Trust, but Verify

“Trust, but verify” – Do you remember that expression? It’s actually an Old Russian proverb but it was made famous by President Ronald Reagan who used it several times in explaining America’s approach to negotiations with the Soviet Union on nuclear disarmament. It seemed like a pretty good idea to me at the time.

Though I’m sure it was a prudent and judicious approach to the Soviets with this issue at the time, it is a really bad idea when it comes to your relationship with God at any time. Here’s why—you are either going to trust God, or not. There is no in-between position. A.B. Simpson once wrote, “If Peter was ever going to walk on the water, he had to walk. But if he was going to swim, he had to swim. He could not do both.”

When I was a young child growing up in Shreveport, Louisiana my family travelled to East Texas and met up with some friends at a popular amusement waterpark called Crystal Lake. Lots of fun things to do there but the highlight for many kids were the Zip Lines which ran from a lofty platform at the water’s edge, extended across much of the lake, and then gradually descended into the water. You would hit the water with a big splash. I spent many Saturdays in the summer at this park through my childhood and teen years. But on this first time that I  grabbed hold of the trolley grip as a child I was scared to death. (Unlike Zip Lines today, you weren’t harnessed in safely—you just had to hang on!). So as a young child I chickened out at my first attempt. But I finally did it at the prompting of older friends because I knew I would not have the thrill of the ride if I didn’t grab hold and push off. So the first time, I closed my eyes with the trolley grip firmly in my hands and pushed off… “Whew, I did it!!” And what a ride it was!! When I got out of the water I went back and did it again and again and again…Through my formative years I rode those Zip Lines dozens of times and enjoyed the thrill of it every time. But I had to trust the Zip Line to experience the thrill of the ride!

Scripture teaches us that it is the same thing in our spiritual life. Jesus said, “Blessed (Happy) are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29). I think this means practically that God usually keeps the positive results of faith away from us until we learn to trust Him without them. First the trust, then the thrill! So—

It’s not trust and verify,                                                                

Trust alone will satisfy!

Devotedly yours,

Pastor Ron


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