11-13Scripture reassures us, "No one who trusts God like this—heart and soul—will ever regret it." It's exactly the same no matter what a person's religious background may be: the same God for all of us, acting the same incredibly generous way to everyone who calls out for help. "Everyone who calls, 'Help, God!' gets help." 14But how can people call for help if they don't know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust if they haven't heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them? And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it?
(Romans 10:11-14 The Message)
You may find the fact that calling out to God ensures a listening ear - each and every time - a little hard to believe, but it is true! God listens AND he hears! As a little girl, I learned the story about "crying wolf" too many times. The idea of "crying wolf" was really a symbol of sounding a false alarm. In other words, you think you are in trouble, but really the threat is not real. The most amazing thing about God is that he really doesn't differentiate between us "crying wolf" and really being in trouble! He just listens and responds to each and every request we bring before him!
- How can people call for help if they don't know who to trust? This is the question of our times, is it not? We just don't believe what we hear anymore because we have heard so many different stories, so many lies, and been duped so many times. It is a sad fact, but true. Trust has been broken so many times by those we hold close to us, or those we really should be able to trust by nature of their position. No wonder society asks, "Who can we really trust?" So, the first thing we must establish clearly is that God has not changed! He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He is the unchanging one and as such, can be counted on to remain faithful in all he does and says (Deuteronomy 7:9).
- How can they know who to trust if they haven't heard of the One who can be trusted? There is a tendency to "be in the dark" about things until someone shares with you what you have been missing. When that moment comes, there is a release that comes (I call that our ah-haw moment). That release causes us to see things in a totally new light - we move from a lack of awareness to a fresh awareness (light). There is a responsibility to share our foundation of hope with those around us - not "hoard" Jesus to ourselves. The scripture is clear - if no one tells the world, how are they to know? Now, don't get me wrong, I am not a "stand on the street corners, shouting repent to the world" kind of gal! As a matter of fact, I have tried this at one time or another in my walk with Jesus and found it to be very unrewarding and a little useless. The fact is that Jesus came to tell us about his father in heaven, and he asks us to tell others about him, as well (John 8:26). How can they hear if nobody tells them? Telling is the ability to give an account, to report what one has done. All Jesus asks of us is to share what he has done in our own lives. It is an "accounting" for the hope we have. The hope we have is based on the testimony of ONE - Jesus. He came to tell us the way back to relationship with God - our testimony is to point others to that same hope (I John 5:11). It is our goal to be a living message of the truth that Jesus sets lives free.
- How is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it? What many of us really resist is the fact that we have been "called" and that "calling" includes being "sent". To be called simply means that we have been invited to be part of the family of God. To be sent means that we extend that invitation to others. Plain and simple.
Just as we confide in a close friend, Jesus is standing ready to have us confide in him. He invites us to bring our hurts, our hopes, and our cries for help. He sorts through each of them to "weed out" the perceived threats from the real ones. He is not concerned that we may "cry wolf" now and again - in fact, he uses those times as "teachable moments" to show us how he can be trusted, that he has things in his hands, and that there is NOTHING that can stand against us. There is a process of learning to "tell Jesus" our concerns, allowing him to bring out those things that really are at the core of our complaints and our concern. In so doing, he is teaching us.
That process of "telling" Jesus is more than just "telling" him what we think he wants to hear. Too many times, we learn to "tell" like we think it should be rather than the way it really is! Jesus relishes our honesty - even if it comes with a tendency to "cry wolf" on occasion. So, if we want to learn to "tell the world", we must first learn to "tell Jesus". No testimony to the world will be as effective as that which has already been discussed at the feet of Jesus!