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What's the Difference Between Human Effort and Trusting God?

It turns out the God of Genesis was right after all. Watch out for those humans, he said. They can do anything, and they probably will. God looked down from heaven to the flatlands called Babel and watched us come together to build a tower. We refused to accept the world as we found it. We made bricks instead of gathering stones. We began to build a stairway to heaven of our own design.

When Heaven took notice and scattered us over the face of the earth, we in turn made every corner of the world our workshop. We employed the simplicity of hammers and levers and wheels to construct stone pyramids in the desert, 40 stories high. Four thousand years later, our craft still stands against the barren wind and the sand.

Then we turned our attention to the sand itself and fashioned it to silicon. From the tiny chips of our own making, we declared ourselves the creators of artificial intelligence. We created machines that count with dizzying speed. Our machines add one and zero so fast and so many times that we mistake the result for thought itself.

God saw it first. He said nothing we planned to do would be impossible. We were made from the dust of the earth and we have mastered the dust itself. The sum of human knowledge doubles itself like some embryo hurtling toward birth, yet the manchild we have conceived hasn’t developed ears to hear.

Alongside the sound and fury of human effort, the creative Spirit has whispered again and again,

“Trust in YHWH with all your heart,

and lean not on your own understanding.”

God’s answer to Babel was to ask one man to trust Him. Heaven’s alternative to our great industry and understanding was a simple relationship.

From macro to micro, it’s the same story. Whether we look to the grand stage of human history or examine the hidden platform of our hearts, our choice remains: Will we lean on our understanding, or lean into a relationship with him? Human knowledge doubles every 18 months, but trust and relationship are cultivated in the soil of daily life.

The world morphs exponentially before the march of knowledge and effort, but our greatest need is to chant the ancient words until they take root and begin to grow:

“Trust in YHWH with all your heart,

and lean not on your own understanding.”

The way of submission is counterintuitive, yet what if our intuition is merely another way saying “sin”?

Father, your love is so much greater than my understanding. Please help me to live in your love.