Trust and Obey

“Trust and obey, for there’s no other way

To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”

(From the hymn “Trust and Obey,” written by John H. Sammis, 1887)

 

These are simple words, but the truth behind them is powerful. As Christians we have made the decision to follow God wherever He may lead. This requires our utmost obedience and trust in the Father who knows the perfect path for us—a path that leads to true joy which the world cannot begin to offer. But sometimes following this path means facing our fears.

~~~

Do you know where God is leading you, but you’re having a hard time trusting Him? Is the path one that scares you? Do you doubt your ability to fulfill the task? If this is you, you are certainly not alone.  Not only are there other brothers and sisters out there who feel the same way (including me), but there are some significant Bible figures who went through the same experience. Let’s take a look at one of them.

In Exodus 3, Moses has quite an unusual encounter with God as he approaches an inconsumable burning bush. The Lord entrusts Moses with the task of freeing his people from their oppression in Egypt, and He reassures him that He will work wonders to make it happen. Even though Moses knows the plan, he has some fears.

“Then Moses said, “What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’” (Ex. 4:1 NASB)

What if?” I am guilty of starting many excuses with these two little words. This phrase assumes the worst and reveals doubt–doubt in God and doubt in myself. In Moses’ situation, he is worried about what people think. Despite what God has shared with him and the right answers to give, Moses doubts. In truth, I can’t blame him. To walk into another nation and speak to the highest authority there who has continued to enslave his people is not an easy task. But God in His mercy provides a solution. He changes Moses’ ordinary staff into one that demonstrates the miraculous power of God and gives Moses the gift of performing miracles so that His people might see and believe (Ex. 4:2-9, 17).

Yet even with such amazing gifts of power, Moses has another problem. He doesn’t speak very well.

“’Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”’ (Ex. 4:10).

Even after the Lord reassures Moses that He will be his mouthpiece, Moses still wants the Lord to send the message by someone else. At this point the Lord becomes angry (v. 14). And why shouldn’t He be? He’s revealed Himself to Moses, chosen him for this task, told him what’s going to happen, assured him that his people will be set free, and gifted him with miracles. Yet how many times has the Lord worked in our lives and then when a new task comes along, we doubt? We are not so different from Moses. Moses wants to be a perfect messenger, one in whom his people can place their trust, but he feels inadequate. And in the world’s eyes, he is. However, throughout Scripture God repeatedly works through human weakness. In 2 Corinthians 12 God conveys to Paul that power is perfected through weakness. His grace is sufficient (2 Cor. 12:9). The only One we should boast in is the Lord, not ourselves. That’s what the Lord is telling Moses in Exodus 4: “Trust Me.” So Moses decides to take his family to Egypt and meet Aaron who will be his mouthpiece (still with God’s help). Together, they meet with the elders of Israel and share God’s words and miracles. The Lord has heard His people’s cries and is ready to act!

Even with a rocky start, Moses becomes the leader God created him to be. As we know, the rest of the story involves trials and many plagues demonstrating God’s power and glory. Yet Moses’ trust in God brings about a new age for Israel. They are finally free after four hundred years! This is just the beginning of what Moses will do on Israel’s behalf. The Law God gives to Israel through Moses becomes the foundation by which Israel is judged and remains as such until Christ’s death and resurrection.

~~~

I can’t imagine what would’ve happened had Moses turned away from God after “What if?” Perhaps God would’ve chosen someone else. It’s something we can hardly speculate. However, we can look at our own lives. Has God ever asked us to do something, and we didn’t do it? Conversely, have we followed God’s instructions and now can’t imagine what life would be like if we had disobeyed? In my own walk with God I can answer affirmatively to both of these questions.

Sometimes the opportunities that were once presented before us are no longer there. We can’t dwell on them, but what we can do is place our trust in God and ask Him for another chance. Our hearts must be willing and sincere to follow no matter what the task may be. Remember, the Lord works through our weaknesses so that He may be glorified. The Lord will not make Himself look like a fool.

There have been moments in my life when I had no doubt what God was asking me to do. I knew the task would be hard, but I made the choice to trust Him and take those steps. I couldn’t see the outcome, and at times I feared the worst, but God remained faithful. These choices have truly changed my life despite trials and hardships. I wouldn’t change them for anything. Yet even now I face another task, one that for some would be easy: teaching. Like Moses, I feel inadequate, but as we just studied in Scripture, that’s the best time for me to give it all up to God.

I recently heard on the radio that the thing that scares us the most is often what frees us. I think there is truth to that. The enemy would like nothing more for us to be enslaved to fear. He wants to use our weaknesses to destroy us and our faith in God. God wants to use our weaknesses to bring glory to His name. What will we choose today? Who do we want to become? What do we have to lose if we have God and each other (like Moses had Aaron) to lift us up?

