Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

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Pandemic Perspective – Part 127 Trust in His unfailing love

Psalms 143:8-10

8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for I give myself to you 9 Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, I run to you to hide me 10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.

Many of us hold back from trusting God because of our current view of Him which is often based on our past and our parents. So in order to trust we have to break from our past and for that we need a fresh view. Today I would ask that you would pray for a fresh start, that you would be willing to throw off everything that has hindered your view of God in the past. Psalm 143:8-10 is a great way to get a fresh view of who God is and what His desire is for you. My prayer for you today is that you see God for who He is, not only powerful and awesome, but the God who desires to love you and protect you.

The first truth we see about God is His unfailing love for us. Unfailing means inexhaustible and endless which is hard for us to grasp when most of us are used to performance based, conditional love. In order for us to accept and respond to His love we need to trust Him. Some of you, like me, have blamed God for bad things that have happened in your life. The last thing we want to do is get hurt again so we stop trusting the promises of God saying “God I trusted you before and look at where it got me”. When we believe that someone has treated us badly it is tough to get the trust back. Our love for God is conditional so we believe His will be as well but God has an inexhaustible and endless love for us. Sometimes because of His love He allows things to happen so that our faith will increase and often we don’t process this as love. 

Unconditional, inexhaustible and endless love is what we say we want and what many of us have been searching for only to experience broken relationships. Yet unconditional love is available to us through a relationship with God, but relationships require trust and each morning when we wake we are invited to step into His endless love. David had an intimate relationship with God where he prayed and opened himself up to God because of his trust in Him. Most of the time our prayer life revolves around what we want because we don’t really trust God enough to ask for what He wants. David’s trust in God allowed him to wake up each day and pray three things: Show Me, Rescue Me, and Teach Me. Do we trust in His perfect plan enough to give our life over to Him in our prayer life? Do we trust enough to say show me? Do we trust enough to really let Him rescue us? Do we trust enough to submit to His teaching?   What if our prayer started out each morning Show Me, Rescue Me, and Teach Me?  What if we started each day experiencing His unfailing love and opening our hearts to His leading, what if we followed our open hearts with open eyes going through the day expecting to see His leading, rescuing and teaching? Yet because of our trust issues our prayer life often starts with our minds already made up and our hearts closed to what God wants to say to us. The problem is that we don’t trust Him enough to let prayer change our opinion or our circumstances.

David’s prayer life consisted of crying out to God and asking God to show him the way he should go because David trusted in God enough to give himself over to Him. Do you want to know the way you should go or do you just want God to approve of the way you want to go? Have you given yourself to God or are you holding something back? Why would David ask God which way to go, shouldn’t he by now, as a man after God’s own heart, already know? But isn’t that how we approach life with God, walking with Him only long enough to get the instructions and then parting ways so we can go implement His plan alone. David understood that God’s way is doing life together, the goal isn’t instructions, its interaction. David acknowledges that it is God’s Spirit that leads us forward onto a firm footing. A firm footing or a solid foundation is built on trust and only when we have that can we really move forward.

David talks about running to God with his problems because he trusted God to hid and heal him. When I was a little kid and I was hurt I always ran to my mom because I trusted and believed that she would comfort me. Who you trust is where you will go with your problems and your pain. The reality is that all of us are hiding, either from God or in God. Is it time for you to trust? Today as you start your day will you pray:

“Lord, sometimes it seems that everything I touch I fail at so Lord today help me to feel your love for me. Show me the way I should go so that I don’t get lost and rescue me from ____________ as I am tired of fighting. Jesus come into my life and not only help me to feel your presence and your love but rescue me from the darkness that I am feeling right now. Lord please teach me your ways as I have failed at mine. Please put my feet on a firm footing as I feel lost and burdened. I do feel like I am tossed back and forth by the waves of life. I want to be secure in your presence. Lord forgive me for my sins and help me to forget my sin. I pray that the evil one would stop bringing up my past failures as you have already forgiven me. Jesus help me also to love others as you love me. Amen

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Pandemic Perspective – Part 126 Trusting with all my heart

Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. 

