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Learning to Trust God

Learning to Trust God
By Dr. David Reagan

I had to learn how to trust God the hard way — through experience.

That’s because I grew up in a church that believed God retired at the end of the First Century when the last apostle died. My church was legalistic and sectarian. We believed we were the one and only true church We considered the rest of the so-called “Christian world” to be terribly deceived. We consigned them to hell and believed they deserved it because, after all, they didn’t agree with us!

We believed the Bible was the Word of God, but we did not believe in the God who was revealed in the Bible. Our God was a God of Nostalgia. He was the “Grand Old Man in the Sky.” He was a God who once performed mighty deeds in Old Testament and New Testament times — but who ran out of gas at the end of the First Century. He had gone into retirement. The age of miracles had ceased.

Putting God in a Box

If I wanted to experience God, I had to go see a movie like The Ten Commandments, in Technicolor and Panavision, with a cast of thousands. I would sit there in awe as I witnessed Cecil B. DeMille re-create the miracles of God dividing the Red Sea, leading the Children of Israel with a cloud and feeding them with manna. I would drive home with goosebumps, yearning for such a God today — a God of power who was concerned about me and my problems.

But I didn’t believe in such a God. My God was an impersonal God who had more important things to worry about than my problems. Furthermore, even if He were concerned, He couldn’t do anything because He no longer intervened in human affairs.

My church had rejected more than the power of God. We had set aside the whole realm of the supernatural. We did not believe in demons or angels. They too had retired at the end of the First Century!

We knew nothing about spiritual warfare. We thought our battle was with flesh and blood. We knew nothing about the power of the Word, the power of prayer or the power of the name of Jesus.

Our faith was all past tense — directed at the Cross. Our faith did not relate to the present or the future. Regarding the present, our attitude was that God had given us a rule book and minds. We were to follow the rules and use our minds to cope rationally with the problems of life.

Our faith did not relate to the future because we ignored God’s Prophetic Word. Also, we were caught up in works salvation, and therefore we were all uncertain about our eternal destiny. The future was unknown. We tried not to think about it.

This was before the days of Christian radio and television and Christian bookstores. Our ministers could keep us in isolation from the rest of the world. We talked only to ourselves.

Sorting Out the Holy Spirit

Another aspect of our rejection of the supernatural was our treatment of the Holy Spirit. We mainly ignored the Spirit. Our preachers felt that any emphasis on the Spirit would lead to “dangerous emotionalism.” The Holy Spirit was the great taboo topic of our fellowship.

My book, Trusting God, tells the story of how I came to understand that God has never changed — that the miracle-working God of the Bible is the God of today and that His Holy Spirit is still active in the lives of believers, gifting them to serve our Lord and Savior.

I have found over the past 40 years of ministry that many professing Christians are in the same box I was in for many years, specializing in limiting God. My book is a challenge to set God free in your life to accomplish His will for you.

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