March 16, 2010

Leaning and Trusting = Believing

Okay, so now I am getting a bit worried. My friend, the nurse, told me that this cold/flu crud that is going around takes about 7-10 days to live through AND then two weeks to get over. This is my third week (after the 7-10 days) and I have to report that while I feel better, I am still coughing and my chest feels tight (that feeling that you need to cough but you cannot). The thought passed through my brain this morning that perhaps this is turning into pneumonia. I have had pneumonia before, and it was not fun. Drats!

I will see how I feel today, and perhaps will call and make an appointment with my Dr's office for a checkup. I haven't been in to see him in a long while, but I don't want this to get any worse. I am starting to "hack" again, after a good week of nothing much at all. Sigh!

On an unrelated note, I have been thinking more about learning to lean on the Lord. Our Pastor gave a great message on Sunday, where he used this phrase "leaning on the Lord." The point was that when we become deceived and distracted (Satan's chief ploy), we must lean on the Lord so that we can refocus our attention back to our mission.

I guess I should explain about this series...

Our Pastoral staff has titled our next preaching series "Quarter Life: The Big Adventure." The focus of the message is to look at our church and the next 25 years of it's life. Our church just turned 25, and the series is about keeping the church healthy and whole as it moves into adulthood. At first, I thought the series was OK, you know...good to know stuff. However, each week, I am beginning to see what is really going on. Yes, on the outside the message is about the church as a whole, but on the inside it is really about the church body -- You and Me -- and what we must do to survive this life healthy and whole.

On Sunday, the message title was "Hocus-Focus," a play on the words Hocus Pocus. The idea being that Hocus is Latin and literally means to distract or deceive. The word Pocus is nothing, it has no literally meaning, but is associated with magicians and conjurers. Our Pastor chose to put Hocus with Focus because that is what he believes is the key to surviving Satan's attack.

One of the things he said was that when we are being deceived (by man, by philosophy, by ideas, etc.) we must lean on the Lord for wisdom. This reminded me of the Amplified Bible where in Proverbs 3:5, the word TRUST, is expanded or explained as:

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.

The main point being that to TRUST means that we must be able to lean on or be confident in someone or some thing. It is more than simply wishing it or wanting it to be so -- we must have confidence that it is so.

This reminded me that when I trust in the Lord, I am choosing to lean on Him and to place my confidence in His abilities. I am in essence saying: "Lord, I am trusting in You because You are God." There is nothing else needed, because taking confidence in Him means that I must:
  • Believe that He is God
  • Believe that as God He knows what is best/right/good for me or my situation (always)
  • Believe that as God He can do whatever is needed, when it is needed
  • AND, believing that He is God, I can rest and take confidence that nothing I need or experience is ever outside His realm, His reach, or His intervention
When we lose our trust in God, we begin to doubt. The Enemy chooses to attack us at some point, and cause us to doubt God. With me, my biggest weakness is FEAR. Our Pastor gave a great acronym for the word Fear: False Evidence As Real. Bingo. This is exactly what happens to me. I begin to look at something, some evidence and take it to be real or truth. Instead, it is false, it is fake, it is fantasy. Often, there is some kernel of truth, some aspect of reality mixed in which makes it so subtle and difficult to expose. I look at something and immediately experience fear. I immediately think: "Oh, this cannot be right. Something is just not right here."

I did this today. I was faced with a test, of sorts. I was given a chance to prove whether or not I would stay on focus, stay on mission, or whether I would fall off and be distracted. I chose to stay on mission, to stay focused on what I KNOW is truth. In doing so, I was able to quickly quench that sense of fear, that sense of "Oh, no...what if?" and quietly say "The Lord knows what is right. He knows what is best for me." Afterward, I immediately had that confirmation that told me, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

It is interesting to note because this has happened to me more than once over the last few months. I have been presented with some facts, some data that is important to my overall acceptance of the Lord's will. But, I sense fear, and begin to doubt whether or not what the Lord is telling me is true. Our Pastor said that there is only one place where there has never been any lying and it is within the Trinity. Truth is always told between Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

It is only within this realm, the worldly and fallen realm, that we experience deceit. The Word says that Satan is the father of all lies, he is the deceiver, the deceptor. His role is to deceive us into believing that God is not able to do what He has promised us. He wants us to believe that God is not God.

My lesson learned today is simply this: when faced with a fearful situation (fear in and of itself is not bad) remember to LEAN ON AND TRUST IN THE LORD. Place your confidence in Him as God, and acknowledge that He knows what is best for you. As you do this, you will find your fear subsiding and your confidence returning and strengthening.

God is God and He is so Good. Nothing that comes from His hand is second-best. Nothing that He provides is less than abundant. Nothing that He chooses is less than perfect. His Will, His Way, His Plans...they are all Good, all Perfect, all Best. They are the essence of what He is -- which is GOOD. Therefore, if the Lord tells you something today, if He instructs you in some matter, if He directs you to some place...do not tarry, do not question Him...simply TRUST AND KNOW THAT HE IS GOD AND THAT WHAT HE IS DOING AND SAYING IS GOOD.

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