Pastor Anthony Bass says one word is tantamount to a Christian’s faith, and that word is “trust.” He encouraged guests Thursday, March 30, at Regent University’s chapel service to train themselves in their devotional lives with God, working to trust him in all circumstances. His advice comes after spending three years as a free agent with the Minnesota Vikings, earning a master’s degree in Divinity and Master of Business Administration at Regent University, and planting a church.
“From the time I left Regent until now, it’s been a difficult path,” said Bass. “I can tell you about many obstacles and many trials, successes and failures, but the one word that is tantamount to success or my current status in my church is “trust.” Do you trust Jesus Christ? Do you trust His words, the character of God, and lean on the Holy Spirit?”
Bass defines this trust as a challenge and war, and it requires making yourself vulnerable before God, His purpose and plans. This involves acknowledging God’s authority and guidance each morning, ensuring one’s heart is pure before God without bitterness, offense, doubt or discouragement. It’s a battle Bass says he fights every day, leading a church that focuses on spiritual formation, character development and discipleship.
“Once I decided I was going to trust God and do what He wanted me to do, things got worse,” said Bass of planting a church. “It got tougher. I didn’t know how to handle it because I was speaking the thing, I was claiming it, walking it, but things kept getting harder and harder. I had to figure out how to work this out. I had plenty of opportunities to go back and give up… I have to stand on God’s Word and say ‘Trust Jesus Christ. That’s all I’ve got.'”
Bass says knowing God and His Word before storms hit is key to enduring. This requires training, just as he had to train for football and study for school. He turned to the pages of 1 Corinthians 9:24, where Paul had to correct early Christians who were putting idols between themselves and Christ. Paul writes, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.” Today, Bass says Christ’s followers are often tempted to put education, relationships, image, sex, money, power, clothes, big church and personal health before God on the throne of their hearts.
“It’s our responsibility to certainly develop the attitudes, habits and motivation to win this race,” said Bass. “You have to fight for your heart. It’s your responsibility. Everything that you go through is about your heart, your will. Is it surrendered to Jesus Christ? Are you focusing on Jesus? It sounds so simple, but when God starts taking stuff away, you start seeing what is really important.”
Bass concluded by asking guests to hold nothing back from Jesus, and to give their best to God. He encouraged them to thoroughly train to do all for the glory of God, and trust Jesus Christ, fighting to keep Him on the throne of their hearts. That way, he says, they will live well and finish strong for Christ.