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How Much Do You Trust God?

How Much Do You Trust God?

In 1980, I loved with two men, neither of which was Marcus Lamb. I had not met him yet, but the Lord would totally set me up.

The first of those two men was Jesus. Now when I say that I can just see some of you rolling your eyes. But I’m not at all wanting to romanticize the past or sound super spiritual. It’s simply a true statement that is critical to my life story. I received Jesus early in life as a child and was baptized in the Holy Spirit at thirteen. From then on, I loved my church and being with God’s people. I was involved in the youth and the youth choir and sang in the church choir and even taught a Sunday school class to second grade kids. I didn’t do it because I had to. I did it because I got to! Serving was an important part of my spiritual growth. Most importantly though, Jesus had captured my heart, and drawn me into an intimate relationship with Him that would sustain me my whole life.

My dream was to get married, have a home, some kids, and raise a family. That’s what I wanted and there’s nothing wrong with that . . . unless.

There was a strange uneasiness gnawing at me in my spirit that over the years I've come to know as the voice of the Holy Spirit. It’s an inner prompting, nudge, uneasiness, or confirming peace that has become more honed as I’ve grown in my relationship with Him. Sometimes it’s a gentle whisper that cuts through all the noise and other voices, even my own, pulling at me. Concerning the man that I thought I loved, God was letting me know this was not His perfect will for me. But oh, how I wanted it to be! My pastor’s wife confirmed the word that the Holy Spirit had dropped in me when she came to me and said, "I know that God has a plan for your life, Joni." And then she tenderly told me, "I don't think this person is God's will for you. We love you and are praying for you.” I remember at the time thinking, "I'm not listening to that. I don't want to hear that." But it was a seed that was planted that I would recall later.

The Lord’s answer was simply, "Obey me." Those words kept ringing in my spirit, "Obey me." I knew what I had to do—break it off and trust that God had something better. I had no idea what was in my future. And it's easy to make a decision when we know what's on the other side of obedience, but when we don't know what's on the other side of obedience, and we make it just because we love God. That’s when God knows whether He can really trust us, will we be obedient when we don’t know what the future holds. That’s real trust.

Needless to say, my guy didn't take it very well. There were shouts and hurtful things said. There was pain and there were tears. He yelled, "You take your God and . . .” Well, you get it. That was an eye opener and a confirmation that he was not the one for me. Nevertheless, I still felt guilty, like a piece of me had broken off for letting him go. One thing was for sure though, the ordeal was making it crystal clear that I was making the right choice. As time passed, he would move on and marry a nice girl and have a family. The breakup wasn't catastrophic compared to the devastating storms that some have experienced, or what I would eventually experience, but at that season in my life, it was still a traumatic storm. I was beginning to learn what it meant to trust the Lord and be obedient through the turbulence.

Some storms are big. Some storms are small. They can be category five hurricanes, or local thunderstorms. Either way God wants us to trust Him. Small storms can feel big though. They’re like having a flat tire on the busy interstate. It’s not big in comparison to things like the death of a child or spouse, or when the doctor utters the words, “It’s cancer.” Yet, a flat tire is terribly inconvenient and frustrating, especially when it’s raining. It’s messy and your whole life stops until the issue is resolved and you get going again. Those unexpected delays seem to have a special way of testing our patience and trust. These delays don’t necessarily mean denial, like you are out of God’s will. They actually can be God’s protection.

On occasion however, God calls us right into the storm. The storm in Noah's life started way before the rain did. It started when he said, “yes” to God and began building the boat. Things got pretty tough for Noah, but it saved his family and humanity. God was right there guiding when Joseph was in the storm of being thrown in the pit, sold into slavery, false accusation, fourteen years of prison, finally to the other side of walking in God’s dream for him, and saving Israel in the process. It was then Joseph was able to look at his brothers who had betrayed him and say, “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (Genesis 50:20). Joseph was in God’s perfect will all the time he was in the storm of Egypt and prison, but he remained faithful.

It’s while we’re in the midst of the turbulence that trust and faith come in because if you really believe that He is holding you in the palm of His hand, you can rest in the reality that He sees you and is in the process of bringing you through to the other side. The problem is, dark skies, thunder and lightning, cutting wind and rain, raging waves, completely block us from seeing the other side, and it can be quite scary, especially when we can’t see the Lord. Yet, that’s when He whispers through the gale, "Trust Me. I see something that you don't see. It's coming. Hold My hand."

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