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Trust and Confidence
by Nate Naversen

Two weeks ago, Dick Vermeil was going to be the biggest fool or the shrewdest gambler in the NFL. With 5 seconds left, Kansas City trailed by three and had the ball on the Oakland 1 yard line. Kansas City head coach Dick Vermeil faced one of the toughest decisions of his long coaching career.

The Chiefs were down by three points. What should Vermeil decide? Have placekicker Lawrence Tynes -- who's on a 13-for-13 streak -- kick a virtually automatic field goal and force overtime? Or roll the dice and go for the win? One thing was for sure. The Chiefs had only one shot at it.

Vermeil went for the TD and the win. Behind center Casey Wiegmann and 10-time Pro Bowl right guard Will Shields, Chief's running back Larry Johnson dived over the pile into the end zone for a 27-23 victory that brought a roar from the sellout crowd and left the emotional head coach in tears.

``Wow! I was scared. I just figured I'm too old to wait,'' said Vermeil, who recently turned 69. ``If we had not made it, then you (reporters) would have had a lot of fun with that. It was not an impulsive thing. It was the right thing for us to do.'' The sixth straight victory for the Chiefs (5-3) over the Raiders (3-5) kept them one game behind Denver in the AFC West and dealt Oakland a painful loss.

Can you imagine how motivated the Chief's will be from now on knowing that their coach trusts in them so much that he would give up a sure field goal for a chance at a win? Wouldn't it be great to know that someone trusted in you that much? Said Chiefs QB Trent Green, `No matter how that play ended up. .. I think that was great on (our coach's) part to have the confidence in us.''

The confidence that Dick Vermeil had in his offense to win the game is the same sort of confidence we can have of our Lord in heaven. The Lord is perfect in keeping his promises and he is trustworthy in every aspect of our lives. If God promises something, we can trust that He will do it. The problem comes when we disbelieve God. We don't believe that God has our very best interests at heart.

We hold onto our money because we don't trust the Lord will really provide for us if we give away some of our money. We walk or drive by that homeless guy on the street. We don't help that person we know who just lost their job and could use that extra $100 this month. We hold onto our money instead of giving generously, and yet our bank account sometimes still ends up empty each month because we don't trust that God will provide for us.

We single men don't truly believe that God is good enough to bring us the wife of our dreams. So we sell God short and trade a real woman in for a fantasy woman in a strip club, a magazine or on a pornographic web site. And that fantasy leaves us feeling empty inside when compared to the loving relationship the Lord wants us to have in marriage to a real woman. The same can be said for women who give up a real man in exchange for romance novels or reality shows like the Bachelor where 'reality' is actually nothing more than a fantasy. Generally in those shows even the eventual winner doesn't end up together with the Bachelor in real life, and everyone (including all 16 million viewers) ends up without the dream guy. Everyone is an eventual loser if you think about it. A real marriage to a man is far better than a fantasy television show, yet women still get hooked on these shows instead of being thankful for the man God has placed in their lives. Women too do not trust the God has their best interests at heart when it comes to their love lives, and so we both settle for a fantasy that leaves us empty.

We don't trust God to take away our sins either. God forgives anyone of their sins freely and without reservation. All you have to do is pray and ask Him to take away your sins and He promises to do it. Yet even after we do we still struggle with trying earn righteousness by being good all the time. Of course that doesn't work. Once we fall short, we feel guilty and try harder, only to fall flat again. Eventually we get to the point where we don't even want to try anymore, or even think about the sin in our lives. We have that problem because we don't trust that God has really forgiven us.

Do you know how to break these cycles of sin and guilt? The answer is simple: Just start trusting in God and His promises in different aspects of your life. Give generously and then trust him to provide for you monetarily. See what happens as the Lord blesses you in your life as you give up the love of money. Give up that dirty magazine subscription or that reality television show and trust that the husband or wife God sends to you will far exceed the fantasy you thought you wanted. Trust God to forgive your sins and then just walk with Him without the guilt. You can then live and love others freely knowing your sins are forgiven. Do you see how trusting God in every aspect of your life leads to freedom from sin and bondage? All it takes is for you to start trusting in the Lord with the things in your life. As we start the second half, here is a verse to think about from Joshua 21:44-46

44 The LORD gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their forefathers. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the LORD handed all their enemies over to them. 45 Not one of all the LORD's good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.

Just like Dick Vermeil took a chance and trusted his offense to beat the Raiders on the last play of the game, think about the ways you can start trusting God with your life both today and this week.

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