Trust and Obey

I’ve been humming that old hymn “Trust and Obey” lately. There are a bunch of verses, but the chorus is this:

Trust and obey,
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.

Those two really do go together. Obedience is a manifestation of trust. How can we say that we trust Our Lord and disobey what He asks of us? If I say, “Yes, I trust Him,” then when He asks something that seems impossible to my eyes, I need to rest in that trust and take the leap. And that is my thought for the day. Shana Tov!

RedShoooz – He Wants It All
BYNA 40 Days – Day 30, Day 31

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Trust on another level

I did mention before that this trust thing is not a journey for the faint of the heart. Today was rough – very, very rough. So, my reading this morning took me to Genesis 22, the recounting of God asking Abraham offer his only son, his Promise, on the altar to Him. I can only imagine Abraham’s shock and second guessing, but what we see in this passage is a steadiness, confidence, and trust that blows my mind. In verse 5, he tells his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while the boy and I go over there and worship, and come back to you.” He’s being completely obedient, yet trusting that the promise the Lord has given him about Isaac will still come to pass. When his son asks, understandably, where the sacrifice is for the offering, Abraham replies, “…Elohim does provide for Himself the lamb for an ascending offering.” Hebrew 11:17-19 (NASB) tells us:

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, “In Isaac your descendants shall be called.” He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.

There is no dialogue of discussing, reasoning, pleading. I simply see obedience and a trust that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do, regardless of the circumstances.

So as I sat reflecting on that – a trust that seems to me to guide an unequivocal obedience, a confidence in a trustworthy Father who fulfills His promises – He brought to the front of my mind a couple of promises that I had folded, boxed up, and put away because it was no longer possible. I had let them go because the time seemed to have passed, and the process was truly one of the more painful times in my life. I figured I needed to just take my hands off and leave it to whatever God wants to do with it. But as I reflected on Abraham and his son, I felt the Lord point them out and ask me if I will trust Him in that, too.

I wept. I cried off and on all day, and I’m wiping tears off my keyboard as I type. This is way harder than trusting Him to provide for the bills. I remember some verse about those faithful in a little will be faithful in much, and I’m thinking, I’m so not ready for the much. I feel so bruised once again; I don’t have the strength for this. And still He asks, will I trust Him in all things.

I find myself repenting – not just repenting, but making teshuva, changing my direction. Instead of walking away from broken things and dreams, I choose to stand and make an offering to He who is Trustworthy. Instead of reasoning based on circumstances, I choose to trust in His promises. And in spite of the whirling emotions of fear, pain, weariness, etc., I chose fulfill my promise I made to my Father decades ago, that whatever He asks of me, the answer is yes.

BYNA 40 Days – Day 21, Day 22

You’re doing what?

I got slammed and got behind in everything – trying to get back on track…

I was reading in Ezekiel the other day and a passage kind of hit me between the eyes:

And the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, behold, I am about to take from you the desire of your eyes with a blow; but you shall not mourn and you shall not weep, and your tears shall not come. Groan silently; make no mourning for the dead. Bind on your turban and put your shoes on your feet, and do not cover your mustache and do not eat the bread of men.” So I spoke to the people in the morning, and in the evening my wife died. And in the morning I did as I was commanded. The people said to me, “Will you not tell us what these things that you are doing mean for us?” Then I said to them, “The word of the Lord came to me saying, ‘Speak to the house of Israel, “Thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I am about to profane My sanctuary, the pride of your power, the desire of your eyes and the delight of your soul; and your sons and your daughters whom you have left behind will fall by the sword. You will do as I have done; you will not cover your mustache and you will not eat the bread of men. Your turbans will be on your heads and your shoes on your feet. You will not mourn and you will not weep, but you will rot away in your iniquities and you will groan to one another. Thus Ezekiel will be a sign to you; according to all that he has done you will do; when it comes, then you will know that I am the Lord God.’”

Ezekiel 24:15-27

A tiny bit of context, and I suggest you read the rest of the book for yourself, is this is a prophet who the Lord has called to speak to the exiles of Israel. They continue to do that for which they are banished, and God has some things to say them, and Ezekiel was asked, and he was obedient – “…whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are a rebellious house [and they] shall know that a prophet has been in their midst.” Ezekiel 2:5.

