The Impossible Trust

We’ve seen Christians crumble in despair, marriages disintegrate, worthy non-profit Christian organizations fail in their anointed tasks. It always happened when they came face to face with THE IMPOSSIBLE TRUST. I do not know why it is impossible. It may have something to do with the words from Isaiah: “the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint” (1:5). I only know for sure the havoc I’ve seen come when people fail when they come face to face with The Impossible Trust.

How God Taught Me How To Trust Him

Growing In Faith

All I know for sure is my own story and what I think are truths God showed me.  It all began when I was sitting in my living room one day, praying.  That in itself may have been a bit unusual!  But I was a pastor, and I did have to come up with a new sermon every Sunday.  Since, in my first two sermons, I had already preached everything I knew, I had no choice but to find out what He wanted me to preach!

We had five children.  Children are expensive.  Pastor’s salaries are low.  You soon learn to cut corners, to buy used clothing, and to do without some things.  We would have been considered generous givers, but not tithers.  It always seemed there was never enough money left over to tithe.  I was seriously thinking about not giving anything that week.  That was not the subject of my prayer.  I was praying about my sermon.  So, you can imagine my surprise, my chagrin, when this extremely strong feeling came over me that I had just been caught with my hand in the cash register, stealing!  “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say “Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings” Malachi 3:8).

When God confronts you like that you don’t argue!  I tithed.  I did not want to ever have another confrontation like that!  But there is a wonderful part to the story that legalistic minded people often forget.  Since we were tithers, we had the right to make some demands on God!  “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it (Malachi 3:10).  As we had need we demanded, and God provided.  Our children will never forget the Sunday morning when they opened the front door and discovered an envelope containing ten one-hundred-dollar bills.

The decision to tithe was an act of my will, with a little boost from God!  I had the freedom to choose not to obey.  But, it did seem that the consequences of obeying were a bit better than disobeying: “Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me…” (Malachi 3:9).  The consequences of obedience ended up being far more exciting.

Faithfulness...With a Twist

While all this was going on I began making audio tapes of the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International meetings, and Women’s Aglow meetings in Sioux City.  This proved to be very profitable and provided gas for my car and food for our table.  When I saw how profitable it was, and wanting God to make it even more profitable, I magnanimously gave it to God.  What I didn’t expect was that He would literally take it!  Before I knew it I heard Him say through me, “You can have all the tapes you want for free.”  We questioned God.  He said yes, give them away.  I said, well we’ve got some bills to pay for equipment and supplies.  If we give the tapes away, You are going to have to pay the bills.  His answer?  He paid them off quicker than I was doing!

Please note that the above events, and those that follow happened only after we made the deliberate choice of will to tithe and to trust God, to expect Him to do what His promises said He would do.  We made God, not people, not the local church, our source.  “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6).  “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.  Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.  And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:6-8).  “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38).

Trying To Give God a Little "Help"

I used to be a fairly good magician.  I had honed my skills and proven that I could demand top dollar for my performances.  I could easily double my income in my spare time.  I was beginning to plan my strategy when God spoke again!  In essence what He asked me was, “Are you going to be my pastor or a magician?”  When God asks a question like that it comes with an understanding of what He is asking you to do.  In my case it meant packing up all my equipment and getting rid of it.

That was no easy task.  I was passionate about magic.  I was the president of Ring 24 of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.  I had built an illusion I called the Enlarging Machine.  A piece of string enlarged into a large rope.  A small child’s sneaker grew into an adult’s sneaker.  Lastly a little doll enlarged into my daughter!  We were good.  And now, once again God was asking me to trust Him.

Once again, I chose obedience.  I chose to trust.  It was a matter of the will.  I said “God, if this is of you, you will have to take away my love of magic.”  I drove to Omaha and gave it all to a friend who sold magic.  It was a heart wrenching experience.  This was giving up a large part of my life.  On my way home God did it.  All the desire, all the love, all the passion disappeared.  Once again, I would have to trust God to meet all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19) and it was glorious!

Learning The Impossible Trust

The Impossible Trust for us was to trust God, and God alone, for our finances.  God doesn’t do things the way we do them and staying in a state of trust can be extremely difficult. The day came when we heard God say, “Leave the pastorate now.  Leave now or you never will.”  What did God have in mind?  What was I to do?  How would we live and where would we live?  Obviously, our actions would not make sense to anyone.  But that didn’t matter because we were committed to trusting God.

Our oldest daughter had it settled with God that we would stay in the same town.  We ended up moving into a house at the last minute, that was not our choice.  A few months later, through several miracles we took over the tape library of The Lord’s Own Tape Ministry consisting of over 4,000 master tapes and some 50,000 lending tapes.  One day I was sitting at my desk and asked God why we didn’t get the house we had picked out?  His answer was that this house was the only house available that had room to house the tape library!  He knew His plans to bless Danny and Becky Beutler, who owned the library, and His plans for us to take over the library even before He told us to leave the pastorate.  Without our having set our wills to trust Him to supply all our needs He could not have used us.

Experience The Impossible Trust For Yourself

Don’t get the impression we’ve got this trust thing all figured out.  Oh no.  It never got easy for us.  I still remember being so desperate, and helpless, I was beyond my wits end.  I laid the bills out on the sofa and knelt there crying out to God.  The funny thing was that the money we needed was already in the mail!  It was one of those times when God kept saying “Trust Me” and my mind couldn’t get hold of it.  I had no peace until I had the money in my hand, and then I had Joy.

Looking to God as our source, and not people, Trusting Him alone, is not an easy task.  What happens when husbands and wives are hit by a financial crisis?  Do they turn to God and place their trust in Him?  Maybe, at first.  But then they turn on each other.  Financial stress is said to be one of the greatest factors in divorce.  The same thing happens in our Churches.  Money problems can split a church.

It even happens in wonderful non-profit organizations like CFO.  It is so hard for people to trust God, to look to God to provide.  We let this inability to trust get in the way of seeing God’s visions and God’s dreams for our families, our churches and CFO.  Our dreams seem to end where the visible money ends.  Our vision stops when we can’t see the money.  We just can’t grasp the idea that where God guides God provides.  Nor can we grasp the fact that obedience comes first.  It is all a matter of the will.  Trust is not an emotion.  Trust is a willful decision that you will stake everything on God’s promises, and you will not back off your confession come what may.

I wonder what miracles, what joys await me, await you, await your marriage and family, await your church if we can just set our wills to embrace The Impossible Trust?

Share your experience with others so that others can be encouraged by your testimony.

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