Trust God, Try God

Try God, Trust God | Smokie Norful

Trust God, Try God

If Christ lives in us, controlling our personalities, we will leave glorious marks on the lives we touch. Not because of our lovely characters, but because of His. — Eugenia Price

One Sunday I preached a sermon from Matthew’s gospel, titled “According to Your Faith.” Jesus had been raising the dead and healing the sick — all in a day’s work for the King and Savior! At one point, two blind men joined the crowd following Him. In itself, that’s an interesting concept. They couldn’t see what was going on, but their heightened sense of hearing picked up every vibe in the crowd. They’d heard the stories of the miracles this man had performed, and undoubtedly they had talked between themselves about the possibility that He might come to their city. I can imagine them saying, “If He comes here, He can restore our sight!”

They stumbled along with the crowd, but they weren’t content to just be part of the background noise. They yelled, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”

Other people might have been following Jesus just to see the show, but these two men trusted Him for more than entertainment. They were physically blind, but their spiritual sight was clear and sharp. When they shouted, they didn’t ask for the miracle of sight. They asked for God’s mercy. Instinctively, they knew that the mercy of God opened the door to all other possibilities.

By this time, the number of people around Jesus must have been in the hundreds, probably thousands. In Matthew’s account, Jesus didn’t stop and go back to meet the blind men. He may not have heard their cries. He went into a house, which is a family’s sanctuary of peace and safety. The two blind men didn’t care. They wouldn’t stop until they had met Jesus! They must have found someone to help them weave their way through the milling crowd to find the door to the house. They barged in unannounced but warmly welcomed.

If I’d been one of those men, I would have had plenty of questions: “Why did You let this happen to me in the first place?” “Didn’t You hear us on the road? We yelled to You, but You didn’t stop. What’s that about?” “What are You doing in this house? We had a hard time finding You. Maybe You didn’t realize it, but we’re blind!” But they didn’t ask any of those questions, and they didn’t complain about their condition. They simply and quietly approached the presence of God.

If they had asked why He didn’t stop when they called out to Him, He might have told them, “You wanted Me to go where you were, but I wanted you to come where I am. That’s the essence of what it means to follow Me.”

Jesus didn’t have to ask them what they wanted. It was plainly apparent. He simply asked about their faith: “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”

I can imagine their hearts almost bursting with anticipation. They instantly answered, “Yes, Lord.”

Do you see the faith in their answer? They didn’t just say, “Yes.” They said, “Yes, Lord.” They realized Jesus wasn’t a carnival sideshow doing tricks. He was the promised Messiah, the Son of David, Jehovah, the King of Glory in the flesh! Nothing is impossible for Him!

Jesus probably smiled as He reached over to touch their clouded, blind eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you.”

Immediately, the two men could see!

At this early part of Jesus’ career, He was afraid that His popularity might cause people to try to make Him king too early. To protect the little anonymity He had left, He told the men, “See that no one knows about this.”

Fat chance. That ain’t happening. As soon as the two men walked out the door, they told everybody in the region what Jesus had done for them! (Matthew 9:27-31). These two men didn’t let anything — including their condition, their established lifestyle of begging, the size of the crowd, or the seeming indifference of Jesus when they yelled to Him — stop them from pursuing God’s best for their lives. They were tenacious.

When I spoke on this passage, I explained that we might have dozens of excuses to stand on the side of the street while God’s miraculous power and love pass by. We may call out and hope God will answer. When He doesn’t, we feel even more like victims of our circumstances. The two men in this passage refused to remain victims any longer. Even when their shouts for help weren’t immediately answered, they kept trusting, kept hoping, and kept following until they were in the presence of Jesus and He met their deepest needs — first, mercy; second, sight.

When people see themselves as victims, they find plenty of excuses. But I’ve seen those with severe physical handicaps, single moms, unemployed workers, the elderly, the sick, and those with all kinds of other very real problems find the courage to be like these two men. They refused to look inside for excuses, and they refused to listen to those who told them it was too late for God to do anything significant in their lives. They kept reaching for Jesus no matter what. Their trust couldn’t be quenched by doubts — their own or others’.

I trust that after reading this far God has put a dream in your heart or rekindled one that was once dormant. Now it’s time to act. The dream may need to be shaped, pruned, and refined, but it will capture your heart and give you a reason to get up each morning. You won’t realize the dream if you simply stand on the sidelines, listening to all the doubters.

You have to trust God. Then, take action to try God. He will respond to your faith. So, get out there and demonstrate your faith by taking a courageous step toward your dreams.

Excerpted with permission from Take the Lid Off by Smokie Norful, copyright W. Ray Norful, Jr.

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Take the Lid Off

Take the Lid Off
Smokie Norful
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Smokie Norful

Smokie Norful is founder and senior pastor of Victory Cathedral Worship Center, a congregation on three campuses in Bolingbrook and Chicago, Illinois. A graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois, Norful also served on the board of regents for Trinity International University. A multiple Grammy-winning artist who has sold more than three million albums worldwide, he has also received Stellar awards; Dove awards; an NAACP Image Award nomination; a Soul Train Award nomination; two nominations for the BET Award for gospel music; two RIAA-certified Gold-selling compact discs; and countless other awards. He lives with his wife and family in the Chicago area.

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