As I said earlier today I'm starting the first day of sharing with you things that God has told me are "Not Optional" for the next 25 years of my life. Since I wrote the blog this morning this first word has been rolling over and over in my mind, so after getting some things done I am sitting down to start this ball rolling. The first thing is trust. For months and months I have been declaring Proverbs 3:5-6. I trust in You with all my heart, I lean not on my own understanding, in all my ways I acknowledge you, and you will make my path straight. (That's my declaration, not how the scripture is exactly worded)

I've focused and focused on and harped on, "In ALL my ways I acknowledge you". As God said "trust", I really thought, LORD I DO TRUST YOU!!! But have I really even paid attention to the words of the verse I've claimed hundreds of thousands of times? "Trust in the Lord with all your heart". I do trust Him, but do I trust Him with all my heart? I don't know, it seems like that is a lot to ask for, but isn't most things He asks for? He asks for my life to be a living sacrifice, He asks me to give Him full control, He asks to be acknowledged in all my ways, He asks for me to be a servant to others, He asks me to love my enemies... Oh the list could go on and on and you know what I realized is central to all of that, it's central to everything on my list, it's central to Christianity... Trusting Him. When I trust Him then I can obey Him without fear.

God has continued to confirm over and over again the things He showed me last week. One day my Pastor's wife came into the youth room and just jumped right in, "You know what Jessika, let me tell you something..." She launches into a conversation about trusting God. By the time she finished I just looked at her and said can we please do this more often? LOL. She doesn't have a clue the revelation, truth, conviction, and confirmation her words brought. She used Elijah as an example of trusting. In 1 Kings 18:17 you see the beginning of a story of absolute trust in God. I don't want to tell the whole story, but basically Elijah tested the prophets of Baal. He said if your god is real then have him light this alter on fire, obviously it didn't spark. Then Elijah had them gather all the people (there's a lot to be said about how God wants an audience, I'll save that for another day), he had water poured on the wood 3x, he had a trench of water built around the alter, then He called upon the One True God, and it says that the fire of the Lord fell, it consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the dust, and even all the water.

Elijah trusted God completely. He knew that God would show up to prove Himself. He not only took the situation of the other gods, but he  made it even bigger by POURING WATER on the wood and the sacrifice THREE TIMES. He knew who God was, He knew His character, and He trusted Him to move.

Often times my trust is conditional. My amount of trust in Him depends on my understanding or comprehension of the situation. If I can wrap my head around it then sure I'll trust Him. If I can see the solution then sure I believe He'll do it. Where does that type of trust leave faith at? (Oh don't worry faith is another word we'll be addressing soon) Hebrews 11:8 says BY FAITH Abraham went out though He knew not where He was going. I don't know if I trust God enough to believe He'll consume an alter with fire, much less if I pour water on it. (I warned you that I'm going for honesty) I believe God will heal because I've seen Him heal. I believe God will save because I've seen Him save. I believe God will redeem because I've seen Him redeem. But what about the situations that I don't have experience to help deepen my level of trust? What about when I just need to trust Him because He is ... Him. The I AM. My Daddy God?

Trust produces godly characteristics. Trust produces obedience. No, I don't trust Him with my whole heart, but now I know that deeper trust is not optional in this season of my life. Trust stops worry in its tracks. As I trust in Him with all my heart it means I believe that He is true to His Word. It means that I know whatever the circumstances He is trustworthy. The Word says in Romans 8:23 "We KNOW that in ALL THINGS God works for the GOOD of those who love Him". I love Him, so that must mean that He works all things for my good. It says that He has a plan to prosper me and not to harm me to give me a hope and a future. Trust believes this to be true. Do you see where worry can't be where trust is? It's just like how fear can't be where faith is. (check out this blog on that)

I chose to write on trust first because trust is one of those that is as much a condition of the heart as it is an issue of obedience. I'm not only trying to "be trusting" I'm asking God to help me "trust with all my heart". I know Jessika in and of herself can't boost my trust to the level it should be. It's going to take Word, it's going to take prayer, it's going to take some changing of mindsets, it's going to take TRUST to trust Him more. The Holy Spirit is here to help me and I will grow in my trust of Him. As that trust grows then it will work in the other things God has asked me to make "not optional". Trust is central, it is crucial, it is mandatory, and ... it's a blessing. Trusting Him takes the pressure off of me, it takes it off those around me, it calls my attention and focus to the One who loves me. He's who it's all about anyway, He is who this is all for, it is Him that I long to please, it is Him who I am madly in love with, it's Him, He's my everything.

I trust in You with all my heart, I will not lean to my own understanding, with the Holy Spirit's help I will acknowledge You in all my ways, and I know that You are faithful and will continue to make my path straight.

Be Blessed, J. Tate