Trust & Obey

 

My pastor recently gave a series of sermons on becoming men and women of faith. He said that to become a person of faith, we need to believe God’s word so deeply so that we have a level of conviction resulting in obedience – we need to take action and obey what God leads us to do (1).  Yikes!  Most of us are probably OK with the believing part – I know I am most days.  I believe God is good – I believe He is always there for me – I even believe He will turn all circumstances to His good (it may be rough getting there though).

But according to my pastor, belief falls short.  Even the demons believe.  What makes us different as followers of Christ is taking action – actually doing what Christ tells us to do and going where the Holy Spirit leads us.  This is where it gets sticky, doesn’t it!

If you are like me, you probably feel like you’re a good person and obey the big commandments. But living a life of faith requires so much more than that and I have recently seen so many devotions, sermons and posts on that very topic come across my newsfeed and in my email.  Is God trying to get my attention?  Yep, I think He is.  Why do I think this?  Well, let me tell ya……..

For the past few months (or even longer), I have been praying for guidance on a couple of issues and haven’t really felt like I have gotten an answer. So of course, I’m wondering if He just hasn’t answered yet (not time yet, God?) or if I just didn’t hear Him (more likely).  Because I think the problem is with me (I’m just not being sensitive enough to hear His answer and this is the probable reason for my lack of clarity), I have also been praying for a burning bush kind of answer – put it on a billboard, hit me over the head kind of answer.  Don’t we all wish we could get those?  I sure do.  But no, crickets and more crickets.

What should I do God_

So after the sermon mentioned above, I asked God again for clarity because I really want to obey Him in these areas – I want to take action. Yippee – I felt an answer…….but lo and behold, it wasn’t on the topic I had prayed about – see I want to take action on the things that are worrying me, but His answer was about something totally different.  It was actually about this blog and the lyrics to a hymn we used to sing in church when I was a kid!  The song is “Trust and Obey” and the message I received was – why aren’t you writing your blog like I told you to do?  Snap – busted!

I posted my first “comeback” blog back in the fall and since then I have had several ideas and songs and insight I know was provided by God. But, and this is a big “BUT”, I never followed through.  I created the posts in my head lying in bed – and boy were they good! – but they never actually made it to the computer.  I had to ask myself why?  Why didn’t I do what God had clearly given me inspiration to do – I mean He has brought this blog to my mind many times over the past five years and I have started it a few times only to let it die from neglect and lack of attention.  He keeps bringing me back to it – is that a clue that I need to pay attention?  YES!

eureka  So why haven’t I? Why haven’t I spent time on this blog?  After some soul searching, I think for me there are two main reasons.  The first deals with my priorities.  Where are my priorities – on stuff that affects me or on what God has asked me to do?  Just being honest here – this was like a V-8 moment where you smack yourself on your forehead and say, Eureka!  

One reason I haven’t been obedient to God is because I have been focused on my own priorities (work, TV – stupid one, Christmas, relaxing, sick) and telling myself I don’t have time to sit down and write, when in reality I have plenty of time to write – turn off the TV for a little bit.  It goes back to the mindset that “what is really important to you, you will find time for”.

The second reason directly leads to the “why” I haven’t re-prioritized. I really feel like I haven’t spent the time on the blog because in my mind it wasn’t that important:

  • I don’t have a following so who is really going to see it.
  • Because no one will see it, the blog really won’t make a difference.

The soul searching I did led me to realize that the “importance” isn’t for me to determine.  If God told me to do it whether anyone else sees it or not, then it is my responsibility to be obedient and do what He has told me!

Do I want this to reach someone and help them in some way?  You bet I do.  I’d like it to reach a lot of someone’s but even if it doesn’t, that isn’t a good reason for lack of follow through.  My calling is to be obedient – it’s in His hands to take it from there according to His purpose.  As we used to say in the military (and you’ve probably heard it in old movies), ours is not to reason why – ours is but to do or die! (2) I should put all of my effort into doing what God tells me to do – as an act of obedience and worship! Now I will trust Him to use this offering as He sees fit.

somebody in need

So here is my post. Here is the baring of my soul.  Here is my act of obedience – yes, really!!

As Terri Savelle Foy says “somebody in need is waiting on the other side of your obedience.” (3).  For me, that puts a really different spin on my obedience!!

So — I pray He uses my words to reach others because somebody may be waiting on the other side of this blog.  But even if He doesn’t, my act of obedience has grown me!  And I’m sure it will please my Father.

I hope my soul searching and message from God, along with this inspirational song, inspire you to take whatever action God is leading you to take in obedience to Him.

  • What comes to your mind when you hear “obedience”?
  • Is there anything you know God has told you to do that you haven’t followed through on?
  • Who is waiting on the other side of your obedience?

Let me know in the comments below.  We can pray for each other! 

Song Background

The song “Trust and Obey” was written from inspiration Daniel B. Towner received during an evangelist meeting (I think about a revival meeting) conducted by D.L. Moody in 1885.  Mr. Towner said that “One night a  young man rose in a testimony meeting and said, “I am not quite sure—but I am going to trust, and I am going to obey.””  Mr. Towner wrote this down and sent it to a friend, Rev J. H. Sammis, who wrote a poem based on the statement.  Mr. Towner then wrote the melody to the poem which became the classic song “Trust & Obey”. (4)  ………  Take a listen.

References:

(1) Sermon, Pastor Pat Finley, 1/28/18,  https://www.facebook.com/196097083753618/videos/1900059993357310/

(2) Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Charge of the Light Brigade”, 1854, first published in The Examiner, December 9, 1854.

(3) Foy, Terri Savelle.  The Power of Now.  CD.  http://www.terri.com

(4) Excerpt from “Then Sings My Soul:  150 of the World’s Greatest Hymn Stories” (2011), Robert J. Morgan, p. 220.