In his first sermon of 2019, Pastor Phyl talked about how the Festive season wouldn’t be the same without certain things. For him, one of these things is watching movies. Over Christmas, he watched one of his favourite movies, which is “The Jungle Book”.
He showed a clip of when Mowgli is confronted by Kaa, the snake, who tells him that he won’t betray him like his so called friends. He tells Mowgli that he has his best interests at heart, when really, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
It is reality, that we all trust in different things and people every day in some way or another. The question is, who are we going to put our trust in this year?
Pastor Phyl then introduced the Verse Of The Year(VOTY) for the Church; which comes from Proverbs:
“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.”
Trust is such an important part of our lives. It isn’t logical. For some people, trust is something that needs to be earned, whereas some people just have an implicit trust.
Pastor Phyl used the illustration of a glass of water for his point here, when he said that some people start off with a trust cup that’s empty. He then asked whether it wouldn’t be better to have a full trust cup to start with, and if people broke our trust then we could pour some of that trust away.
He then went on to apply this illustration to God, saying that it is illogical that we, as Christians, have a full cup of trust that is overflowing for others, and yet, although God is someone that we can trust implicitly, our God cup is continually being emptied because we won’t trust Him with certain aspects and areas of our lives.
Can we learn to just trust God this year?
It says in Hebrews, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” It also says in Hebrews, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Pastor Phyl encouraged us to learn and live out our VOTY. He said that this must be done in two ways:
- What we believe.
- How we behave.
The words “all your” are included in this passage twice. We are called to trust with ALL, and not part. Pastor Phyl said that we must employ both these ways if we are to live out the scripture. We must believe, but it is not enough to just do this. We must also act on what we believe.
Erwin McManus says that trust is not just about what we believe, but about what we care about. Pastor Phyl gives the example of a man from Ammanford, who had smoked for fifty years, and then one day, he said that he had given up. Pastor Phyl asked him how, when he had tried before and failed. His reply was that the doctor had told him that if he didn’t, he would be dead within six months.
The thing is that our behaviour has to back up our beliefs. There is a difference between heart knowledge and head knowledge, and Pastor Phyl encouraged us to get rid of ‘stinking thinking’, so that we can follow the knowledge of our hearts and allow ourselves to trust God implicitly with every aspect of our lives.
Pastor Phyl told us that trust was both illogical and practical, but we’re not good at practical. He gave the example of dieting, and how we know logically what we need to do, and the practical steps that we must take, and yet we still find it hard to follow this.
He said that spiritual laws are very practical. Our VOTY is so simple, but we find it so difficult to live this out in our lives. Psalm 55:22-23 tells us to give God all of our worries and to wait on Him, but how can we wait on Him with expectation if our glass is empty.
We need to dedicate our time to Him. The thing is, that trust is psychological. Throughout history, there have been clans, and each clan has a reputation of its own, and we all use our gifts in our own individual ways.
Trust has a reputation of its own, but this has changed over time. The reputation of trust is no longer institutional; it is personal. Pastor Phyl used the illustration of people buying items from complete strangers off EBay.
It has been ingrained on our psychology to not trust anyone. We’ve all looked up restaurants, or hotels online. We’ve all looked at the reviews of items on Amazon, in order to see if we can trust what we’re looking at, but the thing is, we don’t need to give God reviews, as He won’t let us down. Ever.
God sees us as a cup. He wants us full. The question is, are we ready for Him. He fills us until we overflow. If we trust in Him and come to Him with all our life, then He will fill us up.
It says in Philippians not to be anxious about anything, but to present our requests to God with thanksgiving, and trust in Him to help us.
The question is, will we dedicate our lives to Him at the start of this year? Will we trust Him with all of our heart, and allow Him to fill our cup until it overflows?
Scriptures: Proverbs 3:4-6, Hebrews 11:1, Hebrews 11:6, Psalm 55:22-23, Philippians 4:6-7