Monday, January 5, 2015

Extended Trust, 1: Paul's Story

“One night the lord spoke to Paul in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.’ So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God” (Acts 18:9-11, NIV).

Paul was a man who knew what it meant to trust God. Paul learned early on that authentic trust would most definitely be proven through both tests and trials. Paul once had lived a life trying to eradicate the world of those who believed in Christ. On one of his journeys to do so, however, he encountered the presence of Jesus in such a powerful way that he chose to abandon the life he was living and follow Christ. Paul’s story required great trust. He had to learn to trust God through the twists and turns that his journey would take. Through prison and pain, his trust for the Lord gained strength and proved both authentic and convincing.
One of our greatest weaknesses is to stop trusting God when circumstances begin to seem out of our own control. We don’t mind trusting God in our lives when the direction or the circumstances sit comfortably on the spectrum of our own control. When it goes to one end or the other, however, we tend to trust ourselves, our own logic, and our desires for how we think things should be. Being extended is trusting beyond ourselves. If we truly trust God, there’s no such thing as partial extension. Like John the Baptist said in regards to Jesus, “I must become less so that He can become more.”

Extended Reading Option: Acts 16:25-30

Extended Journal Option: What is God allowing in your life right now that requires you to trust Him? What are you facing that is beyond your control?

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