Confidence. Expectation. Faith. Hope. Certainty. Conviction. Dependence. Reliance. These are all synonyms for trust at thesaurus.com. It is easy to say that we trust God or even that we trust God in all things. But to live a life filled with confidence and actual experience of God’s faithfulness, now that is another matter, a horse of a different color, if you will pardon the metaphor. It’s not enough to believe in God, we are to believe God.
We need to ask ourselves some questions to ascertain where we are on a sliding scale of total trust in God, where 100 is the highest value, all the way down to 0, no trust in God, maybe even no belief in God. Once you’ve put yourself on that scale, here are some questions to ask yourself: Do I turn things over to God only to take them back by continuing to worry about them? Do I know from my own experience that God will meet all my needs, but perhaps not all my wants? How much confidence do I have in God’s providence?
Being humans there’s probably no chance that we’re at 100% on this sliding scale. And it is better to be honest about where we stand, because trust is something that we can develop with God’s help. So it really doesn’t matter where we start from; it is just important to start trusting God.
A few years ago I had a dream about a troop of acrobats, a kind of a Cirque de Soleil performance. I watched these men doing their well-rehearsed routines, absolute beauty in motion. Each one was where he was supposed to be, hands grasped, feet landing in the right place, another caught, not one gesture was missed or went wrong. As I thought about the dream over the next week or so, I realized that God was telling me that my needs would be met by him just in time like the acrobats had met each others’ needs.
And so I set an intention to live into that trust that God would meet my needs as they arose. (Intentions open the door for the Holy Spirit’s ministrations, without an invitation from us he would not take on healing any area of our lives for us.) So began a sea change from ever-present anxiety about getting what I needed to a pretty good confidence that I would not go wanting. Old issues popping up can derail me from that trust, but in general I live pretty anxiety-free now.
It is not enough to believe in God or to voice something like, “I trust in God.” We have to dig deeply into ourselves and turn over these core issues like trust to God, so that we can actually live them.
And when we live that trust, we have a lot more energy, because anxiety and anger are enervating, draining us of our best energies. And, at the same time, we turn our attention onto God and away from the culture. Building trust with God’s help allows us to disengage from the culture’s grip on us.
And then, what could we do with that extra energy? We can focus on being the people we were created to be, on living in the mind of Christ, on partnering with God all day long, in discovering our purpose here on Earth. If each one of us reclaims his/her best creative energies by trusting in God, and puts them to use in developing his/her own true self and in loving God, then there is no limit on what we can do, with God’s help in God’s kingdom.
Until we really trust God, we cannot love. We don’t have patience, experience great joy; we are not good and kind and gentle; we are not faithful; we cannot exercise self-control. All that we do is driven by anxiety or anger or fear—it’s all about me and mine. When we trust God with at least 75 or 80% of ourselves, we are open to all God wants for us and we are gifted with the fruit of the Spirit. Then we can be really useful in the kingdom. Amen.
Blessing for the week: May we all live into total trust in God and his plans for our lives. May we be so practiced in surrendering our will that we are ready to surrender to what is at any moment. May we be so attuned to God and his Indwelling Spirit that we are resting in his will.
Questions to ponder over the week: Where did I put myself on the scale of trusting God? Was I completely honest? What is the next step for my in trusting God more? Am I willing to take it?
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