John 14:1 “Trust in God; trust also in me.”

What does that look like? Do we trust others? Do we trust God?

Trusting God is not trusting in rules. God calls us to seek, desire, pray for, walk with, engage, invest, and pour ourselves out for others in such a way that it points them to Him. That’s hard, rules are easy. This has huge implications as we seek to urgently love others. It’s not that they take up rules, it’s that they take up their cross. We point them to Jesus in such a way that the power of scripture, prayer, and truth of Christ guides them. Rules do not win people to Jesus. But Jesus wins people to all sorts of compelling and powerful truths. Churches struggle when they try to turn those truths into pre-canned one size fits all anecdotes. Can we trust God in such a way that we accept people where they are but seek spiritual growth too? I don’t seem to have a problem doing that with my own sinful self, so it shouldn’t be too hard to act that way towards others!

What is it like to trust God when things are hard? What is it like to trust when it’s not working well, things aren’t lining up, when the damaging and hurtful things of life come at you? When we are left to process things we are not prepared for? Can we be prepared? Can God speak to us through tragedy? Can we trust God when life is hard and amidst uncertainty?

Imagine being the disciples. Jesus trusts them. They have no training, he didn’t go to the local congregations and pick skilled ministry people, he is out in public calling working people to change the world. That’s a lot of trust on the part of Jesus. Imagine walking the streets of your town and picking a few untrained fisherman and tax guys to form a new team that’s going to usher forth a new era in the NFL – good luck with that.

I grew up never going to church for 22 years. But I still had all sorts of preconceived (some correct, many not) notions about church. I knew some Christmas songs, I heard Charlie Daniels Band, Hank Junior, Marshall Tucker Band, and Willie Nelson sing Amazing Grace in concert before. I knew a lot about church just from going about my life in Maryland. Now, imagine the kind of trust the disciples had to have in Jesus. The disciples do not know anyone that went to a Christian church. The disciples never went to VBS. The disciples never went to camp, listened to Christian radio, went on retreats, heard big name people speak about Jesus. They never had a Christmas breakfast or Easter pageant. They didn’t know anyone that had “done this before” so to speak. They are the firsts in a sense. They had to trust fully in Him.

Can we still do that? Can we fully trust Him? What does that look like?  

Join us as we challenge ourselves about what it’s like to trust God, trust Jesus, and then on the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 we will explore, Trusting in the Midst of Uncertainty.

You trust what's in that pocket?

Proverbs 3:5

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."

Yeah that's cute and is in like zillions of pictures and frames. But seriously, do we trust what God has in His pocket?  As we look at Christ's walk to the cross we see how easy it is to miss what trusting in God is like.

Jews were still reeling over the Romans.  A hundred years before Jesus Jews had enjoyed some freedom and autonomy.  Historical accounts outside of scripture tell us that Romans gained control of the territory, beseiged Jerusalem, and even killed priests in the Temple. That's the equivalent of murdering servants in a church. That kind of atrocity against deep and ancient roots of tradition and Godly worship isn't easily forgotten. And they're reminded of it every day via tax collectors, Roman officials, gaurds, politicians, etc. Then Jesus comes. He's got thousands of people following Him. The crowds love Him, He's a great speaker, organizer, and instills energy in His followers.  If anyone could do something about this situation He could do it. He has the sway, He has the power.  He's claiming to be the annointed one, the Messiah, so surely the time is now (and He even said *that* too!). 

But He doesn't deliver. The disciples probably bail on Him because of that tension - knowing His plans weren't what the majority wanted. God's pocket isn't about doing our bidding. What is in God's pocket isn't what the crowds want. It's not their ideal. It's not in alignment with where they think things are headed and it doesn't solve their immediate needs. 

I've been there.  I am there.  I sometimes wonder and have questions and want certain things to happen and want to see things change. Am I willing to trust God? Am I sitting back waiting on Him to follow through? Am I willing or waiting? Am I sitting around waiting for God to do something or willingly and actively engaged in Him and others?

I see the truth of God in that crazy fraternity that Katy, Lauren, Matt and those other jokers are in. Or 4H too. Those jokers are intense about their friends. They "trust" in those friendships.  They value that community. Because that's how God made this world, that's how it's wired. We long for community, intense, real and raw community. And these places touch a part of that truth by having that. The church should be leading the way in being real, honest, growing, maturing, and nurturing an environment of trusting God that looks like that - loving Him and loving others. If we're not doing that - we don't trust God. And that's hard to do these days - money, poltics, business, success, networking, careers, notoriety, one-up on everyone else - that's what makes progress. Loving God and people is what He wants us to trust.

Trust God, seriously trust Him. Let us not wait for "church" to happen, or the right bible study, event, preacher, or person to motivate us...God's pocket is bigger than that and I need to remember that every single day.