A prof the other day pointed out that it wasn’t Jesus’ knowledge about God that set him so much apart from us; it was his trust of God in every circumstance. Maybe it was both, really, interrelated, but I do like that trust emphasis. I will only ever be able to attain such limited knowledge of the Divine, and even the little I think I know will be faulty. To grow in trust of God I think is the point of Christian discipleship. And how can you do that theoretically?
Why we have to take risks to grow (part 1)
God has always given His children huge, impossible tasks,
tasks that forced dependence on Him requiring that He display His power. Abraham moved his tribe to a strange and
unfriendly land. Moses rescued a million
people and confronted the powers of Egypt. David came out of nowhere to lead a
country. Jesus’ disciples took on the Roman empire.
The real struggle we face is not to overcome flesh and
blood, but to answer the question, “Can God be trusted?”
Because God knows our frame and understands that we struggle
with trusting Him, He lays it out clearly for us through many examples and a
clear covenantal proposition stating what the task is, what the fruit will be,
and what we can expect by way of provision.
A good coach focuses his player’s attention on the skill
area to be developed. He applauds
progress and lets the player know when he needs to improve. Gradually the player becomes more aware of
what excellent performance looks like.
Jesus coached his disciples continually. We can get so caught up in his teaching that
we miss his coaching. One of the skill
areas that he most focused on was his disciples’ ability to look at life
through the eyes of faith. To grow us, He gives us risks that prove He is trustworthy. Unless we take these risks, we never learn to trust Him.
I remember when a number of years ago I felt God guiding me
to start a training center in Mexico. To the world, that seemed like an absurd
proposition. I had no land, nor money to
buy it. What’s more, had I the property
and the buildings on it, I didn’t have the first clue about how to recruit or
train Mexican nationals. The whole thing
seemed like one impossibility on top of another.
We prayed about it for nearly a year. Then, amazingly, the perfect piece of
property became available. Through a
series of miracles, God provided the money and the team to build the training
But we still lacked students, curriculum and
professors. We continued to pray and God
once again provided what we lacked. On
the morning of the day that He brought them to us, He showed me everything He
was going to do. Within a few weeks, we
had a fully functioning training center.
Today, we send out Mexican missionaries to places like Bolivia, Egypt,
and Morocco. Our graduates have established hundreds of ministries,
many among unreached people groups.
None of this was visible to the naked eye when we began to
pray. In fact, it seemed quite
impossible. I had to spy it out in the
spirit first before God produced its physical counterpart.