by Nic Peaks
A few months ago we had a guest speaker at the church I attend. Her name is Pam Robles and she's a missionary to Peru and an integral part of the local & international Church. Pam shared her story with us. It's quite a long story so I'll spare the details, but if you're interested I'd highly recommend listening to the full message.
In essence, Pam challenged us to not just put our faith in God, but also our trust in Him. That's a hard thing to do. It immediately gets personal. Trust is such a loaded word. There are few people whom I actually trust. Probably one or two friends, my two brothers, my parents, and my wife. When I say trust I mean truly, madly, deeply, SAVAGE GARDEN TRUST (say what you want, that's a great song).
Pam also shared the impact the song, "Oceans" by Hillsong affected and inspired her during a time of great difficulty in her life. Let me be honest. I was completely on board with everything she was saying until this point. Over the past few months, whenever we sing "Oceans" in church or if I happen to hear it somewhere - I immediately shut down. I take issue with this song, and I'll tell you why...
It's a really cool song. It's very dynamic. It has neat guitar parts and driving drums. The vocal melodies are beautiful...Then there's the lyrics. I have no theological conundrum with the lyrics, but I do have an issue with them nonetheless. Here's the bridge:
"Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders,
Let me walk upon the waters,
Wherever You would call me.
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander,
And my faith will be made stronger,
In the presence of my Savior.
How epic is that!? It's very climactic. It's very Hollywood. I can just picture a music video with a girl standing in the middle of the ocean during a massive storm - walking on top of the water while belting out those lyrics…
You still may be wondering what the problem is.
Think about the implications of those words. Seriously read them again, and think about what those words mean…
I don't want to go where my trust is without borders. I don't want to go deeper than my feet can wander. That is terrifying. Trusting someone without borders? It's hard enough for me to trust people in my life, but trusting in the invisible Creator of the universe is another thing entirely.
I'm reminded of a scene from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Luke is on the planet Dagobah training to become a Jedi under tutelage of the only living Jedi Master, Yoda (nerd alert). Luke is running through the murky forrest with his master strapped to his back when they approach a cave. Yoda tells his young Padawan that he must go into the cave by himself. After some words of wisdom from Yoda, Luke cautiously wanders down into the deep, dark cave when something truly terrifying happens...Luke finds himself face-to-face with a tall, shadowy, masked figure appearing to be his arch-nemesis, Darth Vader. Luke steps backwards then draws his lightsaber. Vader then draws his and the duel begins. As the battle unfolds, Luke eventually strikes off the head of his opponent with his lightsaber, and Vader's helmet goes tumbling to the ground. Carefully Luke approaches the smoking helmet and the faceplate explodes open revealing the face of the man behind the mask. What happens next is beyond comprehension. Luke looks down into the face of the open helmet to see...his own face staring back at him! What does this mean? How is this possible!? Why the heck am I talking about Star Wars!?
I don't want to go into too much detail (too late), so I'll try to wrap up this analogy. Before Luke enters the cave he asks Yoda what will he find. His master tells him, "Only what you take with you." What did Luke take into the cave? His fear.
Let's come back down to our galaxy. What is the deepest you've ever walked out into the ocean? Or the woods? Or the wilderness? If God asks you to do something or go somewhere what do you do? Do you jump like a puppy and scamper out the door on command? Do you sit stubbornly and stare out the window? Or do you hesitate due to fear?
Trusting God without borders is like a trapeze artist swinging 40 feet above the ground with no safety net below. Or a mountain climber scaling a cliff without a rope or harness. Trusting without borders is saying, "I relinquish complete control, and give it to God." It's not something I want to do, much less sing about. Do I really want to go "deeper than my feet could ever wander"? It's hard. It's overwhelming. My flesh wants no part in it. I want no part in it.
In order to trust someone you must allow yourself to be vulnerable with them. Me and my wife have learned a ton about trust and intimacy by going through stuff together. I think it's the same with God. I am often uncomfortable when my wife drives and I'm the passenger. I get anxious and jumpy. I critique her every move. Why? She's never gotten in a wreck while driving with me. She's never gotten a ticket. She's never put our life in danger. So why am I so uncomfortable with her driving? Control. When I don't have control of things in my life (including driving) I freak out. I'm learning that me giving my wife control of certain situations grows our trust with each other. I think it's the same with God. I obviously have put "my faith" in God. I believe He is who He says He is. I believe He is in control. I believe He knows what is best for me. The more I walk with Him the more I trust Him. The more I listen to Him the more I trust Him. The more I allow myself to rely on him the more I trust Him. The more control I give Him the more I can trust Him.
Matthew 28:16-20 is known as "The Great Commission." This is Jesus' last message to His followers before he ascends into heaven. He challenges His followers to go and make disciples, to baptize, and to "teach them to observe all that I have commanded you." Christ trusted His followers to carry on the message that He had been teaching His entire life. He trusted the same men who fell asleep shortly before He was arrested. He trusted the same disciple who denied Him in the midst of the crucifixion. He trusted those who doubted His resurrection when they were staring Him in the face. The final words that Christ speaks in that passage is, "I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." He is with us. He trusts us. That is why we can trust Him.