Stop trying, and start trusting. Easier said than done, right? It’s strange how we don’t mean to lean on our own understanding, yet we do. The tell-tale sign that we’re on the wrong path is always frustration. Anytime frustration sets in, I know immediately that something’s out of line spiritually.

When I became a Christian I was radically changed. Since then God’s continued to change my perspective as I’ve longed to walk intimately with him. Evaluating myself by the world’s standards has fallen off the priority list. When I was saved I experienced spiritual victory. The experience was so fresh and meaningful, and it never gets old. My relationship with Christ changed everything. I often sit and ponder the goodness of God and shed tears of joy over the fact that he accepts me even though I am completely unworthy.

After answering the call to ministry I was so zealous and passionate. There wasn’t anything I wouldn’t do to win people to Jesus. I was eager to do the will of the God. I didn’t need to evaluate anything; I only needed to know God was leading. This was young, blind, courageous faith.

After several years of following Christ and many years of service in the church I’ve discovered that sometimes the courageous zeal that I experienced early on has shifted without me even realizing it. Today I evaluate things more closely; I try to make educated decisions. Yet the frustration proves to be weightier than the early years of following Christ blindly into anything he set before me.

I’ve began to pray for the Lord to renew the childlike trust that I walked in years ago. In doing so, I’ve relearned the secret of successful Christian living. Victory comes not in trying, but in trusting. Walking with Jesus is not about what I can do, but in what Christ has already done. All I need to do is to trust the Lord with all my heart.

Keeping the faith of a child is the goal. Matthew 18:3 reads, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” What is the faith of a child? It’s a faith that completely trusts someone else to take care of him or her. The faith of a child is in every way dependent upon a guardian or parent for food, shelter, clothes, well-being, and everything else pertaining to life. This is where I want to live: a place of complete trust in my heavenly Father.

Christ was tempted in every way that I am tempted, yet he overcame. In his overcoming, I can overcome. I just need to trust him more completely. He lives in me, and he would do the same thing today that he did 2000 years ago. We all need to stop trying and start trusting… believing Jesus to be victory for us!  Stop trying and start trusting because the same Jesus who saves and forgives is able to provide success over anything that stands in the way.

Jesus was incarnational: God in flesh. He lived among the people. Being missional means being immersed in culture, understanding how to speak the language, and not being scared to engage people from all walks of life. Jesus did not come to erect a building, introduce a new style of worship, or invite people to a service on Sunday. He became friends with the poor and marginalized… those in need of a physician.

Jesus is the ultimate example of what it means to be incarnational. When God puts on flesh we’d better pay attention. He was born poor and grew up in a meager town on the wrong side of the tracks (or should I say sea). The very people that watched him become a man also rejected him. Jesus made little impact in his hometown amount his own people. How would you handle being rejected by your own family and friends?

So, Jesus became friends of sinners. He hung out with those who had been rejected by society. He lived on the margins. He took God’s love to the place people never expected to find it. Jesus because love to those who had never experienced it. His radical acts of love caused him a tremendous amount of trouble in the eyes of the religious establishment. But he kept loving anyway.

I think the church today seeks too much esteem. “Look at what we’ve accomplished” is the cry of our age. However, when we examine the Early Church, we discover that the only model they knew was one of rejection by the world’s standards. Those that had been Jesus’ disciples saw how he removed himself from the crowds and wanted no fame or fortune for his ability to lead others to God.

His purpose was to make disciples: to create clusters of people that carried out the mission of God. He realized that only through discipleship would the kingdom mandate be carried on after he was gone. In fact, it’s through discipleship that the kingdom lives on forever.

A missional church understands that it is primarily a community of people being trained and equipped to live among the world as missionaries. The same principle as learning to be a missionary in a foreign field must be applied in our own backyards. We must learn to live life with the people we are trying to reach. This means we learn to speak the language, go to the places, and immerse ourselves in the culture. It involves spending time with real people in the real world.

Jesus spent a lot of time with his disciples. The scripture teaches that they traveled together: eating, sleeping, and sharing life. The Greek word is diatribe means “to wear through.” That’s what spending time together should do: force us to wear through on one another. Discipleship involved ‘wearing through.’ It means that I wear through on you, you wear through on me, and one big family we shall be!