Thursday, October 29, 2009

Trust in God

It seems there is always so much to say when I try and organize what to write! are some updates from what's happenning here in Zambia. We were excited to have Jami-lyn and Dave Ryan, Pastor Chuck from Ghana, and P.Scibelli come over for a conference. We all gathered at the airport at an ungodly hour in the morning with all the African pastors here in Zambia with a banner which said "Welcome Pastor Scibelli-the father of Africa!" and as he came out we started singing one of the Zambian worship was hilarious cause the other people coming out of the airport were looking at us like we were from a different planet! It was great :) Anyway, having Pastor Scibelli here has been a great blessing and refreshment to all the churches here in Zambia. A couple days ago we all piled ( and when I say piled I mean PILED) on a small bus to travel to Kitwe ( a city about 5 hours from Lusaka) to visit P.Adam and Melinda. Once we got to Kitwe we went straight to the streets for evangelism, and then met later for a rap with P. Scibelli. The couple days spent in Kitwe were a great blessing, and a great encouragement to P.Adam and Melinda. Oh and just for good measure, as we were leaving the Methodist guest house (where we had our raps and where P.Scibelli was staying) one of the African pastors jumped on the bus laughing and saying how he and the others had just killed two black mumbas...which is one of the most poisonous snakes in Africa. We all looked at eachother in disbelief thanking God that we hadn't come in contact with it, since us Americans would have probably just fainted or something. So, P.Scibelli is still in Kitwe, and in a few days we will all take a trip over to South Africa to be with P.Manny and the church there, which I am very excited about!

On a different note there were just some thoughts God has been sharing with me that I'd like to share as I've been thinking about P.Scibelli's messages and reading about the life of Job...There is this poem I read today that shares some of what God has been showing here it is.

“He sat by a fire of seven-fold heat,
As He watched by the precious ore,
And closer He bent with a searching gaze
As He heated it more and more.
He knew He had ore that could stand the test,
And He wanted the finest gold
To mould as a crown for the King to wear,
Set with gems with a price untold.
So He laid our gold in the burning fire
Tho’ we fain would have said Him ‘Nay,’
And He watched the dross that we had not seen,
And it melted and passed away.
And the gold grew brighter and yet more bright,
But our eyes were so dim with tears,
We saw but the fire—not the Master’s hand,
And questioned with anxious fears.
Yet our gold shone out with a richer glow,
As it mirrored a form above,
That bent o’er the fire, tho’ unseen by us,
With a look of ineffable love.
Can we think that it pleases His loving heart
To cause us a moment’s pain?
Ah, no! but He saw through the present cross
The bliss of eternal gain.
So He waited there with a watchful eye,
With a love that is strong and sure,
And His gold did not suffer a bit more heat,
Than was needed to make it pure.”

The book of Job is filled with questions, and pleadings from a man who could not understand the ways of His God. Job 33:13 says “Why do you contend against Him? For He does not give an account for any of His actions.” God did not explain to Job what had taken place in eternity concerning him. You find in Job's story that trust in God must supersede our natural longing for understanding. As long as we are searching for understanding outside of an illumination and impartation from God we will be completely unable to trust in God. We find in our lives that there are times when God does not explain himself or else his plan to refine our faith would be compromised.

Abraham in Heb 11:8 “…Went out not knowing where He was going..” Trusting in God sometimes means I don’t have the understanding my natural man longs for, and as long as I stand on the precipice of natural understanding I will never obey God’s call to faith, and enjoy the peace which comes in trusting God. God does not disclose his plan when he wants us to walk in faith or else it would be sight and no longer faith. Understanding can be a vain pursuit in a trial. If I am pursuing understanding in my trial I will be like Job “darkening counsel by words without knowledge…rashly uttering what I do not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I do not know.” Man yearns for the type of security which comes through having everything explained and understood, but God calls us to a security which is found in knowing Him, while the things in my life (for seasons at a time, some longer than others) are not explained and I don’t understand what is happening or what God is doing. God baffles my understanding so that I will find my security in trusting Him, receiving from Him, and waiting on Him. As long as we search after understanding in the trial of our faith, we can never experience rest and peace. God offers us a “peace that surpasses all understanding, and a love that passes knowledge.” Trusting in God means I don’t always know or understand, but that I know HIM and that is enough for me. This is God’s character on trial in my life…Is God trustworthy, trustworthy enough that I don’t need to know or understand? When Abraham was told to offer his son, did he understand? No, not at all, he simply “concluded that God was able to raise Isaac up even from the dead.” Faith requires trust, and without trust I cannot obey what God commands for me. To trust I must relinquish my longing for understanding..the longing that is lusting against faith…”anything that is not of faith is sin.” Understanding and explanations will come, but in the trial of my faith they are an enemy to trusting in God for they lock the door which opens to God. Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, acknowledge Him in all your ways and He shall direct your paths.”

We sense everyday in a trial that our soul is cleaving to the dust of the circumstance we cannot change or understand, but God's word lifts us up into heavenly places, seated above with Christ. We learn to relinquish natural understanding and settle in our minds that trusting God means that we don’t understand and we don’t have all things explained to us, but it is in those times where God is asking us to trust in His character and His word. Leaning on our own understanding is a vicious cycle that leads us nowhere, but trusting in the Lord will lead me into a broad place where I find peace and rest while I wait on God. Psa 66:12 “You have caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; But you brought us out to rich fulfillment. God does not leave us in the trial just as God did not leave Job in his…weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. BUT in the time when our faith in God’s character is on trial, to trust Him we must relinquish our yearning and longing for understanding because it will only trap us in doubt and unbelief. Understanding will come, but not until God sees fit. Trust Him when we don’t understand, when things are inexplicable, that is the preciousness and value of our faith in God…I remember Elisabeth Elliot said that "our faith works in the dark. So, we let go of trying to understand, seeking explanations; for trust in God requires of us to let go of those things and cling to the hand of God…walking in the dark, but finding that true security is found in clasping His hand. Like a child with his father, be content to know He is holding my hand and he will lead us out to the light.

Hope this wasn't tooo long! I am just so blessed that God speaks to us when we are seeking a word from Him! I love you all and will post some more pictures when I get a chance!


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