Let’s trust and obey.

 

“But we never can prove the delights of His love

Until all on the altar we lay;

For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,

Are for them who will trust and obey.”

(From the hymn “Trust and Obey”, verse 4, written by John H. Sammis)

 

For more encouraging words about trusting and obeying God, please check out a wonderful post written by Karina from the blog Karina’s Thought: https://karinasussanto.wordpress.com/?s=trust+and+obey.

 

 

©Lauren Heiligenthal

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14 thoughts on “Trust and Obey

  1. If anyone really doubted God it’s me. I find it hard when it gets to that hard task. But there’s only one thing I remember after reading this blog post which Karina helped me discover: TRUST JESUS and OBEY him. He has the best plan.

    Thanks Lauren.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂 I think doubt is something that most, if not all, Christians struggle with at some point (or various points) in our lives. We are so fortunate to have the Scriptures which illustrate all sorts of ways that people have responded to God’s instructions. Not only that, but we get to see the results, both good and bad. Our God has not changed, and He will make a clear path if we ask Him where to go. This is something I remind myself often, too.
      Thank you again! Have a blessed day 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lauren, there was a time when I started writing that I really thought no one would like it, because inside I thought the words were so simple, not like the beautiful big words many use. So I would not share it, and yet Gods spirit worked on me, I tried to come up with every excuse possible, I was shy, I could not speak, I was beset by dyslexia, and would stutter, and yet God reminded me one night when I was praying, he said His word was simply given, and simply received by many…and his spirit would speak through my words. And he said do not matter who will read it, the word would reach who the spirit intends and touch their heart with its needed message. Still I did not believe, and it seemed I wrote more and more and more, and the spirit inside was moving me to share it, and my ears, my heart finally listened, soon after change happened abundantly, and i did not stutter anymore and when I spoke people were very intent on listening. So I cannot stop sharing and will be doing even more with the gift for the benefit of many others. Your message is very true and inspiring…it was me long ago…Love you my dear sister, and thanks for sharing the blessing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony 🙂 So many times we think that we have little to offer, but you are right that even if what we say seems simple, it has power when God is behind it. I love what God shared with you, “His word was simply given, and simply received by many.” His Word reflects that truth. I’m so glad that you listened to the Lord, and I take your testimony as encouragement to keep moving forward. I also look forward to checking out your blog 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

      Like

  3. Hi Lauren!

    I love what you said here,

    “I recently heard on the radio that the thing that scares us the most is often what frees us. I think there is truth to that. The enemy would like nothing more for us to be enslaved to fear.”

    Some years ago I was asked to teach in Children’s ministry. The problem was I stuttered and it was quite bad back then. I had my reservations about it but felt God calling me to say yes which I did and God did the most amazing thing. He enabled me to speak with confidence and power. I don’t stuuter as much as I used to. When I teach I don’t stutter and that applies across the board! God empowers me everytime I teach and now He has opened doors where I teach adults as well!

    I shared that to encourage you to walk through the door God has opened – to teach!
    He is with you and yes, greater things will come from this!
    Bless you…

    Rolain

    Like

    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Rolain 🙂 I have always been so nervous speaking in front of a classroom. It’s really the anticipation of speaking, but once I get up there it usually isn’t as bad as I think. Also, we as Christians have such a responsibility to teach the truth, and there’s always that fear that I may say something wrong. But if I trust God then I have nothing to fear. Your testimony encourages me even further that God can use us for His glory no matter what we may struggle with. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Karina's Thought and commented:
    “What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’”

    Trust and obey. Two simple words but has deep meaning and oftentimes quite difficult to do. When we confronted by so many problems and challenges, when we got bumped by doubt and fear, when the “what if” fills our mind and it makes us more hesitant about our own ability to fulfill the task? To whom we must lean back? To whom we should trust? To whom we should ask for strength?

    My dear friend, Lauren, gives wonderful testimony about her problem in trust and obeys. And her post becomes an introduction of my next “Man of faith” series which talk about Moses. Please allow me to encourage all of you read her post and if you have not follow her blog, visit and follow her great blog. Thank you very much and God Bless.

    Karina – Living by faith

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for your inspirational posts. That’s one of my favorite songs–one of the first I learned to play on piano : ) I like contemporary music, but worry that the old hymns are being left behind…. and they all have such great messages that stay written in your heart when you sing them over and over.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear. Lauren.
    I am so blessed read this post.\reminded me when for the first time I was sitting as a new chief executive in my parents company. Some, even many, I guess, doubted my ability as a young leader. But my father said, Just trust and obey to God and everything will be going fine. Do not scare about everything because we have God who always lead me. Just trust and obey. Thank you for linked my post to yours, Lauren. God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

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