TODAY, I want to walk around the word TRUST. Trust and faith are big church words - they’re similar yet different-especially I would say in practically ways.
Often our church words need some extra clarity for our Monday thru Saturday application! I had an experience the other day which really moved me – more than it might seem and it felt like one of those God moments where God was reminding me of a key Word/concept/truth- which I forget then I remember then I forget- yea, lame- super key and yet off and on.
I had a real busy day at work here in LA. I needed to get a lot done on a very tight schedule which I had laid out from early morning till the evening.
At one point I got a rental truck and picked up some big heavy equipment to send to a school in Japan. Getting the items paid for and loaded took more time than it should have, and I started to get anxious.
As I was leaving the parking lot of that store an old man and woman were just starting to walk across the street- so in a split-second I needed to decide- just go quick and it’ll be okay but it might look a little rude. OR wait-
and let them cross but they looked super old and real slow – like late 80’s or 90’s and both- both of them had walkers. Ugh. So, in that instant I felt myself lean toward, choose, a softer heart moment so I waved them across- at that moment I felt something good- LIKE I leaned a little towards God, the God way, the God in me won if you will. No big deal but cool.
Then 2/3 of the way across the street, people are now waiting behind me and waiting to turn in to this street- the lady – in broken English flashes a piece of paper at me and asks “Social security office? “ Where Social Security office??
I could barely see the words on the paper but understood- “Sorry I said – I’m not from around here. But wait, let me ask Siri! So, one car honks, I can feel people are anxious- ugh- yes, Siri shows me a map and its up the street and to the left and then somewhere over there- I tell her and she seems to understand – sort of – I wave, yea, yea, go and turn left! Ok, now people are wanting us all to get going and the couple slowly gets to the other side and I quickly drive away and get back on google maps and how to get to the next place I need to be ASAP!
So I get a few blocks away and stop at a light and I get a feeling I know but its subtle- it’s what I know is the HS- it’s a tickle- for me it’s a gentle feeling that makes me slow down and smile- I literally smile- as though I am about to say something funny-
so then I picture in my mind that paper the woman was holding- it had like 4 bus lines noted- like take bus 131 to which stop and bus 12 to which and then bus # what to where and suddenly my heart sank- what the heck- this old couple with their walkers- barely able to walk have taken like 4 buses – probably hours with LA buses to get to where they are/were and now seemed unsure….
ugh…should I go back? No, I have a truck and no place for them, no seats for them, how can I help? They didn't even speak English and I don’t speak Spanish- oh man- I’m late! I have a busy day! I was in a tipping point moment-
(show scale) I bought this for this!
I was weighing God’s whisper against my reality- my need to go! I was weighing what I felt MIGHT Be – not sure- but might be – the HS versus my own read on things- which felt very pressing and real!
I suddenly felt I was weighing
My trust in God versus .... my Trust in me
Yea, My Trust in God and the HS and the guidance in that moment ORmy own understanding and feelings and what I was thinking
One might flash to this passage although I didn’t:
Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding”
So stay focused and get going or…. go as it felt the Spirit was leading…
Ok, so the light turned green and I smiled and made a U-turn and then….got excited!
Its crazy that when I have felt this kid of whisper /tickle moment- I would say 90% of the time it’s ended up being very cool and amazing stuff unfolds and I feel and see God in me or in someone else or it’s just like the coolest- like an adventure with God! ---But I still hesitate!!
So I head back and see them struggling along – they made the turn so good I guess and I double check what Siri gave me for the directions to the SS office- oh man- it’s like 1 kilometer down and around on this street- so it’s there but not close.
Suddenly I see a group of 3 kids walking along the street- it’s an office area complex and seems deserted- probably due to Covid but these 3 black kids are walking along- 2 girls and a guy. I open my window and ask- “Hey, do you know if the SS office is over there? “ “Yea”, they say, “but it’s not open- it’s all online- you know- Covid.”
Oh man I say- “see that older couple coming towards us- they’re trying to get there and took like 4 buses to get this far and they don’t speak English and look – I have no seats for them”
They looked concerned but also like uh, ok, so – what do do we do???
So, I pull over, get out, and go meet the older couple and try to explain – just as I get to them, so do these 3 kids- and suddenly the guy starts speaking to them! They didn’t speak Spanish they spoke Tagalog! – The couple were Filipino!
