“To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God.”—-Psalm 25:1-2a
“I don’t want to be a test dummy.”
This was a response I got from one of my teens as I was describing how God can work in our lives to bring about change if we just pray and invite God to show us how. I shared how we need to just have faith and follow God, and I wondered what would happen if we tried it out to see how God would work.
I envision a test dummy similar to a puppet—- having a master that decides its fate. Test dummies are used to test new products, or simulate humans, often in experiments that can lead to harm. I found this response interesting, as I think many Christians feel this way at times. The Bible describes many people whom God called to follow Him, and who were less than thrilled with the idea. Jonah ran away when God asked him to go to Ninevah. Moses made excuses when God asked him to lead the Israelites out of slavery. Jeremiah felt he was too young to be a prophet. Elijah went and hid in a cave. And it goes on and on.
A relationship with God comes down to trust. Are we to trust God has our best intentions in mind and works for our good in all things? Or is our image of God one of being a puppet master jerking us around on invisible strings, or pointing a big demanding finger down to us, or a test dummy sent into potentially harmful situations?
I am sure there are God-given opportunities I have missed because I didn’t trust God. I was afraid, or over-thought it, or didn’t think it would do any good, and now occasionally wonder what would have happened if I had swallowed my fear and stepped out in faith.
We can look to Jesus for help in this matter. Fully divine and fully human, yet without sin, He knew the Father’s will and submitted to Him, even though He knew He would die an excruciating death on a cross. Because He went to the test for us, we do not have to fear death because He has victory over it. He placed Himself in harm’s way. For us. And God rewarded Him, glorified Him, and He sits with God the Father in heaven.
Following God is risky, no doubt. It will change your life. But we can link our hand with that of our heavenly Father, knowing with Him, we can do anything He asks. We can say “Yes” to that call because we can trust the One who calls us. In what area of your life do you need to trust God this week?
Prayer—“Gracious God, many times I turn from you when you call. I pray you will change my heart so I will follow you and not be afraid. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”