Monday, April 14, 2014

Can I Be Trusted?

James Heath

As we began to plan and discuss how we would approach this idea of taking the “Next Step” our pastor asked some of us in leadership positions write a short devotional that would encourage our church to consider the role God would have them take as we move forward.  “Write about God’s faithfulness”, he said, and the more I considered this I’ve come to this conclusion.  We shouldn’t need to be convinced that God is faithful.  We need only read His word.  We need only take a serious inventory of our own lives, and if we honestly do that, there will only be one conclusion. GOD IS FAITHFUL.

If God can always be counted on to do what He says, then what’s the variable that keeps me from fully experiencing what God has for me?  What is it that hinders a full blown outbreak of God’s blessing in my life?  The only reasonable answer is me.  The only reason I don’t know Him in a deeper way is me.  There are thousands of reasons, and excuses, but it always boils down to just me.

Have you ever felt God calling you to join with Him in something and became so fearful that you waived Him off?  God can’t be speaking to me.  He only speaks to pastors, missionaries, those much longer in the faith, but not me. In the book of Exodus, the story of the Israelites is told as they move across the wilderness into what God has next for them.  In chapter 20 God gives them The Ten Commandments.  God speaks directly to them, and they were so in awe of what He was doing among them they asked Him to stop. “Speak to Moses and let him speak to us.  Don’t speak to us directly.”  Take a look at Exodus 20:18 and 19.

In the following chapters God invites the tribes of Israel to build him a dwelling place.  A place of worship, where He could meet with them, and in unison they declared, “we’re all in!”  Then just a few chapters later, after all that God had done, after all God had promised them, they are fashioning golden calves out of the very provision God intended to be used for His temple. They are breaking the first commandment they just agreed to follow.  Did God’s faithfulness change?  Did He show himself untrustworthy? It’s easy to point fingers.  I’ve never built a golden calf, but I’ve done things just as bad in God’s eyes.  Jesus said in Matthew 11:30 “my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  Even with that, I can think of time after time where I know that I’ve willfully chosen to do the opposite of what God asks of me.  So the question comes back to me.  Can I be trusted?  The answer varies from day to day.  The amazing thing is that each time I miss a step God’s merciful nature nudges my heart back in line.  God always looks at my potential, not my proclivity.  He always expects my obedience, but is more than prepared for my rebellious failures.

So, as I look forward, knowing that God wants to bless and do so much more for me if I would only join in, I find myself reflecting on the following verses and wondering what would happen if I fully embraced this way of thinking?

Psalm 40:8-11
8.  I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.”
9. I have told all your people about your justice. I have not been afraid to speak out, as you, O Lord, well know.
10. I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness.
11. Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me. Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me.

Yes, this time it’s just a parking lot, but have you ever taken a moment to think about who will come to hear the Good News because of it?  How much more does God want to do through us and what will He ask of us?

My prayer for our church is that we would join in what God wants to do, and be about proclaiming His faithfulness to anyone who will listen.  Now is the time for us to demonstrate that we will be trustworthy to do what He asks of us when He clearly speaks His will.

Can we be trusted?

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