Three minutes and counting. Wes nervously sits on the plane, waiting for his turn to jump. Wes is in the U.S. Army Airborne School just a week after he was selected by Valley Forge as regimental commander of the 70th Corps of Cadets.
Two minutes! The nervousness intensifies. One minute! Wes frantically trys to remember what happens first after you leap from the plane. A shout from his Black Hat snaps him out of his daze and he remembers the words of his Black Hat…trust you training, trust you equipment and trust your God (The Other Wes Moore 135).
As we stand on the edge of each decision that a day presents, we need to remember that when we jump we hope to land on the truth that we have glorified God. Pleasing God is our ultimate goal. If we are going to glorify with our lives and decisions we have to trust our training, our equipment and we definitely have to trust God.
II. Trust you training (Prov. 22:6)
For weeks upon weeks Wes Moore had been beat over the head with instructions about what to do when it was his time to jump from the plane. He had gone through drills and he had been tested for the day when he would have to take all that he had learned and apply it in a real life situation. If he at any time during the jump doubted the information that he had been given and the training that he had gone through in anticipation of the big day he would surely have a rough and hard landing.
At the very core of training is education. We have to be educated before we can perform. To become an engineer you have to be taught that 1+1=2 and you have to trust that if you add one (1) and one (1) that it does equal two (2). If you do not trust the simple math you will not be able to do the hard math. Unless you have been taught your ABC’s and how to make subjects and verbs agree you will most-likely never be a Pulitzer Prize winning author. The same is true in our Christian life; before we can live up to the standards that God has set we have to be educated; we have to be trained.
The Bible records that we are to train our children in the way of righteousness. It is the training that helps us pass the test. This is why Moses instructed the Israelites to teach the commandments of God to their kids; so that their days would increase in the land God was giving to them. Training their kids in the way of righteousness was not about where they were (in the wilderness), but about where they would be (the Promised Land). God requires of us that we be holy as He is holy, in order for this to become a reality in our lives we have to be trained and taught what holiness looks like. Again, training is not about where we are but where we will be.
If we are going to go from being babes in Christ to mature, meat-eating, Spirit-filled saints we are going to have to learn some things (Heb. 5:14). As Christians, we have been trained to love our enemies, friends and family, as well as other Christians. We have been trained to give without the expectation of return. We have trained to pray for ourselves, our families, our churches and governments and even for our enemies. We have been trained to encourage each other. We have been trained to speak the truth in love. We have been trained to forgive as often as is necessary; whenever the opportunity presents itself. We have also been trained to honor and obey God. We have been trained to love mercy, do justly and to walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).
We have also been trained to have faith. We need to learn to let faith work perfectly in us, as James 1:4 says, so that we may be completely ready when we face various trails. We have been taught this, not because everything is good, but because there will come a time when our faith will be tested.
In Paul’s letter to Titus he tells us that, not only have we been saved by grace, but that grace teaches us some things. READ TITUS 2:11-15. Grace teaches us that, as Believers, we have an obligation to live holy lives and to look, with great expectation, for the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! It teaches us the gospel message which we are to pass on to others, that Christ gave Himself for us, redeeming us and cleansing us. We have been taught and trained to discern good from evil (Heb. 5:14) and to make honoring God a daily habit (1 John 2:29; 3:7). If our ultimate goal in life is to glorify God then we are going to have to trust our training.
III. Trust your equipment
Next, if we are going to be holy as He is holy; honoring Him with our lives – not only will we have to trust our training, but we will also have to trust our equipment. READ EPHESIANS 6:10-11, 14-18). I want us to focus on three key pieces of equipment mentioned here: faith, the sword of the spirit and prayer.
The Hebrew writer tells us that without faith there is no way that we can please God (Heb. 11:6). Knowing this, God has given faith to us (Rom. 12:1-3). And some people say that God isn’t thinking about us. Anticipating that we would be up against some hard times, God has also equipped us with faith so that we may pass the tests. 1 John 5:4 reminds us that it is through faith that we are overcomers in this world and without faith there can be no salvation – we have been saved by grace through faith, but where do we get faith from?
