Roll over your life
Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will act on your behalf. – Psalms 37:5
3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it.
Five evangelical missionaries dedicated themselves to Operation Auca, an attempt to evangelize the Auca people of Ecuador. They knew this involved great risk. The Auca were universally feared by other tribes and outsiders. They were known to use force in order to be left alone. Any intruders were attacked and killed without provocation.
Missionaries Ed McCulley, Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Pete Fleming, and Roger Youderian knew they faced great danger, even death. They put their trust in in the Father and committed their way onto Him.
They wanted to demonstrate that they came in peace and desired to be friends. They flew over the Auca villages and lowered gifts. Large numbers of the Auca began gathering at the gift drops. The Auca offered a gift in return, a feather headdress, which they tied to a line trailing from the plane.
The five men landed near a village. They assembled a prefab tree house. They shouted friendly words into the forest and waited.
No word was ever heard from them again. Another missionary flew over the area. From the air, he found the plane. Eventually, the pilot saw lifeless bodies, and knew all five men were dead.
But the story did not end there, it only began.
In the place of the slain missionaries, Elisabeth Elliot and Rachel Saint ventured into Auca territory. The unarmed women represented no threat. They lived out Christian forgiveness. The villagers were amazed by their acts of courage and their offer of forgiveness. They were able to share the gospel message. Large numbers of the Auca accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. Among them were the killers of the five men. The two women became the first outsiders to enter Auca territory, and live to tell about.
But there’s more. A 10-page photo story appeared in Life magazine. Reader’s Digest and many other publications followed suit. The five missionaries, already welcomed in the Father’s presence as good and faithful servants, became famous worldwide on planet Earth. As a result of their commitment and sacrifice, many people of that generation were deeply impacted. That influence continues to this very day.
REFLECT & PRAY
It is almost incomprehensible to think that our Father God wants to be the source of our greatest delight, pleasure, and sense of fulfillment.
Father how I long to roll over my life to You and trust You with all that I am and with all that I have. Encourage me to do just that.
Fallen creatures in a fallen world, do what comes naturally. What comes naturally for most people is to seek their own best interest and trust in themselves. All of the Father’s children have this tendency. But the Father offers something entirely different for His children. He wants us to follow a different path and live an alternative lifestyle. What is that path and lifestyle? He wants us to place our full confidence and trust in Him, and depend upon His precious promises found in the Scriptures. Psalms 37:3-5 provides some broad guidelines regarding how to do this.
Psalms 37:3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
We are to trust in the Father. What is trust? To trust means to have strong confidence in or reliance upon someone. The Father God is trustworthy. Putting our confidence and trust in Him, is a natural response to His nature and character. The Father provides security and makes us feel safe. How do we demonstrate that we trust the Father? We demonstrate our trust through our actions. Rather than doing evil, we are to do good.
Psalms 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart.
In the world, there are many temporal pleasures to take delight in. There’s so many ways we can go about feeling good and pampered. There’s so many promises offered which claim to provide self-fulfillment.
The Father offers a totally different means of finding and experiencing pleasure. We are to take delight in Him. We are to repurpose ourselves to seek and receive boundless pleasure in Him. “The path to true self-fulfillment does not lie in a preoccupation with self but in selfless preoccupation with God. When the psalmist sets his heart on God, God reciprocates by making him truly fulfilled.” (NIDOTTE).
Psalms 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it.
The Hebrew word translated commit is galal which means literally to roll, or roll away. To commit is not mere intellectual assent. Rather, it presents an all-encompassing alternative way of life. “It means to turn over to the Lord your whole life – all your desires, problems, anxieties. Let the Lord determine what your life is to be; trust in him” (UBS). It entails settled confidence and a deep reliance on the Father.
Picture yourself carrying an extremely heavy load. When the Father asks us to commit to Him, He wants us to simply roll the heavy burden off our backs and roll it onto His. Our heavenly Father then carries it for us.
When we commit, He takes action. He will do whatever is necessary (FRCL) to carry out His predetermined plan. This is where our trust and faith are put to the test. He does not tell us in advance what He will do, or when He will do it.
While the five missionaries were prepared to die in their service to the Father. But as it is with most twenty-somethings it is doubtful that they thought that they would be murdered almost immediately by the very people with whom they were seeking to share the glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. For them, the outcome was totally unexpected.
But the Father had them exactly where He wanted them. It was through their sacrifice that salvation came to thousands. Tens of thousands of the Father’s children committed themselves to full-time service as pastors, teachers, and missionaries. They in turn influenced, and continue to influence millions.
In the Father’s calculus, the sacrifice of five of His dear, precious children, was a high price to pay. But it was worth it. It was His plan all along.
Consider the sacrifice of His precious Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. It was the greatest price the Father ever paid. Yet through His sacrificial death, Lord Jesus Christ brought redemption and reconciliation to the world. This was also the Father’s plan all along.