The girl said,” yea, he’s ½ Filipino so he speaks Filipino”. I got goose bumps- no way. I just blurted out- well this is totally God! They all smiled and nodded like yea, like they felt it too.
So, the guy explained it all to them and I decided I could just get them an Uber and did and paid for the driver to take them home. It was like $30 bucks and would take maybe 20 minutes- I wondered how long those 4 buses had taken...in LA..likely hours- wow. When the driver arrived, he seemed unusually confused by all this- you mean you are just going to pay for this couple and you never met them? He asked like 3 times! I said yea, yea, it should be fine right? Yea, yea, just weird and the kids smiled- we all could feel our partnering with God and the sort of holiness at this moment.
So not a big deal but it was a true moment for me- a reminder- and then I realized I was still late so – feeling like God was now riding with me sort of- I said “ok God show me where to turn to get gas now”- and he actually did
and as I pulled in and started to get gas- the guy across from me asked if I could spare a couple of dollars for a gallon of gas so he and his daughter – maybe like 5 years old- could get home- I told him quite seriously , You know I think God just set this up- I can fill your tank.
He confidently replied, Yes, I told my daughter this morning- we’ll pray, and God will help us. And we did and he did. Wow- another moment.
Time is short but I can tell you I had 2 more moments in that packed day and I was perfectly fine- all on schedule- got some help when I needed it and felt that warm, peaceful contentment when I know- I know- God and I just had a good day.
As I reflected on this whole experience, I realized that this was a Trust moment. That trust was the key word. I often talk about Faith and that’s appropriate and obviously big - so does the Bible! But this day and in these moments, I felt like Trust trumped faith- that this was Faith at another level- Trust.
I often preach faith and feel its right-huge actually. Faith for salvation, faith for this and faith for that- faith for my healing!
The Bible says clearly in Hebrews:
“Without Faith it’s impossible to please God”
Not without worship, or without prayer, or even love, or knowing your Bible ,or not sinning,…- without Faith. And I will argue this could accurately be restated- “Without Trusting God it’s impossible to please Him.
But in my reflecting, I felt like God was saying – this is what Trust looks like. I felt God meant “Trust is in someone and Faith is for something”. Trust is in someone and Faith is for something. I don’t think this was Bible commentary – this was God helping me see these English words and what He wanted me to see that day.
Like God was saying Trusting Him is walking with Him and that Trusting him- like Abraham for example- is a walk of not knowing what or where or how… but only in whom we trust
So, let’s go back to the scale- here is what I feel. Trust or faith is a battle- a battle to keep it – a daily battle!
we have many things being added to the other side of Trust and faith- and they are fear and what if- lots of what ifs- what if I’m late- what if we miss this shipment, what if I don’t get healed, what if I can’t find another job, what if, what if;
and over here? What do I have to add over here on the God side?
What does God say – in his word- and to ME just now or recently!
What IS God saying – ask and listen!
What has God done for us – in his word and for me- my own testimonies!
I need to tip the balance to Trust
I need to tip the balance to God
I need to fill my heart and mind with God’s word and deeds - actively!
I must offset my “what ifs “and “buts”- “but what if this?” and “but what if this?”
Romans 10:10 in the NIV says:
"For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."
The bible clarifies: we believe with our hearts and our mind?..... well our mind needs taming, training, and renewal (like Romans 12:2 says) and help to stay on track-
we need “big Hearts” not “big buts” (I just love saying that)
The “what ifs” and “but what abouts” - they distract us and tip the balance to fear, anxiety and self-reliance and away from God
So, If I had to say- how we do tip to trust?
I would say:
Know your Bible and what it says about whatever YOU are worried about or facing
Document your God moments and what God has said to you
Find what Jesus said about your topic or issue or anything related to what you face and be ready to add that to the scale in your heart-
You wanna know why you feel anxious or depressed or afraid? Check you balance! Hmm, looks like you have what the doctors said but what did God say?
Looks like you see a big “What if I can’t pay the rent?”
You been thinking about that a lot! But you’re missing all the passages on God’s provision and how Has guided and provided all these years! Amen? Amen!
Philippians 4:8 and 9
Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]. 9 The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things [in daily life], and the God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you.
“Think instead on these things!”
I want to pray with you and/but…one of my other favorite sayings…
YOU have to balance your own scale
WE can pray but YOU need to add the Word and deeds of God to your scale.