Have you ever listened to a familiar song and suddenly had it hit different? Like the words just came to life and moved you as never before.
That was me yesterday. Early on Sunday mornings while living here on the island, I take my dog down to the water to swim. The rest of the island is hung over from their Saturday night, so it’s quiet and peaceful. Unlike all the other weekday mornings of coming to the water, I bring my chair so I can sit on Sunday mornings, and I turn on worship music. Yesterday, I selected a random worship playlist on Spotify for a new mix of songs.
This is my Jesus time. It’s quiet, there’s nothing in front of me but open turquoise waters and the occasional fish jumping or boat passing by.
So there I sit in my Tommy Bahama beach chair, worship music flooding my ears through my airpods, eyes filled with the beauty of the Florida Keys waters, and an older familiar songs plays. A song I know every word of. I wonder if you do too.
From the first 3 words of the chorus, I bet you can sing it.
Spirit lead me … (where my trust is without borders)
Let me walk upon the waters … (wherever you may call me)
Take me deeper than my … (feet could ever wander)
And my faith will be made stronger … (in the presence of my savior)
I too have sang those words countless times. I sang them at my best friends funeral. I sang them in countless church services. I sang them in the car with the windows rolled down. I sang them sitting by my Daddy’s bed, holding his hand as he took a peak inside heaven for the first time. I’ve played this song at retreats standing high atop a bluff overhanging the ocean. I’ve written several devotionals on this song. Yet this time, it hit different.
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.
Do I have borders on my trust in God?
Lord, I trust you with all of that, but not this. This, well this, I hold on to. This just can’t be surrendered. This is too personal. It’s too fragile. I can’t let you in this, God. But you can have everything else. I trust you wholly, completely with the rest of my life. Have your will, free reign is yours … up to these borders.
What borders have you placed on your trust? What area of your life do you still maintain control? Where have you kept God out?
Why would we do that?
We can paint it up pretty, but at the core, it’s purely a lack of trust. This is a trust issue. We struggle to trust that God is always good, God always knows best, and he is always working things together for good. I mean what if I let God into this sacred space that I’ve been protecting, and God happens to be in a bad mood that day?
For real, have you ever worried that maybe God is going to be in a bad mood, and your surrendered will is going to be trampled on? That maybe he’s going to make a real mess of what you’ve been trying so hard to hold together. That he might get it wrong and ruin all you’ve been trying to protect.
That’s a trust issue. But, to be fair, it’s hard to trust what you can’t see. It’s hard to trust what you can’t understand. It’s hard to trust what you can’t control.
I don’t trust Artificial Intelligence. I’ve watched entirely too many robot movies. I know how that ends. I’ll clean my own house, thank you. I’ll also write my own devotionals. My son recently asked me if I use ChatGPT for my work. It’s like Google on steroids with Artificial Intelligence. I told him no, I’m afraid of it. He says, “Mom, watch this.” He then types in a simple command of creating an upbeat, high energy, motivating christian devotional for women. Within 15 seconds, it has written the freaking most inspiring thing I’ve ever read. I’m screwed, y’all! I know how this ends, and how this ends is the robots taking over!
I don’t understand it. I can’t control it. And darn it, I don’t trust it!
So, isn’t God like the ultimate AI? Isn’t he a source of intelligence beyond anything we could ever understand or control? Isn’t he capable of completely taking over? I mean afterall, he created us, he can destroy us. How do we trust that?
No wonder we have borders on our trust. No wonder we hold back some areas of our life, just in case.
But, let me ask you about those areas you hold back … do you have peace there? Really, isn’t this the area of your life where you’re most in turmoil? Isn’t this what keeps you up at night? Isn’t this what you worry over the most? Isn’t this what holds you back?
May I suggest that’s all true BECAUSE you have held it back from God. Because you haven’t surrendered it, you have no peace. Because you have put up borders on your trust, you continue to worry over this. You continue to hurt over this. You continue to be consumed by this.
Isiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
Our trust in God results in perfect peace. A lack of peace indicates a resistance to trust. The absence of peace is a mind filled with worried thoughts and made up scenarios. There’s no room for peace in a mind that is busy making up stories or replaying old ones.
The Spirit of God is leading you now. Leading you to this place where your trust is without borders. And you don’t have to be afraid of this. You don’t have to fight this. Your trust in God will not be met with disappointment. He’s not a robot in the sky with plans of destruction. He’s a loving, caring Father who has good plans for your life and is working in every detail to bring those good plans into alignment for you. His plan is healing. His plan is restoration. His plan is blessings. His plan is eternity.
The next verse, Isaiah 26:4, “Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD God is the eternal Rock.”
God is the rock. The rock that doesn’t change. The rock that holds strong and steady. The rock which the gates of hell shall not prevail. No attack of the enemy can harm our God. No schemes from the pits of hell can shake him. He’s not changing his mind. He’s not turning his back. He can be trusted. Fully. Completely. Always. When he says he has good plans for you, he still does. When he says he will always be with you, he’s still there. When he says he is for you and not against you, he still is.
So, what is it you keep taking back from God? What is it you just can’t surrender? What is it you hold on to, fearing letting God have it will somehow make it worse?
For the addict, it’s their addiction. What would happen if they fully surrendered their addiction to God? They fear God’s anger and disappointment with them, so they build borders on their trust, and they refuse to offer it to God. When the truth is, God’s grace is big enough to cover all of that, and his supernatural touch can change things that have never, ever been able to change before. Surrender that to God. Trust him with it.
For the parent of the prodigal, we hold on to anger and hurt and fear. We stay up at night and we worry. We play out scenarios in our head of why and how, and they’re never good. But these thoughts are familiar and we hold them close. God simply wants us to surrender those worries to him. Invite him into this space where we hurt. What could he do? He could give us peace while he works in ways we cannot see and cannot understand. Come on Mama, let’s take down those borders now.
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.
For the divorced, for the abused, for the abandoned, for the cheated on, for the taken for granted, for the used, for the ignored, for the disappointed, for the one who feels like nothing but a burden, the Spirit of God says, “Give that to me. Trust me with what you can’t trust anyone else with. I will give you peace. I will calm your mind. I will renew your thoughts and make your mind wholly. I will protect you from the enemy. I will strengthen you. I will carry you through.”
So, here we are, girls with borders on our trust.
And here is God, asking us to let them down.
Lord, help us to trust you where we haven’t been able to trust you before. Guide us in a full surrender. Take us deeper than our feet could ever wander and make our faith stronger in the real presence of Jesus.