Read His Words Before Ours!
Trust and obey,
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.
Trust and Obey was a staple in the Southern Baptist church I grew up in. I can vividly remember my 9-year-old self, standing in the pew with my hymnal open, singing along to the piano and organ without having to look down at the words.
When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way;
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Those words sounded pretty good to a kid that hadn’t faced any adversity or troubles.
Walk with Jesus? Check.
Do His will? Check.
Trust and obey? Check. Check.
Trusting God that I would be safe and taken care of was easy when I had loving, Christian parents. Obeying God was simple when my biggest sin was being mean to my little brother.
A couple of decades later, the words to Trust and Obey carry a whole new meaning.
How do you trust God when your dear friend is dying from cancer at just 25 years old?
How do you trust God to provide when you lose your job?
How do you obey God’s call to leave the comfort of your church to start a church plant full of challenges and unknowns?
What does obeying God look like when you’re single in a culture that tells you the opposite of what you find in God’s word?
The Bible is full of people like us that struggled to trust and obey.
In Genesis 12, God calls Abram to leave his home, his family, and his comforts to go to “the land that I will show you”. At this point I would have said, “Hold up, God. If I’m going to make this huge life change, you have to at least tell me where I’m going.”
But that’s not what Abram did. “So Abram went, as the Lord had told him…”.
Now that’s what I call trusting and obeying. It must have taken a lot of trust to obey something that huge.
Not a shadow can rise,
Not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear,
Not a sign or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
As with most road trips, the journey began to lose its glamour and Abram’s trust in God’s plan began to fade. As Abram and his people sojourned to Egypt there was a famine in the land.
Can you imagine how they were feeling? They were tired, hungry, and unsure of their future. Isn’t it often in those times that we begin to question what God’s up to? Or if God is even there at all?
When they arrived in Egypt, Abram feared that since his wife Sarai was so beautiful, the Egyptians would put him to death. Abram lied and said that Sarai was his sister, so she was taken in Pharaoh’s house as one of his wives. What Abram may have seen as a harmless white lie brought initial favor from the king. They received food, livestock, and assistance, but Abram’s sin only brought temporary joy. Soon Pharaoh’s house was afflicted with plagues because of Abram’s lies. Enraged when he learned the truth, Pharaoh sent Abram and all of his people away.
Abram didn’t trust God to protect him and his wife when they arrived in Egypt. When his trust faltered, he disobeyed, leading to the defiling of his wife and ruining his reputation with Pharaoh. Abram (later to become Abraham) and his journey with God is much like my own walk. He struggled with trusting and obeying, but also had moments of triumph along the way (Genesis 22).
There’s only one person that has trusted and obeyed God completely – Jesus Christ. He had lived a perfect, sinless life on Earth, yet God called him to do the unthinkable. The fate before him would be painful, humiliating, and dark – facing the sins of all mankind, dying for a people that had rejected him, and facing separation from God.
Three times he prayed, “My father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
Jesus faced the ultimate trust-and-obey test, one we would never pass.
He trusted and obeyed God in a situation more grim than any of us will face.
Not a burden we bear,
Not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss,
Not a frown or a cross,
But is blest if we trust and obey.
We are all sinful and broken, so trusting and obeying God all the time is impossible.
We won’t always trust God in our darkest moments.
We will disobey God’s will for our lives when we are far from him.
But there’s Good News – Jesus trusted and obeyed for us!
When our faith is small, His faith is big.
When we fail, He comes through.
When all seems lost, He has a plan.
But we never can probe
The delights of His love,
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows,
And the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
We’ll never be able to muster up enough of our own will to trust and obey God the way He desires, but because of the Gospel, Jesus has paid the ultimate price for us to rest in his grace and mercy when we are unsure and fearful.
Then in fellowship sweet
We will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do;
Where He sends, we will go,
Never fear, only trust and obey.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!