Trust and Obey. Familiar lyrics of a hymn I sang as a child. The words roll of of the tongue and we declare to God that we will trust Him and obey His commands. If I am honest these words are much easier said compared to practicing in every day life. The last several years God has been using the times when I would choose fear and worry to speak to my heart, “Trust Me”. He would gently say, “Marybeth, trust Me in this”.
The situations were all different and some would say silly to worry about. We all know that when we are faced with worry and fear no matter how big or small the circumstance is it is important to us. Whether I was worried about finances, my kids, ministry, or family God wanted me to trust Him, obey His Word and live in peace. There is a familiar Bible story that shows us this kind of trust and obedience. A man named Noah and his family were found to love God and serve him whole heartedly. God decided that He was going to destroy the earth because of the sinfulness of the people.
God said that He would send a flood that would cover the earth and destroy it. As we know, God spoke to Noah and told him to build an ark and that his family would be saved from the flood. God told Noah all of the details he would need to build the ark. Noah had no tangible sign that it was going to rain. He only had God’s word. Noah knew God’s voice and that God can be trusted. So, against all earthly odds Noah did not waste time; he started working without sparing any time. He started building and kept working until it was finished.
The ark was finished and Noah gathered the people and the animals God said should be in the ark. Noah didn’t add to or take away from what God said. He didn’t try to take a short cut to make it easier for him. He obeyed- He did exactly what God told him to do. They were all safely in the ark. Okay, at this point I would think it would immediately start raining. This was not the way the story unfolded though. God always has a plan and usually it is not the same as ours. His ways are higher than ours. In fact it didn’t rain for several days. The Bible says that it began to rain on the seventeenth day in the second month. This means they were in the ark one week before the rain began. (Genesis 7:11) Yes, that’s right one week. It doesn’t sound like a long time when you are reading the story and you know the end. When you are going through something and waiting it can seem like an eternity. Waiting for God to come through on your trust and obedience.
In our life it is the same. God speaks to us and we have to choose to trust what he says and obey. We read the Bible and have to trust that what God says to us in His word is true. We have to make the decision to trust God and then step out and do what He said. We have to continue to trust and obey even when we do not see anything happening in the physical. When we have prayed for healing and it hasn’t come yet. When we have prayed for a financial breakthrough and we are still struggling to make ends meet. When we have prayed for the relationship to be mended and there is still tension. It is hard to continue to trust in these circumstances. It is hard but not impossible. We have to look back to the times that God was faithful in our lives. We look at scripture and see how God was faithful and provided. This builds our faith.
Then we practice trusting. We actively make the decision and resolve in our mind to trust God and not worry. For instance, your child is struggling in school and your first response is to worry or try to figure out all the things you can do. Instead determine to stop that way of thinking and choose to trust God. Give it to Him in prayer and trust Him to give you wisdom in what you can do and leave the rest to Him. There are so many things in life to worry about. God’s plan for us is that we live in peace no matter what the circumstances.
As I walk through this season of treatment for breast cancer I have a choice to make. I can choose to worry and fear or trust God and obey. It is easy to let my flesh gain control and worry, but I choose trust. Like you I can see how God has gently molded my heart over the years teaching me trust and obedience. Every day we all have a choice; worry and fear or trust and obedience.
Choose trust and obedience and be filled with peace.