One of the illustrations I’ve used with young people over the years involves a rat trap.

I love setting the trap and showing groups how powerful their snap is. Once set, I trigger the trap using a pencil. The violent force of the trap always snaps the pencil. The power put into motion by the spring is pretty impressive.

After that preview, I put a 5-dollar bill in the bate trigger. I then reset the trap. Holding the trap up, I make an offer to the group . . . “Whoever is willing to come up and take the $5.00 from the trap can keep the money.” Some stand up right away but draw back as they get closer to the trap. To raise their concerns, I make sure that they’re able to see the broken pencil.

When I sense their reluctance, I assure them that they can trust me . . . they can reach in and take the money without getting hurt. With hesitancy evident in the eyes of most, I continue to assure them that they can trust me. After quite some time of reassurance, some will simply give up and sit down . . . But there are a few who are eventually persuaded that they can trust me.  With that, they go for it . . . When they do . . . as soon as they touch the $5 bill . . . TWANG! The wire attached to the “bate” switch, holding the business part of the trap loaded, pops. But there’s no violent snap.

Unknown to everyone, I switched the original trap to a trap preloaded with the $5.00 bill. I disabled the spring in he trap they’re reaching into. The “twang” is just the single hold down wire letting loose from a little tension I loaded into it, to give them a scare.

“Trust me”.  The words are the same for everyone who hears . . . there are a lot who raise their hand and say, “Yes, we trust you” . . . but there are only a handful that really do trust me. They’re the ones that reach in, to get the money. Their action demonstrates their trust. Those who said the words but just sat . . . put their lack of trust on display.

The question that I need to deal with is, “How willing am I to trust the Lord when I have the potential of being hurt? It’s only when I reach for the $5.00 bill in the traps of life, that I really show my trust for God . . . If I don’t reach . . . then whatever I have, no matter what it is, really isn’t faith. My words are just words that lead to a big empty plate.

Thinking through this . . . Until I am willing to obey and trust Christ with things that I really, really want to hold on to, my words mean nothing. It’s easy to obey when there’s no risk involved . . . so is that really even obedience?

If my life doesn’t shout “God”, through my obedience, then like a house built on sand, the security that I think I have in God, is only an illusion.

Lord, I pray for strength to obey You . . . My choices indicate what my house is really built on. You are the only foundation that will stand . . . Every day you shout, “Trust me! Build here!”  Am I?  Will I?

Luke 6: 46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock.

And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”  (, ESV)

More than just a BELIEVER in God, I need to be a FOLLOWER of Jesus!