It's been a while (9 Months in fact) but I have decided to pick up the old pen and pad (keyboard and screen) and jot down what God has been teaching me and see what you guys think. I hope you enjoy!
As a young man it may not surprise you that I love the gut-wrenching, adrenaline-pumping, chest hair flowing nature of war movies. Whether it's the suspense as the soldiers try to capture a town or the fear you feel for them as they are hunkered down in a foxhole with bombs exploding around them, they suck me in and get my heart racing. Here recently some of my friends and I have been watching Band of Brothers, which is one of my all time favorites. The issue of War is one that through movies and the history books our culture is very used to.
So it should be no surprise that in the church we often talk about wars as well. We have the great physical battles of the old testament, whether that be David and Goliath or Gideon or even Joshua and Jericho. We also talk about the spiritual warfare as angels and demons fight all around us too. Pastors such as John Piper are also very keen on talking about warring over sin, the idea that we fight against sin and fight for purity.
However I think there is one war that no one is talking much about. This war can at times be silent, and while it is often in the background of our lives it has bearing on every circumstance of life. The Great War I speak of is the war over Trust.
You may be sitting there reading this thinking "Dustin, what in the world are you talking about? You are telling me that the greatest war going on is fought over trust?" Before you hit that nice little red x in the top of your screen humor me and allow me to explain.
Imagine you are sitting in a bland ole town with nothing, when all of a sudden a travel agent offers you to go on the best vacation you could possibly think of.... It promises relaxation and restoration of every part of you... and the best part it's a free gift from a Pilot. He tells you of this great Pilot who is not only going to pick you up where you are at but He is personally going to fly you all the way there and ensure your arrival at your destination.
So you get on the plain and you fly there trusting in the pilot to not only take you from your current state but also trusting him to fly you all the way there safely and land at your destination safely. Why would you trust this Pilot??? You trust the pilot because he has promised to take you there safely and because He is the most qualified person to fly the plane, right?
How ridiculous would it be if you let the pilot take off and as soon as the plane was in motion you asked the pilot to give you the controls?? We would say that's absurd, it's not our job to fly the plane so we should sit back and enjoy our role.
I think often times that is exactly what goes on in the lives of Christians though. We say Jesus I trust you to save me out of my current mess, and I trust you that one day that you will bring me to my destination. But in the air time between our past and future we want to fly the plane.
When God saves us He promises to change our heart and transform us into likeness of His son Jesus. When it comes to this process we want to say "Hey God, thanks for getting this plane started, but how about I fly this for a bit. Let me show you that I can do this. I'll let you land it, but let me prove to you I can fly this on my own"
Deep down when we sin and see weakness within ourselves our gut reaction is to pray harder or read more scripture or fast more. In so doing under the disguise of spirituality is a heart that learns to trust more in actions for God than God himself. We think we will be pure if we do more.
Meanwhile Jesus from the cross is screaming stop trying war against what I have already defeated. Jesus cries for us to have faith in Him, not to have faith in our faith in Him.
Paul tells us in his letter to the Philippians
"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6)
and again in his letter to the Galatians
"Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?" ?(Galatians 3:3)
We too often desire to trust in ourselves, when God simply desires for us to trust in Him. To trust that He will finish what He began. We still pray and we still read the Bible and we still fast, however, we no longer do those things so that we will be free from sin. We do those things to praise God because He is freeing us. We no longer read the Bible seeing what do I need to do next we instead read it as what has God done for me which evokes a response from us. Because God is on the throne we don't have to be!!!!
So instead of trying to fight the pilot for the controls to our plane, let's sit back, obey what He says and allow our heart to trust in One who is much greater than us to do a work that is much greater than us.