Many people want to know God’s Will for their life and most of the time the focus is on “God tell me so I can go do it”. What if the focus became God being the guide and leading us as we follow Him? But that would require trust and trust is a real problem in our society. Proverbs 3:5-6 are classic bible verses promising the Christian that God does guide, they start with us trusting in the Lord with all our heart, this means that we are willing to:

  • Get on Board

Before you can go sailing you have to get on board the boat, and that requires that you trust in both the boat and the captain. Getting on board is an act of faith and if you want to find God’s will you first have to put your trust in Him. In your heart you have to answer the question, “Is God trustworthy?” and “Am I willing to let God guide my life?”

In the Old Testament we have many examples of people of faith. Noah was a man of faith, and God told Noah to build a huge boat large enough to hold a zoo full of animals. Noah got on board with God’s plan because he trusted God. He began building the boat on dry land and he was obedient to God even though there was no large body of water around. By faith Noah was preparing for a flood, not because it looked like one was coming but because He believed God when he said one was. Noah and his family were laughed at by all in the community, at first trusting and following God seemed silly, but Noah trusted and continued to build by faith. To get on board requires trusting God with all of our heart, even when His plan doesn’t make sense. Many times we make halfhearted attempts to follow God simply because we do not fully trust Him. Jonah didn’t like God’s plan for His life so he tried to jump ship and head in a different direction. What ship are you on? 

  • Lean on Him

The natural out flow of trusting in God is leaning on Him. Often we will say we are trusting God but the practical reality is that we are still leaning on our own ability. In the sailing analogy this is setting the sail, trusting God is getting on board with His plan, but once we are on board we have to lean into His Will. Setting the sail takes it to the next level, it is acknowledging the Lord and surrendering to His will, this is putting our faith into action. There are some people who argue with God. “When God made me He made a big mistake!” “My life has no meaning.” There are others who get angry with God. They refuse to set the sail so they drift, going nowhere in life. Without God in your life your life has no ultimate purpose. You can only know God’s plan by accepting Him as Your guide and acknowledging Him as the Captain and Master of your life. A sailboat rudder is useless while the sails are down because without the wind filling the sails there is now power to direct our life and we are not really heading anywhere.  God provides the wind to fill the sails and give us momentum and direction in life. 

Sometimes God wants to change our course and when the wind changes we need to be ready to come bout. Sometimes we can feel His winds of change ahead of time but often they seem to catch us unaware but we are not unprepared because His wind always provides the needed forward momentum so the rudder can provide the change of course. But you can’t go any direction until the wind fills the sails. There are some people who refuse to alter their course even when they know that God is making it clear that it’s time to go in a new direction. You can’t afford to hang onto some good thing you have now, and run the risk of missing God’s best. Sometimes out on the sea of life the fog rolls in and we get confused, there are all sorts of voices shouting orders into the night, telling us what to do, how to adjust our lives. Out of the darkness, one voice signals something quite opposite to the rest, something almost absurd. Will we listen and allow God to fill the sail of our life?

  • Follow His lead

He will make your paths straight, he will direct your steps. God gives you the privilege of making choices, and He gives you the choice to follow His will. When it comes to listening to the captain the wheel that controls the direction of your life is in your hands. Will you take hold of the wheel that controls the rudder and steer your life following God as your guide? Think back to five years ago, would you have dreamed five years ago that you would be doing now what you are doing today? Would you have anticipated world events or economic changes that are happening now? God knew, it was not a surprise to Him. Are you fearful about your future? Is it time to give your future to God? Will you follow His lead living one day at a time, completely surrendered to His will? Here is the key, don’t lean on your understanding, trust God, and acknowledge that He is the One who is working in your life. Don’t give God half-hearted trust, give Him whole-hearted trust, it’s time to get on board.