Ezekiel goes on to describe some of the hard, strange, interesting, and rather extreme things and acts he had to do to get the message out. Then this comes – He tells Ezekiel that He’s taking away his beloved wife (“the desire of your eyes”) and to not mourn, because he is to be a sign to them that they shall know that He is God.

Can I hold on to trust when God tears something good away from me in order to be used so that other people to know that He is God? Altruistically, we can say yes, but when the pain of that comes, can I choose to do so? I am recognizing that trust means so much more than believing everything will come out okay for me in the moment, and obeying even when I know I will lose a desire of my heart.

Everything will work out in the end – Romans 8:28. The question is can we endure the journey that gets us there?

RedShoooz – Abundance of the Heart

BYNA 40 Days – Day 7

Gideon’s 300

This story really gripped me the other day, and I had a lot of thoughts about it. Take a few minutes and read it, so you can follow along with me (Judges 7):

So, he started off with 32,000 men, and God whittled it down to something He could work with. But as I wander along the paths of this, so many things come to mind.

Like, when God calls this “mighty man”, he’s hiding in a wine-press. There’s a potential in so many of us and when God calls it out of us, we have the choice to remain hidden, or actually do what He’s asking us to do. And sometimes, just sometimes, we have a general idea of what He wants, and we have to figure out the plan “as we go”, as it were.

And I think about the people who Gideon gathered and were later dismissed. Did Gideon mess up? Should he have waited for the direction to call out just those 300 people? Did he get ahead of what God wanted to do in gathering the people together? I was pondering on that, and actually wondered if the process is where God wanted to go, and He used this instance to take care of a whole lot of other lessons. Like making sure that these men knew that they were wanted to fight, maybe, regardless if they ended up in the battle. But also maybe that they needed to know that it was okay to be afraid, and God still valued them, maybe. And maybe that bravery also looks like taking care of their family and their land, maybe, and that is just as important as fighting on the front lines. Maybe. And maybe that Gideon needed to do the work of finding this many people so that he could figure out how to lead, maybe.

We often see the obvious lessons, but what if there were other purposes to what God was doing? And how can we trust and be obedient to what God is calling us when we don’t understand all the facets, maybe, of what He wants to teach and accomplish? Because maybe, it’s about more than just us.

Obedience – even when we cannot see the end

I heard this story a long time ago, and it is a very good reminder of a great many things. I could list them, but you’re smart – you can figure it out.

There once was a man who was asleep one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and the Messiah appeared to him.

The Lord told him He had a work for him to do, and showed him a large rock explaining that he was to push against the rock with all his might. This the man did, and for many days he toiled from sunup to sundown; his shoulder set squarely against the cold massive surface of the rock, pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling his whole day had been spent in vain.

Seeing that the man showed signs of discouragement, Satan decided to enter the picture – placing thoughts in the man’s mind, such as “Why kill yourself over this?, you’re never going to move it!” or “Boy, you’ve been at it a long time and you haven’t even scratched the surface!” etc. giving the man the impression the task was impossible and the man was an unworthy servant because he wasn’t moving the massive stone.

These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man and he started to ease up in his efforts. “Why kill myself?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time putting forth just the minimum of effort and that will be good enough.” And this he did or at least planned on doing until, one day, he decided to take his troubles to the Lord.

“Lord,” he said, “I have labored hard and long in Your service, putting forth all my strength to do that which You have asked of me. Yet after all this time, I have not even budged that rock even half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?”


To this the Lord responded compassionately, “My friend, when long ago I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you to push against the rock with all your strength and that you have done. But never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. At least not by yourself. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me, your strength spent, thinking that you have failed, ready to quit. But is this really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled; your back sinewed and brown. Your hands are calloused from constant pressure and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much and your ability now far surpasses that which you used to have. Yet still, you haven’t succeeded in moving the rock; and you come to Me now with a heavy heart and your strength spent. I, my friend will move the rock. Your calling was to be obedient and push, and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom, and this you have done.”

We give up because we don’t see the results we’ve expected, or we finish our task and believe we’ve failed because our expectations were different the end results. Our focus has turned from what the task was to what the result of what we done was. A small, but very important difference.

Can we just continue to follow and/or do what the Lord has asked us to do, even in the midst of our confusion, disappointment, and even heartbreak?