The Wild Leap of Faith: Practicing Counterintuitive trustJosh Rous - 29 Mar 2017
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight..."
- Proverbs 3:5-6
I have been going to church for as long as I have had teeth; I have been reading the Bible since I learnt to read; I have spent four years studying theology and I have sat through what must equal a few months of sermons.
I have accumulated a lot of head knowledge about what it means to follow Jesus, and what it means to trust in God. But the reality is you can know all the theology without having a full understanding of what it means to live it.
This is especially true for me when it comes to fear. For me, worry is a major distraction from God - I can allow myself to get sucked into fearful patterns of thought that can dominate my thinking for days and sometimes weeks.
When this happens I know that I need to turn to God and surrender my worries to Him. I know the prayers to pray and the Bible verses to read in my head. Yet that’s somehow different to the active practice of surrendering to God.
The practice is almost counterintuitive. It is a wild leap when we feel most bound; a wilful surrender of the things that matter most to us when the stakes are highest.
In essence, trusting in God is a simple practice, but it’s a daily - if not hourly- discipline and one that is so easy to neglect. If you’re anything like me, you can even end up worrying about not trusting God!
But we don’t do this on our own. Experience has taught me that, while trusting in God requires surrendering everything I have, God meets me more than halfway in the process. God’s grace is always sufficient for my weakness.
Once I’m willing to be honest and vulnerable with God - once I want to start to surrender my worry to him - God does the hard work. I don’t have to work up a peace through my own willpower. Peace just comes.
We can rest assured that when we are facing challenges to our faith - even when our head knowledge isn’t translating to action - God will still be right there with us, supporting us and spurring us on. He will always keep His side of the bargain. Often all it takes for us to keep our side is not a grand declaration or a solid theological grounding, but a quiet, whispered, “I choose to trust you”.
All the knowledge I had learnt about trusting in God was good and set me in the right direction, but it was only when I was stretched and challenged that I found out what it meant in action.
It’s the same with so many aspects of spiritual life. We only really know what it’s like to walk with God when we start living it and we only start living it when we’re stretched.
The lesson then is to relax! To ‘lean not on your own understanding’, but to wholeheartedly embrace the daunting surrender and ultimate submission that leads to freedom.