Trust And Obey
The Bible has a lot to say about trust. There are many scriptures that encourage us to put our trust in God. For example, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”1
Before I go any further, let me first share some of the words that we use interchangeably with trust, and, based on the context of this text, they work. When we say we hope in the Lord, or we believe in Jesus, or have faith in God, we are conveying our trust in one or more of the members of the Godhead. While there may be subtle differences among these words, they are all basically saying the same thing.
Isaiah 26:3 points out that one of the benefits of trusting God, is that we can have “perfect peace”.2 The evidence that we trust God is that we allow the things of God to fill our minds. We keep our minds on things that are pure and lovely and of good report. We look to God alone to provide for our every need. We make no decision without inviting divine input. We consult our Creator on matters that affect our daily lives. That’s how we trust God. And when we do this, peace is one of the rewards we receive.
In addition, Proverbs 30:5 says “He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him.”3 That’s another benefit. God becomes our shield. He protects us from the fiery darts of the enemy, which many times come to us from places we least expect it. Quite often, those who are close to us (family members or friends), or those who are in positions of authority over us (supervisors, teachers, and yes, even pastors) could unwittingly advise us to do things that are wrong. Of course, there are some whose motive is to deceive but bear in mind that they are no more dangerous than those who do so innocently. Paul the Apostle did warn us in Romans 16:18 about those who “deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting with smooth talk and flattering words.”4 Whatever the circumstances, God will shield us and the devil’s agenda gets thwarted either because we see through the plot and avoid it, or God deflects the devil's daggers even as we “walk through the valley of the shadow of death.”5
You have heard of a backhanded compliment, right? One that sounds something like this: “That dress you’re wearing is absolutely beautiful; it would perhaps suit a younger person, but it’s gorgeous!” Well, here is what I dare to call a backhanded benefit. (Forgive me, Lord!) That is, it is a benefit, but it neither looks, feels nor smells like one. Here again, it is Paul who reveals to us in 1 Timothy 4:10 that because “we trust in the living God,” we will “both labor and suffer reproach.”6 Yikes! We trust God, so we have to endure hard work and accusations? What’s that about? What happened to the “peace” and “protection” and assurance of His guidance that trust brings? Reproach?!
Let me explain. If we know that we are following God’s lead; that is, we are being obedient to His Word and to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, yet we find that people are not falling over themselves to help us, but instead are throwing up roadblocks and aiming daggers at us, we may be willing to endure this because we know God enough to trust that He will work it all out for our good. That is, even though the circumstances look bad and there’s no help in sight, we are trusting God wholeheartedly to do what His Word says He will do. Make sense? In that case, we can stand a bit of discomfort in the process, can’t we?
Okay, so we have looked at just a few instances in the Bible where we see that it is wise to trust God, because He is trustworthy. Now, have you ever wondered how God feels about trusting you? Can you be trusted? Can I be trusted? I cannot answer for you, but I know enough about me to be able to tell you that I sometimes visualize God shaking His head in consternation. When is this girl going to do what she says she will do? Why can’t she stick to the promises she has made to Me? I want to give her the desires of her heart, but she is restraining My hand because I can’t trust her! (See Psalm 37:4; Matthew 6:33)7,8
Ladies and gentlemen, don’t let this be what God is saying about you. If you are reading this, I suspect that you, like me, want to be an obedient disciple of God. You want to study His Word, you want to spend time in prayer, and more than anything else, you want to exalt His Name before others. If you are doing these things, I am proud of you and I encourage you to keep up this good work. If you are not, let today be the day you stop making promises to God, and instead just do it!
How about we pray together, right here, right now?!
Heavenly Father, humbly we come before You, recognizing that You are El Elyon, the Most High God, Creator of the Universe, King of kings and Lord of lords. We exalt You right now, because You are worthy of our praise. We praise Your Holy Name!
Sovereign Lord, we confess before You our shortcomings. We have not done what You have called us to do. Instead, we have gone our own way, doing what pleases us. We have sinned against You in thoughts, in words and in deeds. Forgive us Holy God! We cannot go one more moment with the thought that You cannot look upon us in our sinful state. Clothe us once again in the righteousness of Jesus Christ with whom we are co-heirs to Your Throne.
Thank You Lord for Your Mercy and Your Grace. You continue to be faithful to us, even when we are unfaithful to You. How wonderful You are to us! Words cannot describe how grateful we are to You for all that You have done, are doing, and will continue to do for us.
Father, we ask right now that You will hear our cry for mercy. Help us to be obedient to Your Word. Help us to deny ourselves, pick up our crosses daily and follow You, all the while declaring the gospel to all who will listen. Give us boldness, Lord! Create in us hearts that are clean and pure and fill us with Your love so that we might love others as You have called us to love them. Your Word says we cannot say we love You if we do not show love to those around us, especially those who are a part of the Kingdom. Help us to encourage our Brothers and Sisters and not destroy them with our sharp tongues. Let our words be seasoned with love, Lord. Your Word says, “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” so cause our hearts to overflow with love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
1. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.
2. Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You.
3. Proverbs 30:5 (NKJV)
Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
4. Romans 16:18 (NKJV)
For such people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites. They deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting with smooth talk and flattering words.
5. Psalm 23:4 (NIV)
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
6. 1 Timothy 4:10
For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those that believe.
7. Psalm 37:4
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
8. Matthew 6:33
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.