Thursday, May 3, 2007

A Revelation About Faith And Trust

So cool, that last post had a lot of interesting thoughts and observations. But where was I going with all of that? What's the result? Where's the revelation? (Watch closely now, because this is going to hit you fast!)

Exercising your faith produces trust! Faith (mature faith) becomes trust!

Wham-O. Are you still there? I did warn you!! That's a pretty big claim to make without evidence, so I'd like to share a couple of stories with you. God has taken such good care of me. He always gives me favor with people, and He'll pay my way if I give Him even half a chance!

When I was in college, one semester the bill came and I didn't have the money to pay for the part that wasn't covered by loans. My Mom was handling all my financial stuff at the time, but with this bill, she did something different. She handed me the bill and she said, "I don't know what to do about this. You're going to have to deal with this." This was soon after I turned my life over to God, so I took the bill and went upstairs to my closet. In the dark, surrounded by hanging clothes, I started talking to God. "Dad, I don't have the solution for this. I don't have the money for it. There isn't anything that I can do."

"But You have the solution. I know You want me to finish school, so I'm going to believe that You'll pay this bill for me." Immediately, Phillipians 4:19 popped into my head.

Phillipians 4:19
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Over the next couple weeks, I made up a confession and spent time in my closet just thanking God for taking care of me. The due date for the bill came and passed, and then the school contacted us. It turned out that they were going to increase the amount of my loan to cover the part I couldn't pay! Praise the Lord!

Now, I'm not saying, "Trust God for loans to pay all your bills temporarily" but at the time, that was where my faith was. I could believe God for that and, while I'm certain I was limiting Him and His goodness, it was still a break through for me! We all have to start somewhere, so don't feel badly if you start out believing God for something small.

When you decide to rely on God's provision for you, exercising your faith like that produces a history of expected behavior. It changes your mindset from "I have to take care of myself." to "God always provides for me!" In the beginning, it doesn't make logical sense to trust in a Being you've never seen for your welfare, but to your spirit (which is always in the presence of the Lord) it makes perfect sense! Eventually, you can train your mind to line up with your spirit. You can come to a place where you EXPECT God to take care of you. (This is that renewing your mind stuff we talked about earlier!)

Jeremiah 29:11&12
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

You'll grow to the point where, whatever the challenge, the first thing you'll want to do is talk to God. He will be your answer for every question. It will spring up out of your heart naturally, without your having to do anything particularly fancy or spiritual.

About a year ago (after the incident with the school bill), I had to go to the hospital for some testing. Because of some issues with our health insurance, it wasn't covered. My Mom didn't know what we were going to do about the bill, since we'd been having some financial difficulties. I had been spending time with God, reading my bible, and getting to know Him better, so I honestly wasn't very worried. In my heart, I just couldn't work up any concern. I don't remember my exact reply to her, but I do know I reminded her of the school bill and said the Lord would take care of it.

(Side note: When you are first learning to rely on God, some people are going to have a hard time when you say that God will take care of you. It can sound to them like you just don't want to deal with the issue. My advice is to be very nice, very respectful, and don't get mad. You don't have to force people to agree with you! God will bless you whether anyone agrees with you or not!)

Some time later, my Mom called the hospital to set up a payment plan. I wasn't around for the beginning of the phone call, but I wandered into the room as she was hanging up. Boy, was she excited!! "Sam, guess what!!! I just called the hospital and they said your bill has already been paid!" I started laughing and Mom grabbed my arm and gave me a little shake! "It gets better! I asked the lady if the health insurance had covered it after all, and she said NO!! She said that she can tell that the health insurance didn't pay for it, but the balance on that account is zero!!" God had supernaturally paid my medical bill!

If some of you are stuck in religion, you're going to have a hard time with what I'm about to say next. I never prayed about that bill! I never asked God to pay that bill for me!! The previous challenges that I'd faced had proved in my heart that God was my only source. The image of my Father was so clear in my heart that it didn't matter what came against me. That bedrock trust gave God the freedom to just keep the blessings flowing on my behalf!

Proverbs 3:5&6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

I'm going to close now. I tried so hard to keep this message short, but oh well. ^_^ There is one more chapter to this series, and I'll try to resist posting it for a couple days. I hope this is blessing you!!



Cap. said...

not a quibble, but question instead:
Doesn't God want us to pray and ask him for things? It seems contrary to what you're saying; and while I guess I understand what you're saying, this discrepancy hadn't occurred to me in this way before: "God will provide for us" - so we can trust in him providing and not worry. But Jesus tells us to ask God for whatever we need - and trust that he will give it. So which do I do? I've had points in the past where I didn't ask for something, and when it fell apart later, I've wondered if it did so (or didn't happen) because I didn't pray for it to.
[I'm reminded of God telling Mo "I'm gonna pwn Israel, and then you'll be r00t and it'll all be good." But Mo goes: "D00d, God, that won't look good, all the hater's 'll be like 'Yo, he's hack'n foo'" - and God ***changed his mind***
That part always gets me.

(Forgive my 1337speak.)

Samantha F. said...

Hey Snype~

This post was me sharing my thoughts about trusting God and what that really is. I felt like God simplified things for me a little bit and I wanted to pass it on.

Asking God for help or provision is great. I wasn't trying to say "Don't ask God for help". (Not worrying doesn't mean that you don't pray!) I was using that story of the hospital bill as an example of how trusting God can become something natural. It can be your default position no matter what you're facing.

"You'll grow to the point where, whatever the challenge, the first thing you'll want to do is talk to God. He will be your answer for every question. It will spring up out of your heart naturally, without your having to do anything particularly fancy or spiritual."

Asking God for help is the first step in building/growing trust. I was just saying that you can reach a place in your relationship with God where you expect Him to take care of you. That's trusting God.

Thanks for your questions, Snype! I really do appreciate them. Sometimes I get too wordy and need to simplify. God's been telling me to say things shorter!

Gamer speak is fine! If I can't understand it, I'll ask one of my friends. ^_^ So w00t for the comment!!

Cap. said...

Ah Samantha -
I wouldn't criticize you for sharing what God is doing with you - I'm just always the inquisitive type. :~)