2/7/11

Give Me Something More Practical

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

Several days ago the pastor of a local church spoke in our daily chapel at Northwestern College. It was one of the finest messages we've heard so far, if one is putting the messages on a scale from 'good' to 'bad,' which you tend to do when you've been in chapel every day for two and a half years. This speaker was fired up, and his passion and energy were contagious. His message was rooted in the truth of Jesus Christ as savior, and he finished with a great challenge for all of us. Best of all, though, was that he had a story. The theme of the week in chapel was 'story week,' where speakers came in and shared the stories of their faith journey or the testimonies of someone else. This speaker had his own story which included calling out to Jesus while DJ'ing (is that real verb?) at a rave, only to have a man come up to him minutes later telling him Jesus was his Lord and Savior. That's powerful. That's the real deal. That's the work of Christ. I love that.

But what if, say, I grew up with two fantastic Christian parents, in a Christ-centered home (usually...I'm not sure if any real home on this earth can always be completely Christ-centered), and have been brought up with the solid instruction of Christian schools and churches? Charles Spurgeon asks me, "Believer, do you recollect the day when your fetters fell off?" I think, yes, I do know that my 'fetters' (Spurgeon talks real cool) have fallen off, but do I remember the 'instant' that that happened? I remember several times when I feel as though I've really come back to Christ and been awakened from complacency, but I don't have that instant, and I feel like, as you go through the uphill struggle which John Bunyan's Christian goes through, you tend to forget certain things. There are certain words that I hear so often and read so often, they lose their meaning, and it is tragic. One such word is trust.

Growing up around constant Christian instruction, you start to want new ways to go about things. The simple scriptures is not quite enough anymore, as, well, I've already heard that time and time again, and 'it's not working.' Just writing it makes me feel foolish, but this is the honest thought process. Proverbs says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart," and I think, 'yeah, that verse again, ok, I've heard that one. That's cool and everything, but let's get to something more practical.' More practical? What's more practical than trusting? When I think about the problems and the sin and stress that plagues me and discourages me, how much of its influence can I attribute to a lack of trust in Jesus Christ? At the heart, that's essentially what happens with sin. It is no longer fully trusting in the Jesus as Savior.

And, at this point in life, when the future is very much up in the air, I think to myself, 'well yeah, I'm trusting in Jesus for that.' And when I get stressed, I think a large part of that stress is the refusal to trust in Jesus in the everyday decisions that I make and the everyday killing of sin. How am I to trust in Him with the big things, when I so often neglect to trust Him in the smaller things.

If anything is to be fully trusted, it is the Lord. First in the small things, then in the bigger things? Don't let the commonplace command simply to 'trust' be overlooked.

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