We often hear the phrase "trust me", but in those situations is it really a matter of trusting?
This week, I heard those words for my Papa, God. And this time it really is a matter of deep conviction to trust. Now, I usually associate the words "faith" and "trust" with each other, because a lot of times in matters of trust, there is faith involved, and vise versa.
Last Friday I received a text message from a friend, with a web address attached, and the words "I'm going"... The url wasn't specific in the nature of the site, so I figured it must be a conference or something. She also stated that she wasn't sure how she would afford it, but that she had registered, and was trusting God to provide for what He told her to do. Immediately I felt a tug on my heart. I knew God was asking me to be the one to help bring this about for her. Thinking it was simply a conference or something (nothing to expensive right?), I mentally agreed to help with the costs of it.
It was a busy day, and I didn't end up looking up the website until later that night, and what I found was profoundly different than what I had been expecting. This was not just a weekend conference, this was a trip - possibly costing several hundreds to thousands of dollars. I didn't see anything about how much it cost to go on one of the trips, but I did hear God tell me a dollar amount that I was supposed to give to this friend. I questioned God. For two days. "Are you really sure that amount, God?" "I could maybe do half that..?!?" He was asking me to give roughly a third of my bank account (that I have been so diligently trying to build up in preparation for YWAM). Deep breath. "okay, God."
Since the beginning of January (around the time of my car accident), God had been continually speaking to me one simply word. "Manna". Over and over again, I heard Him speaking to me about trusting Him with TODAY. "Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow has enough worries of its own" (Matthew 6:34). Again and again, I trusted him; with my health, where I was going to live, finances for YWAM, the turning of events when the school in Montana got postponed, redirection and then the letdown of not getting to move to Germany, etc. But this, this was a HUGE step.
"Do you trust me?", I heard God asked once again. "Do you believe that I will take care of your tomorrows?" I tried to reason with God, "But... there's only a month until the SOW in Denver starts, and I still have a lot of money to raise". "Than that's a lot of tomorrows you're going to have to trust me with", I heard God reply.
Another deep breath.
Sunday came. My pastor has been going through the book of Exodus "until God says to stop", and this week he was teaching on tithing, using the example of the Isrealites need to trust God, and His provision of.... yup, manna.
There was a quote in the sermon notes that really stood out to me (not that I was getting the idea already!!!). It said, "God will not hold you accountable for how much you have done, but for how much you have done that he asked you to do."
Read it again.
I knew what God was asking me to do. I knew that the money He had entrusted me with was actually not mine. He had already been showing me that I need to live for today, and be obedient to what He asked me to do TODAY, because tomorrow isn't promised. And, I realized that in order to be in a position to receive more from the Lord, perhaps I needed to be a little more "empty".
And, God also positioned my heart in such a way, that I was cheerfully giving (2 Corinthians 9:7 - which also talks about giving what we have already decided in our hearts to give). I had already decided to be the means of provision for my friend, even before knowing how much that might require of me.
Is it scary? Yes. Does it look foolish to others? Absolutely. But I know what God asked me to do, and yesterday I wrote (and mailed) the check for the designated amount that God told me.
I once heard an analogy relating to the cost of faith and trust. It went something like this:
If I come to a stream in life that is 5' across, is it really faith to say "oh man, i really hope I can get across this one?". What about when the streams come that are ten-fifteen feet across? Now that may take a lot more effort, and a running start, but they're fairly achievable.
What about when you come up to the Red Sea, which is estimated to be over 200 MILES across. Now that is faith, to stand at the edge and rest in the confidence of God's ability to get you across (or over or through).
You really have to trust that in God's ability to be who He says that He is in order to reach the other side. Trust is realizing that nothing in our own ability could bring about the result of faith (being certain of that which we do not see, and being sure of what we hope for - Hebrews 11:1).
Do I know how the SOW in Denver is going to be paid for? No. Do I know if I will even be able to go? No. But, I do know that MY GOD is BIG enough. If He can cause the water of a sea to be build up and dry land to part through the middle of it, than surely He can provide for me.
Can I trust God? With all that I am, I do.
"Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?" (Matthew 6:26)