He Loves Me!
This devotional is a series of excerpts from Wayne Jacobsen's life changing book, He Loves Me! Download a PDF of this book by clicking the link below.
Day 14: Only Trust Him
Trust. It is so easy to talk about, but so hard to put into practice. Nothing is more theologically certain than that God is faithful and trustworthy. But learning how to live in that trust through the twists and turns of our lives is the most difficult challenge we face. It took God almost Abraham's entire life to teach Abraham the joy of trusting him. But he did it. Even when he was asked to give up his only son and heir, he trusted God's plan and God's nature enough to set about the task. This, from the one who had risked his wife's virtue by lying to Pharaoh that she was not his wife. This, from the one who had impregnated his wife's maidservant when it didn't appear God would give Sarah the child he promised.
To accomplish that, God did some extraordinary things for Abraham. Rest assured, God knows how difficult it is for you to trust him. He is not threatened by that nor angry with you. He simply wants you to keep your eye on him and learn. He knows that only by trusting him can you participate in relationship with him and enjoy the fullness of life in his household. He also knows that you'll trust him only to the degree that you are certain of his love for you.
This is why he created you and why he designed such an extraordinary plan to teach you exactly how to lay aside your fears and walk into his arms. Then he can scoop you up, hold you closely to himself and fulfill what began in his heart for you since before the creation of the world. This is the journey of a lifetime-to trust him more and more everyday for the rest of our lives. The more we trust him, the more of his life we can experience. But don't try to do this on your own. You don't have it in you. He can take you by the hand and teach you just how much you are loved so that you no longer have to pursue your own way and protect yourself in ways that only seem to backfire, hurting you and others around you.
We had just completed a spirited discussion on God's grace from Paul's letter to the Galatians at a men's retreat in the Sierra Nevada mountains. A young man had been waiting to talk with me for some time until enough people cleared out so we could talk privately.
"Over these two days I've listened to you talk about God as a loving Father. Since I became a Christian I have only served a mean God, fearful every day that I might miss his will and be rejected. I really want to believe he is the incredible Father you speak about, but I've decided not to."
"Really?" I asked. "Why is that?"
"I'm just not sure you're right. I've thought about this over the last day or so and I've made a decision. I'm going to keep serving the mean God." He had it all worked out. "The way I figure it, if I'm right and serve the mean God, then I'll be fine on judgment day. If I'm wrong and he is the Father you're talking about, he will understand why I did what I did. But if I change now and serve this loving Father, what happens if he turns out to be the mean God I've always thought him to be? Then I'm in trouble."
"Certainly, that's your choice," I told him. "But before you do, can I ask you a question?"
"Would the God you're serving ever trade his life on a cross for yours?"
He looked up at me and shook his head. "No way!"
"Then how can he be the God of Bible?"
God knew it wouldn't be easy for us to accept such an incredible offer of friendship, which is why he went to such lengths to convince us. I was only with him for a weekend and I don't know how he has walked it out since, but he is like so many others I've met along the journey. Out of the dissonant portraits of God they have decided that it is safer to treat him as the mean God.
They don't have any idea just how wrong they are.
And they don't know that fearing a demanding God, will never take them into the house. They will never be able to do enough to earn what he wants to give them. To enter the house we must trade our fear of him for a love that is far stronger.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. -Matthew 11:29