Transferred Trust

Shock washed over me as I sat motionless against my fabric headboard. What seemed muddled just moments ago was now painfully clear. I took a deep breath, my eyes scanning the words again and again.

“Because [King Asa] relied on the king of Aram and not on the Lord [His] God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from [His] hand.” 2 Chron. 16:7

King Asa won many battles by following the Lord’s instructions, but this day was marked by defeat because he transferred trust. See, King Asa was in a tough spot- a foreign army was causing trouble for his people. But instead of seeking God’s instruction, he relied on his own strategies and foreign kings. From that point on, God opposed him.

Fresh tears burned my eyes. Truth settled in. Defeat is guaranteed when I transfer trust.

And isn’t it so easy to do? We begin in the right place. But then our dreams meet the daily grind. Our hope is deferred. We encounter trials like storms on the sea, struggling to keep our heads up as we choke on wave after wave of salty water.

Before we realize it we have begun relying on people or things or ideas or behaviors to deliver us from the undertow.

But then God, rich in grace, brings us back to faith.

The Bible’s life-giving messages are beautifully interwoven, all sprouting from the same seed: faith. The greatest men and women in history put their trust in God alone in their most trying moments. Their reward was deliverance. Their reward was the mighty move of God on their behalf!

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So what can we do if we realize we have transferred trust?

  • Be honest with God. One of the most quoted scriptures in the Bible is Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Coming clean with God that we’ve relied on our own wisdom prepares us for the next step.
  • Ask for help. Psalm 25:4-5 is a specific go-to prayer: “Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” This is a simple request to God for help. It is also a confession that He alone knows the best way out of our mess and is more than able to direct us in it.
  • As we wait for guidance, we remember. 1 Chronicles 16:11-12 says, “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek His face always. Remember the wonders He has done, his miracles, and the judgments He pronounced.” It helps me to mentally list every move of God I’ve witnessed. If you’re a new believer, ask seasoned believers to share testimonies. Read books on mighty moves of God. Remembering His faithfulness in the past increases our trust for the future.

Sometimes we’re weary because we’re trying to solve in our own strength what was only meant to be solved through His. If we’ve transferred trust, may today be the day we withdraw the funds and deposit it back into God’s account.

Waiting on God?

I was on staff at Highpoint Church for several years before I had my boys. One of the tests that all staff members were required to take was an assessment called StrengthsFinder. This test is designed to help you figure out what you’re good at and apply it in your work and personal life. Many on staff’s top strength is Activator. People with this gift love to act; they don’t have time to sit and analyze their decisions, wait for dozens of confirmations, or endlessly debate and discuss. They’re ready to get it done.

I am the opposite of Activator. I can analyze and debate and question until it snows in July. Pair this with a previously-held belief that I should simply wait (read: do nothing) until God fulfills His promise, and the result was… well, nothing.

One morning during my time with God, though, He challenged my thinking. In the passage I was reading, God called Abraham to leave his people and his home country and go to a land that God would show him. When Abraham got there, God gave Abraham two promises: “To your offspring I will give this land” and “I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky”. Now fast forward a couple of chapters to Genesis 24; Abraham and his wife Sarah had been given their promised son, Isaac, and he was old enough to start looking for Mrs. Right. So, Abraham sent his chief servant back to his home country to find a wife for Isaac and bring her back. Because of God’s promise, Abraham was confident that his servant would have success. After all, his descendants can’t be as numerous as the stars without Isaac getting a wifey.

I don’t know about you, but when God gives me a promise, I am tempted to kick up my feet and wait (again, read: do nothing). I was convinced that true faith would mean believing that God would miraculously drop Isaac’s wife out of the sky. God promised it, right? So why couldn’t ol’ Abraham just sit back, relax, and believe it would happen in its perfect time?

But this is not what Abraham and his servant did at all. First, Abraham makes his servant take an oath that he will go back to Abraham’s home country and get Isaac a wife. He doesn’t simply trust that it will happen; he proactively pursues what he knows to be God’s will. Second, the servant takes 10 camels and all kinds of other expensive gifts to offer the future wife’s family. Does he just assume, because God has promised, that he can show up empty-handed and expect a stranger to come back with him? No way! He prepares by bringing all he can gather to make the journey successful.

In addition to preparing all of the supplies for the trip, he decided to go to the well with his camels at just the time when all of the women from the town would be drawing water. More to choose from, right? When he saw the one he wanted, the word of God says the “servant hurried to meet her.” I sure hope some single men are reading this! He didn’t sit and analyze or wait on her to approach him if “it’s God’s will”, he acted in faith, knowing God would be faithful to fulfill His promise.

So I encourage you to ask yourself- What is it that God has promised me? How can I live everyday believing and acting on what He said?

And just in case you’re wondering…The servant was able to talk that beautiful gal at the well into coming home for Abraham’s son, Isaac. His work of faith was richly rewarded. Yours will be, too. It’s a promise!

2 Thessalonians 1:11 “With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling, and that by His power He may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.”