This is an old blog that I started in 2006. I keep it because it has a lot of historical data and people still come here. As of September 2016, no new updates will be made here. All new blog posts and writing/publishing related news will be posted over on my new site at www.jenniferhudsontaylor.net.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Devotion - Faith is Part of Trusting

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor




A few days ago, I was reading in Proverbs and a verse struck me, but before I go into it, I want to mention that I have trust issues. Always have. People have let me down, and to be honest, I've been disappointed by more Christians than non-Christians. I think it's because I expect pastors, ministry leaders, and seasoned Christians to act and behave according to a higher standard than the rest of the world.

It seems like there is a church split everywhere I go, and eventually the pastor is asked to step down. As a result, I don't just "go by" what a pastor says anymore. I go by what I feel God is teaching me in my heart as I read the Word for myself. If I hear a sermon, I don't just take it at "face value", I meditate on it, pray about it, and let God give me confirmation or understanding when I'm ready to receive it. People who blindly follow ministry leaders without searching the word and developing a personal relationship with God on their own, are putting themselves at risk of being deeply hurt by those who are "wolves in sheep's clothing" and who are motivated for the wrong reasons.

God never promised that our journey or walk with Him will be easy. In fact, He warns us that it will be hard at times. That is why maintaining a balance is so important. We have to find a way, to be cautious without being so rigid that we become unteachable or unwilling to change for the better. That's why I don't get all self-righteous and angry when a person who wants scientific proof of God's existence before being won over. I can't blame that person. I usually want proof from someone before I accept what they are saying as truth, especially if I don't know the person, or we are just acquaintances. God's Word tells us to be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves. They have a right to ask questions to make sure they aren't being duped and they have a clear understanding.

So many people come to Christ from "feel good messages" thinking that as soon as they give their life to God and accept the Word, that all their problems are going to be magically solved and they will be "delivered" from all their strongholds, addictions, habits, and bad thoughts. While it can happen, it isn't likely, because God wants them to understand how they got that way. It didn't happen overnight. It takes time to learn to resist the things that hurt us, especially when it feels good at the moment, but will hurt in the long run. If they were magically delivered, how would they learn to live in a way that will prevent them from getting that way again? It's a process. A journey.

Many Christians view people who want scientific proof as another doubting Thomas. I view them as another Saul, who became Paul. Someone who needs proof is so adamant in what they believe that they go overboard and beyond 100% to stand up for what they believe in. These individuals are determined to make their points heard, known, and understood. They are relentless. No pastor is likely to make them believe, but only by the power of the Holy Spirit will it happen. We may mean well, but we can't force them. Let God do the work.

Just like God had to knock Saul off his donkey and blind him for 3 days, it will take a supernatural experience for these individuals to make believers out of them. This is why I don't go into endless debates with them. It only fosters anger and frustration. When the time comes, it will not be because of anything I did or said. But I will be there, if and when, they ever need me to help them just as God used Ananias after Saul had his supernatural experience.

Those who want and need scientific proof are the Saul's of the world who later become the Paul's of God's Word. If they ever become true believers, they are mighty individuals that God can use for His glory in a way He can't use the rest of us, because we don't have the DNA makeup for it. They have the natural propensity to be relentless, regardless of what happens to them. Look at all that Paul endured. His path wasn't meant for the other disciples. God chose Saul for a special mission for a reason. I think it was because of who Saul was and who God knew he could be as Paul.

Like me, these individuals struggle with trust issues and faith. That's why they need the supernatural touch of God. I know, because I'm one of them. I've experienced the supernatural, but who is going to believe it, but those who have experienced it too, or those who have a stronger gift of faith to believe what they can't see? There is a part of me that needs to understand things. I need that explanation, and it must make sense to me. But I am finally coming to accept that I don't need to understand everything. I need to trust God. I can trust him with what I don't understand, but this trust wasn't immediate and it came at a price--a price I wouldn't want to repeat if I can help it.

The verse that struck me and prompted all these thoughts is, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5

For those who might be interested, a great book I would recommend is "The DNA of God?" by Dr. Leoncio A. Garza-Valdes. He was an atheist who converted once he set out to disprove the existence of God. Like most things, this book has its critiques, but I enjoyed it. I hope you will too if you decide to read it.

10 comments:

Well put, thank you. I believe everything you said to be true. I have had similar trust issues in my life too. I refuse to debate God with non believers instead I just love them. Love them and hope they will see Gods lite shining through me.
Thanks again for your words of wisdom this morning. God truly can use people like you to further his Kingdom.

I can relate to the trust issues with Christians. It seems that in my experience, I have received more support and non-judgment from non Christians. I often wonder where the wisdom is in churches that place unqualified, untried, immature people in leadership. It makes it hard to trust what comes forth from that ministry. I think there may be a fine line between testing the message/messenger, and being overly defensive - at least I struggle with that.
Good food for thought - thank you for this post.

Flourchild, Thank you. It means a lot to me to hear you say that God can use me to further His Kingdom.

Jan,

People in ministry have a natural propensity to want to "fix people". Sometimes the rest of us just want fellowship and a listening ear--a real friend. We don't always want advice that comes with a sermon. As Ecclesiastes says, there is a time for everything under the sun, and sometimes that time is for listening and not doling out advice like Job's friends, and passing judgment without the Holy Spirit's direction.

What if those people never have that supernatural experience?

Hi CKHB,

I think your question is excellent. I don't have all the answers. All I can do is offer my thoughts.

There will be some people who will never experience the supernatural event they are looking for, b/c it is possible that they are expecting something "profound" and it may not come like that. Kind of like that parable story of the man waiting on the roof for God to deliver him from the flood, but he missed the helicopter, the boat, and the raft--all things that God sent indirectly through the good will of others.

Also, I believe that some people do not experience their supernatural moment until they are dying, and with their last heartbeat they believe. It may be the vision of an angel, the light, etc, but we never know b/c they leave this world. It's between them and God.

There are others, who witness it through a loved one or someone they know. If they are really close to someone and if that person changes b/c of a supernatural experience they had, that could become a witness to others, b/c that individual would never have changed in a million years w/o something profound happening to them. I think a lot of people believed b/c of the changes that happened in Saul when he became Paul.

I also believe that if a person wants to have a supernatural experience with God, they can simply ask Him for it. Keep in mind, it might not happen right away. He may need to allow a series of events to take place in your life to mold you, before you are at a spiritual maturity level to receive the supernatural event He's planning to give you. But I believe if you ask Him, He will reveal Himself to you at the appointed time.

Thanks for answering!

I really enjoyed reading this. It reminded me of something my father has always said (he ministers at a nursing home once a week) ... He always gives a sermon, followed by ... "Don't just take my word for it. Go read the word and find out for yourself. When you stand before the Maker, you can't say Jack told me so .. you've got to answer for yourself." He encourages others to read and study the word. I agree with so much of what you wrote. Thanks for sharing it.

Everyone who reaches God has his/her own path to take. That's why I try not to judge the steps of a seeker. I was lost once too.

With the trust issue, I've learned that I have trouble putting people on a pedestal. When I do that, I am always let down. Now, I try not to place anyone in a hierarchy in my mind.

The hardest thing to do, though, is to treat everyone like they are Jesus (Matt 25.40) without getting hung up on their humanity. UGH! That seems impossible!

I can certainly relate to what you said about trust. What a wonderful blog - thanks for posting on my site since it led me to see yours!