Living Intentionally in Trust
At our retreat last weekend, the first for two and a half years, I shared some thoughts on trust. Specifically, I talked about the times when you are at a fork in the road, and you just don’t know what to do. You feel like a rabbit in headlights and in complete limbo.
How do you trust God in these decisions?
- Does trusting God mean taking a relaxed approach? Whatever will be will be?
- Does it mean going to the doctor when you are ill?
- Does it mean staying at home and praying when you are ill?
- Does it mean only reading the Bible?
- Does it mean doing loads of research?
- Does it mean only listening to certain friends’ opinions?
- Does it mean letting a child play by a motorway trusting God to keep her safe?
Matthew 25: The Parable of the Bags of Gold
14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
In this passage Jesus tells the story of a business owner. Two men invest their portions, take a risk and make decisions about what to invest in. Were they trusting God, the banker, their employer or themselves? Did it matter?
One didn’t want to take a risk, he lived out of a stance of fear, and he didn’t trust himself or his employer’s instructions. He chose to bury his portion and keep it safe.
We assume the two investors knew that they would succeed, but they can’t have done otherwise the third one would have done exactly the same. There was a risk involved and decisions had to be made. The last employee was just unwilling to make that decision.
That man was punished because it was his responsibility to make a choice and hiding the money out of fear wasn’t the best choice. He decided not to decide, and that means he chose not to take responsibility and that was his downfall…
What if trusting God is simply trusting that God is our Abba Father and we are free to make decisions and fall on our faces sometimes, trust the Lord loves us no matter what and we are free to make mistakes and get messy?
- What if perfection isn’t the goal but the journey and our relationship with God is?
- What if we trusted God enough to be who we are and make the decisions that we want to?
- What if we stop analysing whether we are trusting God enough and go out and live our lives using the tools that God has given us?
He gave us: a brain, our experiences, our bodies, education, wisdom, relationships, and our love
There isn’t always a right or wrong choice to be made. It’s just a choice. God can be trusted in all these choices. God isn’t to be found in one path and not the other. We don’t fall out of his will for our lives.
It’s so hard to figure out, but God is infinite and outside of our knowledge. So isn’t that trusting living life in freedom and love because you are 100% sure he has got your back!!!
So, wherever our decisions take us, God is there. He is more interested in our heart when we make these decisions.
“If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.”
So, take leaps of faith. Make decisions that all things considered feels the best and then know and trust that it doesn’t matter if it’s not.
- Have you made any decisions in the past that have made you fall off God’s path?
- Have you made a decision where instantly you have felt God retract?
- We make second rate decisions all the time, in thoughts and words and deeds, and it’s ok!
You will never know 100%, but on a practical level what does this mean?
Pray, worship, read the Bible, listen to podcasts, read books, talks to others, research options, take one step at a time, picture 5 years from now with each scenario.
Keep close to Jesus.
He has your back!