“those who trust shall…”

Last week as we moved into our new meeting place at the church, we also transitioned into a new series entitled “those who trust shall.”  Although the series is new, the subject matter isn’t entirely foreign.  In fact, we’ve been building up to it since the start of the year, most recently with our series on God’s plan and purpose for our lives, and our series on trust.  With our foundational  truths set, we’re ready to dive into the depths of what the verse in Hebrews 11 says and truly means: “…he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” [NLT]

The cornerstone to God’s plan for our lives is laid out in Jeremiah 32:17  “O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you!”  In order to step into the plan God has for us, we must first ask ourselves if we  really believe that  nothing is impossible with God.

Mary’s response to the revelation of God’s plan for her life is one to be modeled.  Luke 1:32-38 tells of Mary’s encounter with the angel Gabriel, which directly preceded her encounter with God.  Gabriel brought her the revelation from God, one that would require her to carry the Son of God and at first cause her to face untold societal ridicule, but one in which God birthed an incredibly important destiny within her.  Her response was, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.”  When God births a vision on the inside of us, we experience an intimate encounter with him.  We have a choice in how to respond.  Many times ours is one of doubt or ignorance.  We think to ourselves “WOW, that felt good to hear from God,” but after the time passes “but I’m comfortable where I’m at.”  But what if our response was a “Mary response”?  A response of complete willingness, of openness, of trust?  Mary acknowledges that the Lord has spoken to her, and she wills it and submits herself to it–an “I am yours” posture of life.

Admitting our dependence on God is the next move we must make.  We must get “the impossible” out of our minds.  If we’re focused on the myriad of reasons why the plan won’t happen, then it won’t happen.  We must strive to build our faith around a God who says “nothing is impossible for me.”

Simultaneously, we must come to an understanding that God’s plan isn’t about me on an individual level, but rather me playing the part of God’s plan required to reach the people around us. Our part is doing what God has called us to do–living out His word, and listening to Him and acting as He speaks to us.  Think of all of the Sunday school teachers and uncredited people who played such a vital part in God’s plan, who, by listening and acting, led great leaders such as Billy Graham or Dwight L. Moody to the Lord.  Everyone has an essential part to play in God’s plan.

Galatians 2:17-21.  Paul “did” a lot of “shalls.”  Has God so consumed us and are we so committed to God that we believe God’s plan will never fail? Is there a consequence if we don’t  fully trust Him? Does it [the plan] still work?  Paul certainly was exemplary in his full commitment and trust.  But if we take a look at Judas, and at Lot’s wife, we see the very possible and very real consequences of not fully trusting God.  Luke 22:47.  Judas was just like the other 11 disciples–he made a commitment to Jesus.  At some point along the way, Judas began to doubt and he lost trust.  He went as far as to betray Jesus, which resulted in his own remorse and death. Lot’s wife was married to a very godly man, and was immediately surrounded by the influence of a godly family.  At some point along the way though, she allowed the desires of this world to creep into her heart and take root in it, and when she turned and looked back at Sodom and Gomorrah even though God had warned them not to look back, she lost her life.  Simply giving mental assent to God’s goodness presents problems because it binds us to law.  Just being close to something good [God], like Judas and Lot’s wife were,  doesn’t allow for God to reign and rule in one’s life.  If we do anything half-way, the result is not all that great.  If nothing is impossible with God, it’s not impossible to love someone who has really hurt us, or to walk out a righteous life.  If Jesus died for us, what are we willing to give up?  He gave up his everything.

So what are you doing with, and about, your relationship with God? Make a list of what you believe, and what you’re actually doing. Compare them.  Seek answers.  Grow.  Do.

-MP

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