A story is told of a man who encountered Jesus and wanted to give his whole life to Him. Early in his journey, he came upon a signpost with two directional arrows pointing in opposite directions. The first arrow read:
He earnestly desired to please God and decided to devote his life to this path. Along his journey, he came upon many people who were striving to live pure lives before God, while often feeling discouraged, ashamed and exhausted. He exerted so much effort in “managing” his sin, yet inside he felt even more distant from God. After many years of hiding his shame behind a forced smile and more effort, he became so discouraged that he abandoned his journey. He returned the way he had come – resigned that it was impossible for him to live a life pleasing and near to God.
And once again, he came upon the signpost along the path. This time he noticed the other arrow. It read:
This story is adapted from John Lynch, Bruce McNicol & Bill Thrall, The Cure: What if God isn't who you think He is and neither are you?. This book is a wonderful resource for anyone wanting to grow in radical trust of Jesus.
In reflecting upon my experience of following Jesus thus far, I have become increasingly aware of the Shepherd’s loving invitation to: “Trust me.” Yet so often I try to follow Jesus without Him! Without trusting Jesus, how He loves me, or who He says that I am, I am left with an impossible task. My self-reliance leads me to fear, discouragement and disconnection from the loving Savior. Only by trusting Jesus do I find my true self and freedom from a life of “image.” We can only live near to God when our trust and identity is in Christ as His beloved.
Third Day wrote a song that I listen to often as a reminder of this truth. When I first heard the opening lines of the song, I found myself reflecting with sadness on my failings. And then the chorus greeted me with a refreshing surprise!
You can listen to the song (with lyrics) here:
Third Day: “Trust in Jesus”
One of these days we all will stand in judgment for
Every single word that we have spoken
One of these days we all will stand before the Lord
Give a reason for everything we’ve done
And what I’ve done is
Trust in Jesus
My great Deliverer
My strong Defender
The Son of God
I trust in Jesus
My Lord forever
The Holy One, the Holy One
In the end, all we can do is trust Jesus.
So why not shape our lives around a radical trust of Jesus now?