As I was driving into work Wednesday, July 1, 2020, I heard God clearly say, “Launch into the deep”. He gave me 3 topics: Fishers of Men, Cast Your Cares, and Trust Me. He told me to write a 3-part series on these three topics. Here is part 3 – Trust Me.
Trust. This 5 letter, 1 syllable word may be one of the hardest for people to actually do. Trusting takes a level of vulnerability. It takes the lowering of personal walls to allow another in and taking a chance that I could get hurt. If I trust you, I have this underlying hope in you, in our relationship. I have this confidence that you are true to whom you present to me. Trusting is hard. I’ve been saved almost 15 years now and I still have some guards up.
I am reminded of the story of Gideon in Judges 6 -8. I remember hearing the occasion of the fleece for the first time and having this large release of breath. I realized in that moment that I wasn’t the only one having trust issues. See in the story, God empowers Gideon to save Israel. Gideon had doubts on his abilities. Have you had these moments? God tells you to do something and you go, who me??? I remember the first time I heard God call me to preach. In that moment I understood Sarah’s laughter in Genesis 18:12. My reply went something like this: “Okay, Lord, you want me to do what?? Speak to Your people. Naw, I’m good. I can’t do that. I’ll work in the admin office or help with the kids.” And, I ran away from this call for 2 years. Doubt can sneak in through the cracks of your soul and do more damage than an earthquake. It can be the termite to your spirit before you even realize that it has taken root. But thanks be to the Word that gives us examples of how to deal with doubt. For me, Gideon was one such example.
Gideon asked something of God that, I thought was bold. Judges 6: 36-40 (NIV): “36 Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— 37 look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.” So, what was my takeaway, my lesson from this story? It is okay to ask of God if what you are hearing is real and true. To this day, when I doubt if I heard God correctly, I apply my own Gideon test. I don’t have a fleece to leave out in the morning, but I do sit and wait to ensure that the directions I received were from the throne room. Often times, my answer comes in the form of a dream, song, or scripture. Other times I receive confirmation from someone who knows not what God and I were talking about. See, I learned how to keep my conversations with God between He and I.
Trusting God isn’t like trusting man. God won’t fail you. As much as trusting someone takes an action on your part, putting your trust in God takes faith. What I’ve learned over the years was that little by little, my trust in God grew. There were times when it was on a day to day basis. Am I going to trust God to pay this bill? Am I going to trust God that I’ll get this job? Am I going to trust God ……? for whatever the issue was. I learned to lean on Mark 9:24 and repeatedly stated by belief and asked God to help me belief in those areas where my unbelief still reigned. This is a continual work in progress as I grow in faith.
My trust in Him had to become like the tree planted by the river: 7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. 8 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 in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17: 7-8, NIV). A sturdy tree doesn’t bend to its surroundings. It doesn’t waver in its responsibilities. A sturdy tree knows that it has a purpose and fulfills that purpose to the best of its abilities. I am a sturdy tree planted on the banks of faith, endowed by God, justified by Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, trusting in God knowing that my roots won’t wither and die as long as my faith stays as strong as God’s love for me.
Be A Blessing and Not Just Blessed