The Seat of Honor

Seat of Honor2

After Moses takes matters into his own hands rather than trusting God, God chastises Moses. He says, “Because you did not trust me enough to honor me as holy….” The words of the Lord here teach us that sincere and wholehearted trust will always honor God as holy. As we begin to consider what it means to trust The Lord with all of our heart, we need to better define what this means. How do I know if I am trusting The Lord enough? What is the instrument of measurement? The truth is that most of us truly feel like we are trusting The Lord, but we don’t really know how to verify if what we feel we are doing is truly what we are doing. How can we measure our trust to see if it is enough? How can I make sure I am trusting with all of my heart? I can’t set it up on a scale to see how weighty it is. I can’t pour it into a measuring cup. There is no tape measure that can give me an accurate reading of my trust level. What is the instrument of measurement to use?

To begin with, trusting the Lord with all of our heart is a huge task. But to make it more difficult, we have to remember that as The Lord cleanses us, giving us more and more power through the Holy Spirit to trust Him, our potential and His expectation of our ability to trust Him is increased. The Lord’s ability to cleanse us cannot be limited and neither can our potential for trust be limited. Trust has an ever-increasing value. The amount of trust represented by the phrase “all of my heart” is going to be increasing as we mature in Christ. With this understanding, we should always be striving to trust Him more. I do not hold on to an expectation that one day I shall reach at the peak of my trust level. Even the Apostle Paul, at the height of his service to The Lord said that he had not arrived at any kind of peak, but instead he pressed forward toward the prize. This must be our mindset. We are always pressing forward to greater trust in The Lord.

When God told Moses that he did not trust Him enough to honor him as holy, God was giving Moses a measuring stick. Our level of trust is measured by how our actions honor God as holy. We are God’s plan of revealing Himself to the world. It is through believers that unbelievers will find God. This is why the Scripture says that faith will come through hearing. It doesn’t say that faith will come through reading the Bible without interaction with other believers. The spirit of Christ within one person ignites the spirit of another and stirs new faith. People need to see the conviction in our eyes. They need to hear our faith in our words. They need to feel our passion before they will be convinced that God is real. Unless we reach out to people and somehow direct them to God, they will never find God. When we are trusting The Lord fully, it should reflect the true character of God, the Holy One.

Our relationship with God is not just about us. As The Lord is working on us, we are also instruments He is using to work on others around us. When we go through difficult times, we will see how the Holy Spirit is working on us. But we must also realize that our learning is not done in isolation. These are not lessons that take place on some deserted island or in the recesses of our spirit. People around us are connected to us and they see what we do. They hear what we say. They might even feel what we feel. They are able to see to some degree the suffering we are encountering or the fear we have in stressful situations, and they see how we respond. As others watch our response, they too are being taught by the Holy Spirit and our life has become the manipulative He uses to teach others. If we do not completely accept this truth, it will be difficult to trust God. We are His children and He will bless us, but we are also the clay and He is the potter and He intends to use us to be a revelation of Himself to the world we live in every day. Trusting The Lord will bring many blessings into our life, but the process of trust places us on display before all of creation.

It is when we are in the valleys of the shadow of death that the Lord will challenge us to trust Him more. This is just a nice way for me to say that the Lord will let you go through Hell before He appears. He will not break a bruised reed. He will not take you further than your faith can handle, but He will take you much further than you ever wanted to go. The solution will be seen, but at a distance. The healing will be far away. Our ability to trust Him in these places will keep us safe from the traps of fear, stress, and worry. Trust is what we need when we can’t see or understand what God is doing. The further into darkness we can maintain our trust in the Lord, the brighter His light shines through us. When we are healed quickly from chicken pox, we can give Him glory, but when He heals cancer, does He not receive greater glory. Yet, the cancer takes us much further into darkness. The darker it is when He appears, the more He is seen. But He can’t appear in our darkness without trust. The different levels of our trust allow us to be taken into places so dark that when He does appear, the whole world will see. But this level of trust is not easy.

