Trust: The Secret to Experiencing Life With God

Today I am going to share a pretty major secret. I would claim it is the most important secret, and the true bedrock to our faith. This secret is trust. Trusting God is a broad overarching principle that is the foundation to our journey of following Jesus. But here is the key: God has designed us with an innate fundamental longing to be loved—and trust is the secret to experiencing this love that only he can give us.

Said another way, trust unlocks love.

This idea is a bit complex as “love” is a multifaceted concept. In order to understand how trust unlocks love, I think it’s important to define the word. I’ll be using a very practical definition of love that I got from the founders of Trueface which describes love as the process of meeting needs.

Love is the process of meeting needs.

Think of this more as a working definition than a one size fits all definition of love. Love is our most fundamental desire. If we boil down all of our wants and desires, the primary desire inside all of us is to be loved.

And scripture points us to this. If you have any experience with faith, you know the broad concept: “God is love.”

1 John 4:7-8 tells us:

7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Genesis 1:26 “. . . then God said,  ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.’"

God is love, he has made us in his image, and my life affirms these truths deeply. Even if you aren’t a Jesus follower, you can get your head around this, right? I long to be loved. We long to be loved. When you boil everything down, it is our heart’s truest longing.

Now, what does that really mean? What does this love actually look like? To understand this idea, let’s think of love as a bicycle with two wheels: the first is being needed and the second is being known. If love is the bicycle, these wheels, being needed and known, represent the two most critical yearnings or components within us to realize what we desire and what we are designed for. The two fundamental yearnings within us. If you are human, you share these core needs.

Now let me unpack what I mean when I say need:

The other component is being known. If you have ever been lonely, you are already aware of this fundamental desire because the truth is:

Now that we understand our greatest needs and desires, let’s review:

Love is the process of meeting needs—the giving and receiving of needs being met.

We feel loved when others meet these needs we have and we love others by meeting their needs. It’s important to know that these longings are valid and central to our lives. It’s also important to be aware of how we are meeting them, and who we are looking to to meet these needs in our lives.

What do we depend on to meet our needs?

This is where we circle back to our key ingredient of trust. We must rely on God to find what we are looking for. We have to trust God—not ourselves or the answers of the world.

This longing for love is central to our design, and it is a centerpiece to this war of the world vs the kingdom of God. Our world, with its subtle lies, tells us that we can find or meet our own needs. If we think hard enough about it, we can manifest it. If we hustle hard enough, we can make it happen. There is definitely merit and truth to working hard and pushing towards your dreams, but the evil one is clever. He manipulates these needs and desires and spreads lies that feel like truth. The world says they have answers for what we are looking for. That we can fill the longings of our own hearts. That we can find value in our own abilities, affirmation in our money, validation from the opposite sex, and the significance we crave from our jobs. All without God. Why would we need him? We can do it all ourselves.

But here’s the truth: these are all lies.

How and what we look to to answer these longings matters and is central to the war of our hearts.

Our longings are the central battleground for both sides: our Heavenly father, and the evil one.  Each is fighting to provide us with the needs we are longing for. But only God wants these needs to actually be filled, the evil one is just trying to deceive us so our true needs are never met.

The lies say, “I can do enough, be enough to get the attention I deserve.” Conversely, we see Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, which was an intimate expression of attention. To us living today, we are given the Holy Spirit who will never leave us.

We can receive affirmation from the next cute guy or girl who gives us attention–on screens or in person. Or we can seek that affirmation in relationship with our Father in heaven and others in healthy ways. Who we gain our affirmation from is one of the biggest battles we will face.

The world says if people really knew you, there is no way anyone could love you. So the world’s game becomes only letting others see the “best version” of you. The world tells us to conform in fear, but the Father says he knows me intimately and knit me together in my mothers womb. And in healthy relationships, like with the guys in my small group, I can choose to put my mask away and be vulnerable. They know what I am struggling with, and they love me more, not less.

My pride says I need to do something significant to deserve or earn love. Jesus said, nah, there is nothing you could do to get any more or less of my love for you. Trust me and I will invite you to partner with me in my kingdom work which will be of great purpose.

My pride says that my money, my roles or position, prove my value. Jesus says, you are a son of God, a saint, a new creation imparted with my righteousness, someone worth dying for.

The evil one offers effective and compelling lies because they give us the momentary illusion of meeting our needs of value, significance, and being known—but they don’t last. They are temporary and come up wanting. All of us have tasted a piece of what the world offers and we know this is true. These “answers” are momentary, they feel good or satisfy for an instant and then we’re left empty again. The simple truth is the lies will never deliver what they promise.

Jesus made us right in relationships in order to experience radical love. We were created with these needs so that only God could meet them. He knew we couldn’t achieve these longings, and that the world’s answers wouldn’t satisfy the true desires of our heart.

The secret to experiencing life with God is trust. Trust is how we unlock and experience love. Trust is how we move towards what Jesus made possible.

Trusting God is letting God love us.

It is a posture of humility, of receiving. Trusting God is letting him meet our needs.

Here are some questions for you to reflect on:

  1. Where am I putting my trust the most? Is it in me, others, institutions, God, my career, somewhere else?
  2. Which of the God-given needs of attention, affirmation, being known, purpose, and significance is the most difficult for you to acknowledge? Which is the easiest?
  3. Who have you allowed to meet your needs in love?


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