Trust & Obey
I’ve been reflecting recently on the message of one of our old hymns: Trust and Obey. These two words, in combination, are the essence of our part in our relationship with God. Well known words from Proverbs tell us to
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5, 6
My reflections have been prompted by my daily readings which have taken me through first and second Samuel, and the lives of Israel’s early kings. Saul, Israel’s first king, showed so much initial promise, but his failure to trust God fully led to a failure in obedience, and Saul’s ultimate downfall. Samuel’s words must have chilled Saul’s heart:
‘Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. . .Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.’
1 Samuel 15:22, 23
David, anointed by Samuel to succeed Saul, seems to have been unwavering in his trust in God. Obedience was his Achilles heel. I read again this morning his shameful episode with Bathsheba and Uriah and the devastation this caused (2 Samuel 11, 12). Trust and obedience. Neither one without the other will keep our relationship with God alive and satisfying.
If the events of the past few weeks have taught us anything, it is that much of what lies ahead for us is out of our control. That’s where trust comes in. We are blessed indeed to have a God who is totally trustworthy in these uncertain times. And as Natalie reminded us in her recent message, Jesus promises to be with us, always (See Matthew 28:20). How are we going with the obedience factor? While we can’t control the future, we can play our part in the present as we follow the path of discipleship Jesus has mapped out for us. What will obedience to him look like for you today?
Father we thank you for your unwavering commitment to us your children, your promise to be with us always, and your unfailing love which sustains us daily. Again we affirm our trust in you and our determination to follow you in obedience to your word.
We lift before you the needs of our nation and the needs of our world in these troubled times. We humbly ask for your intervention in slowing the spread of this illness that is causing so much loss and distress around the world. We pray for those who have positions of authority over us, remembering especially our prime minister and state premier, and we pray for your wisdom and guidance in the difficult decisions they face.
We pray for those currently ill and for those who will fall ill as this virus runs its course. We pray for who have lost jobs in recent times, for those whose businesses are forced to close, for employers facing the prospect of having to lay off staff.
And we pray for ourselves. Keep us safe we pray. Guide us and assist us to make wise and unselfish choices as we navigate these difficult waters. And though these troubled times, allow us the privilege of representing you to those around us.
Thank you for being our Father and friend. Amen