I have trust issues.
There, I have said it.
Admission is the first step.
Circumstances and feelings have ruled my days for the longest. The hurts and disappointments, the close calls, the broken promises and lies, the inconveniences and the wasted energies, the got out of hands were land mines I planted for future relationships and interactions. It wasn’t that pay backs were being planned. It was more of how do I ‘fix me’ so that future experiences are not such a surprise or as painful so that I make each day as comfortable or successful as I can. At times, conviction would swell in me about responding in a way to hurt or shame the accused, so I reduce it to self-soothing, curtness and a hardening heart. Although I presumed I am protecting me, I am actually MORE vulnerable and distanced from God. I am not trusting HIM to protect me. I am looking at my circumstance to define if God loves and provides for me. I cannot say from where the thought came that God is about forcing the elements to bring me happiness or that I can only serve when I am happy. Not only that, I am seeping in poison. Whether I choose to maim someone when there is a blow up or it is more like killing ‘em softly like the continual intake of sugar, salt, processed foods, and hydrogenated oils –there is a diagnosis lying in wait or it be just may be too late and the damage is final. Fear and pride drive trust issues and feed the coping and fixing.
Trust is a faith walk. Not how to make it sound right. Not about who or how many agree with or feel me. Not about how I handle things to survive. Trust by faith cannot become a habit unless it is practiced, consistently practiced – not reserved for certain circumstances or the right conditions. Otherwise, my peace and focus yo-yo. Not submitting to one’s own survival instincts feels like self-mutilation or Russian roulette or suicide. Feelings surely are strong and convincing and deceiving. AND I cannot compare my track record with someone else’s to feel better or worse about myself…..those feelings driving behavior again. Ezekiel 33:12-20. Being more responsive to someone else being inconsiderate is delaying MY opportunity to mature in Christ. I am pretending someone else is in more need. I love catching myself in mid attitude breaking into the song “It’s me-e-e, Ohhhh Lord….”.
I am not a Star Wars fan, but there is a quote so applicable from the character Yoda. “Do or do not. There is no try.” Each time I DO walk by the Spirit, I am not trusting in myself. Each time I DO walk by the Spirit, my circumstances are not by which I am defined, but my faith is. It isn’t about who hears or sees or what they hear or see. Then it is fear and pride again. It is not about comparing my steps to another person’s steps or the perfect alignment with another person’s. The Word provides example after example of those who do by faith – no details of guilt, force, or an immediate reward promised. It is just that we can now read what the results were.
• Joshua 2:1-21 Rehab, a prostitute, acted only by what she heard of God and became part of the family line from which Jesus was born
• Joshua 3:15-17 priests obediently carried the chest to the Jordan banks without a hint of dry land
• Ezra 3:3 the people of Israel were released from a takeover for the sole purpose to rebuild God’s temple and they did so even though they were afraid of the people who occupied their areas
• Job a man purposely tested and continued to honor God
• John 6:9-12 a young person gave up a small lunch that became a feeding miracle
• The disciples leaving their families and livelihoods to follow Jesus
What results are we (our homes, our children, our ministry, our communities) missing out on because of a lack of trust?
• Premise: Genuine and wholesome spirituality is the goal of all Christian Living
• Philosophy/Principle: I Corinthians 2; Ephesians 5
1. Regeneration or new birth is required before you can walk in the Spirit
2. The Holy Spirit is preeminently involved in the Spirit walk
3. To be filled with the Spirit means to be controlled by the Spirit
4. The Spirit walk is a process
5. Rate multiplies by time equals distance
• Psalms 1 – The truly happy person doesn’t follow wicked advice, doesn’t stand on the road of sinners, and doesn’t sit with the disrespectful.2 Instead of doing those things, these persons love the LORD’s Instruction, and they recite God’s Instruction day and night!3 They are like a tree replanted by streams of water, which bears fruit at just the right time and whose leaves don’t fade. Whatever they do succeeds.4 That’s not true for the wicked!