We must fight against fears, insecurities, doubts, weaknesses, and naysayers. During these times, our life becomes the canvass of God and He is painting His image into our life so that others might be able to see Him. The invisible God becomes visible to those who don’t know Him when we trust Him. The greater our trust, the more God is seen by those around us. We are to trust God in such a way that His presence in our life becomes a distinct image that others can see.

Not too long ago, one of the matriarchs of our church was diagnosed with cancer. She was not given very much time to live by the doctors. Sue, whose smile I can still see in my head, was given just a couple of months when she was first diagnosed. She had not wanted to go to the doctor. She suffered a great deal and when she finally did go to the doctor, the breast cancer has spread throughout her body. The doctors had no hope, none. Sue accepted that this disease was in her, but she did not accept the time limit given by the doctors. She lived each day to the fullest. She became the self-appointed landscape artist at her assisted living facility. She took a drab courtyard with very little life or color and began to plant flowers and trees. She cut back shrubs and went out each day to water them. The residents began to spend more time in the courtyard. She also inspired the staff. She became a symbol of living victory even as defeat grew within her physical body. Sure, she struggled. She knew the end was coming and prayed heavily over her family. Sure, she was in pain. Some days, especially as the end came closer, she struggled to get out of bed. I remember during these times, if I was visiting her that day, she would ask me to go and water the flowers in the courtyard because she wanted the residents to have some color in their lives. The Lord was challenging her each day to make Him her joy no matter what was happening in her body. He was teaching deep lessons. But I had the privilege of watching. The residents were watching. The staff was watching. Our church was watching. We were all inspired. The power of God in our eyes increased dramatically. What kind of God can give such joy in the heart of a woman suffering physically, mentally, and emotionally in this valley of death! And if God could give Sue joy in her suffering, we learned that God can certainly give us joy in our suffering which was but a fraction of what she was going through. God’s classroom is vast and intense. He is always teaching. And what you are going through is not isolated in you. Your situation is a lesson of the greatness of God’s power when we trust Him enough to honor Him as holy.

God told Moses that his lack of trust kept honor from God. Our trust should put God on display. If you have ever been to any kind of award ceremony, the person who is being honored is set up on a platform or brought up to the head table or given some kind of award in front of everyone else. A lifestyle of trust will bring honor to God. God will be set up as the center of attention in our life. All eyes will be on Him as people watch us. He will be set above. He will be placed in front. He will be honored for all that He has done. When we don’t trust God, we do not honor Him. We do not set Him in the place of honor. We do not reveal Him. We do not draw people’s attention to Him. Our level of trust can be measured by the degree that God is honored in our life in each moment. By trusting God, we are declaring that God has more wisdom, more power, more serenity, more strength, more comfort, more everything than anyone or anything else. He is more than we need for each and every situation we are in. We are declaring that His ways are not only higher than ours, but they are better than ours.

The way we respond to situations that require trust will put something or someone in the place of honor. When we fear, we are trusting our own understanding and we are giving our own understanding the seat of honor. When we throw out fear and take hold of faith, we are placing God’s wisdom in the seat of honor. When we lash out in anger, we put our power to control in the seat of honor. But when we hold our tongue and refuse to be offended, we put the peace of God in the seat of honor. When we try to buy our way out of situations, we bring money up on stage. If we respond with prayer to God, we ask the Lord to come up on stage to be honored. Our reactions to these situations will elevate something. We will honor God or some other idol in our life. Who or what are you giving the seat of honor to in those difficult, scary, and uncertain times of your life? Which god are you exalting by your response?

This was an excerpt from my upcoming book.  I am still working on it.  Let me know what you think?????  Thanks!

Pastor Lee is the Lead Pastor at CrossRoads Community Church in San Antonio, Texas. His message focuses on the healing power of Scripture through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is the Father of three awesome sons and he is madly in love with his wife, Amy. And his favorite past time is losing golf balls in the rough while attempting to play a round of golf.

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