“Trust and obey, coz there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey:” I grew up singing this song at school.
Now, I sing it and shake my head.
What is so hard about trusting and obeying God?
I find it’s that I don’t like His methods because I don’t know them. I like to know things. I want to see things, know where they’re headed, then make my decisions based on that. I use a lot of forecast to decide. While I’ll consider the past, I take into consideration current trends, propensity to grow, and future potential.
Due to this, I’ve been gratified by seeing good things arise out of what initially looked like ash, and I’ve also dismissed people and projects without giving them so much as a fighting chance.
Thank you, Lord, you do not think like me! If you did, you’d have given up on me a long time ago. Instead, you let me feast and enjoy every wretched and rotten fruit I planted by following my own commandments, until I had no option but to acknowledge your truth. A daily truth: I need you.
This means total submission to your will and your ways which we’ll agree on the Bible–are not the same as my own. Herewithin lies your methods and what you’ve taught me to hold onto, because the return is an immeasurable spirit to keep walking, even as it’s pitch-black and storming.
I’d like to remind you of two attitudes that enable us to trust in, and obey God’s direction in unpalatable situations:
– Crying to the Lord: Offer your feelings to God, and rest assured that He will accept your brokenness as the perfect gift. You’re letting God know that no matter how you feel about the situation or Him, you’re still willing to turn to Him.
That’s what parents live for – their children to trust their decisions, and not turn away with bitterness or pain.
– Praise God where curses taint your lips: Yes. It is in fulfillment of a commandment, and here’s something else – praise is the single most powerful tool against Satan. Where you should be or would be forgiven for, cursing a person or situation, lift your spirit and soar above the situation by choosing to praise God instead.
If this is in fact your will, believe me when I say you’ll be singing God’s praises by the end of the day because He’ll deliver.
But make no mistake about the mark of God’s child. A heart riddled with ingratitude has nothing to do with Christ, no matter the proclamations.
The Holy Spirit has shown me what He’s doing in me as a result of taking my heart to God and praising His Name, so much so that I’ve thanked God for allowing some very trying times in my life.
That’s what we aspire for – a place of real, undefiled praise, because a fake relationship with our Creator is no different than using tape to cover holes on a sinking ship.
When we work to accept what we don’t understand, and focus our energy on keeping our hearts open for God, He never, ever leaves us without something real good to hang onto.
And when all is said and done, being grateful becomes the only attitude we’d rather have. I’ve found that life-affirming gratitude comes from trusting and obeying, the fruit of such labor.
It is in fact, the only way to be with Christ.