They are like dust that the wind blows away.5 And that’s why the wicked will have no standing in the court of justice—neither will sinners in the assembly of the righteous.6 The LORD is intimately acquainted with the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked is destroyed.
• Ephesians 5:1-11 – Therefore, imitate God like dearly loved children. 2 Live your life with love, following the example of Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us. He was a sacrificial offering that smelled sweet to God.
3 Sexual immorality, and any kind of impurity or greed, shouldn’t even be mentioned among you, which is right for holy persons. 4 Obscene language, silly talk, or vulgar jokes aren’t acceptable for believers. Instead, there should be thanksgiving. 5 Because you know for sure that persons who are sexually immoral, impure, or greedy—which happens when things become gods—those persons won’t inherit the kingdom of Christ and God.
6 Nobody should deceive you with stupid ideas. God’s anger comes down on those who are disobedient because of this kind of thing. 7 So you shouldn’t have anything to do with them. 8 You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord, so live your life as children of light. 9 Light produces fruit that consists of every sort of goodness, justice, and truth. 10 Therefore, test everything to see what’s pleasing to the Lord, 11 and don’t participate in the unfruitful actions of darkness. Instead, you should reveal the truth about them.
• Ephesians 5:12 – It’s embarrassing to even talk about what certain persons do in secret.
o Don’t even talk about the sins of others
• Ephesians 5:13-14 – But everything exposed to the light is revealed by the light. Everything that is revealed by the light is light. Therefore, it says, “Wake up, sleeper! Get up from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
o Folk ought to get uncomfortable around you; and you are not to be holier than thou but thankful for grace, mercy
• Ephesians 5:15 – So be careful to live your life wisely, not foolishly.
o Don’t do wrong to just get along
• Ephesians 5:16-17 – Take advantage of every opportunity because these are evil times. Because of this, don’t be ignorant, but understand the Lord’s will.
o Engage your brain before engaging your mouth, hands, feet
• Ephesians 5:18 – Don’t get drunk on wine, which produces depravity. Instead, be filled with the Spirit in the following ways:
o You are guided and directed by demonic forces which will wreck your life
• Ephesians 5:19-21 – speak to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; sing and make music to the Lord in your hearts; always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; and submit to each other out of respect for Christ
o If you are Spirit filled, controlled by the Spirit, you will submit to another out of reverence for Christ not another’s position
• Ephesians 5:22-33 – For example, wives should submit to their husbands as if to the Lord. 23 A husband is the head of his wife like Christ is head of the church, that is, the savior of the body. 24 So wives submit to their husbands in everything like the church submits to Christ. 25 As for husbands, love your wives just like Christ loved the church and gave himself for her. 26 He did this to make her holy by washing her in a bath of water with the word. 27 He did this to present himself with a splendid church, one without any sort of stain or wrinkle on her clothes, but rather one that is holy and blameless. 28 That’s how husbands ought to love their wives—in the same way as they do their own bodies. Anyone who loves his wife loves himself. 29 No one ever hates his own body, but feeds it and takes care of it just like Christ does for the church 30 because we are parts of his body. 31 This is why a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two of them will be one body.[a] 32 Marriage is a significant allegory,[b] and I’m applying it to Christ and the church. 33 In any case, as for you individually, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and wives should respect[c] their husbands.
o You must be filled with the Spirit (controlled by the Spirit) in order to fulfill this chapter
Feelings are shadows. When you get feelings….as long as you don’t act on that negative feeling, you are still under the umbrella of God.
The Spirit walk is a process not an event.
• Hebrews 5:11-14 – We have a lot to say about this topic, and it’s difficult to explain, because you have been lazy and you haven’t been listening. 12 Although you should have been teachers by now, you need someone to teach you an introduction to the basics about God’s message. You have come to the place where you need milk instead of solid food. 13 Everyone who lives on milk is not used to the word of righteousness, because they are babies. 14 But solid food is for the mature, whose senses are trained by practice to distinguish between good and evil.
• Hebrews 6:1 – So let’s press on to maturity, by moving on from the basics about Christ’s word. Let’s not lay a foundation of turning away from dead works, of faith in God