The second piece of equipment that we have been given is the Word of God! Faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10: 17). Trusting this piece of our equipment is crucial for us as Believers and proclaimers of the truth of God. If we are going to ask people to join us in our quest for holiness and the Bible is our instruction manual for living that out we have to be convinced of its message! We are talking about the Bible, not some Stephen King novel. The Book which has the breath of God breathe into its pages. We can trust this Book is God’s word because it is divine in origin.
The apostles tell us that the Word of God was not something that they conspired to write. READ 2 TIM. 3:14-17; 2 PT. 1:19-21. Peter says that the Word of God is exactly that; it is God’s Word which He, by His Spirit, moved men to speak.
Since the Bible is God-inspired, it is God’s original idea; that means that it is also eternal and everlasting! This Book will outlast every clock ever made and ever to be made! When there are no more days, months, or years on our calendars, the Bible will still be relevant and living, and it will forever be the “power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16)! You CAN trust the Bible!
The last piece of equipment that I want to mention is prayer. READ LUKE 18:1-8 and 1 THESS. 5:17, as we look at these passages we can see, that as Believers in Christ we have an obligation to pray. That men “ought always to pray” is not a suggestion, but a command. Jesus is saying that this is what we are supposed to be doing. So, why do we pray? because Jesus said to; also because, as the old saying goes, “there is power in prayer.” I’m sure that most (if not all) of us are familiar with 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If My people, who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven…” Hear what? Their prayers. “…and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Do you want God to change your situation? Pray! Do you want God to change your family? Pray! Do you want God to do something mighty in your life? Pray! And pray without ceasing! Our ultimate goal in this life and the one to come is to glorify God! If we trust the equipment that God has given to us we can do just that! Trust your equipment!
IV. Trust your God
Finally, we must trust our God. When Jesus cursed the fig tree and His disciples couldn’t understand what was going on, Jesus told them – “have faith in God” (Mark 11:22). The same goes for us. When we are walking in darkness and we find ourselves in the wilderness of life wondering aimlessly around – trust God. When things just do not make a bit of sense – trust God.
Who did Abraham trust when Isaac was on the altar about to be sacrificed? He trusted God, and God spared his son and provided a ram for Himself. When the Israelites were on the run from Pharaoh and his army, trapped between them and the Red Sea, they trusted God and He brought them through on dry land. When ten (10) of the twelve (12) spies gave a bad report about land that God was giving to them Joshua and Caleb trusted God and God delivered the land into their hands. When David faced off with the great Philistine, Goliath, he trusted God to defeat the giant. When the three (3) Hebrew boys were thrown into the fire, they trusted God and He delivered them with not even the smell of smoke in their clothes! Daniel trusted God when he was in the lion’s den! When Mary was found pregnant and Joseph knew that the baby wasn’t his, they trusted God! When the Syro-Phoenician woman had tried everything she could think of to deal with her issue of blood only to end up broke and desperate – she trusted God! When friends and family fail us; when our finances run out; when our experiences and reason are illogical, we must trust God. He is tired and true! The forever faithful, unchanging God of all creation!
How do you know that YOU can trust Him? People will let you down, money will mislead you, your emotions will deceive you and reason will railroad you, but God will never leave you or forsake you. He will be faithful even when you’re not faithful. We can trust Him because when we spit on Him, mocked Him, beat Him and crucified Him, He loved us, cared for us, provided for us, helped us, and saved us from our sins and death by allowing His Son, Jesus, to die on a cross in our place, taking our sin, death and shame upon Himself! So, when to world doesn’t make sense and it leaves you with more questions than answers trust your training, trust your equipment and finally, trust in the God Who can do more than our feeble minds can conjure up!