grave and then rose into heaven so that you could rely on those words. And the result of all of this is fear. Yes, there’s real fear and terror because when God says that something is wrong, he means it. But there is also this joy, awe, and wonder, because when God says to you, RayAnne, “your sins are forgiven”, he means it and you can trust it. And you can trust it not just with a part of your heart. You can trust it with all your heart.

God’s word here is not like my gradeschool football coach giving us an impossible command with bad math. No, your Lord invites you to trust him with all your heart. We are unable to do this on our own. But the Holy Spirit has given us faith in him so that we know who he is and trust in him. And we do this all throughout our entire lives by knowing the Lord through his word. We do this by fearing the Lord with the right relationship with him. Amen.

1 ”דָעֵ֑הוּ“