by Jill Trucke
We have learned if something is repeated multiple times in a Bible passage that is a hint of its importance. Isn’t that so true for our own lives too? How often does it seem like God reiterates his points to us through church on Sunday, and then again on Tuesday mornings, and then in reading Bible stories to our kids or talking with a friend? At least that is how it works for me quite often.
Sometimes it makes me smile on the inside to realize how often God has to reiterate something to get my attention. So when He does, I try to take note. Lately, the concept of trust and obey is what keeps coming to mind over and over.
Let me give you some quick examples. Now I know every Bible story can’t be boiled down to “trust and obey,” but seems like nearly every example I thought of could:
- Adam and Eve – Did they trust God? Nope. Did they obey God? No
- Noah – Flood – Did Noah trust God? Yes. Did he obey God? Yes
- Abraham – birth of son—he didn’t trust at first which brought about Ishmael, but learned to trust as is evidenced when he was asked to sacrifice Isaac
- Joseph – his entire life demonstrated trust and obedience
- Moses – had to learn to trust God and obey to speak in front of Pharoah
- Children of Israel – sometimes showed great trust; sometimes did not
- Gideon – yes – but needed reassurance
- Esther – yes
- Daniel –yes
- David – Yes
The Bible—from Genesis to Revelation – shows us God is Trustworthy. He keeps every single promise. He makes the impossible happen. I want to be like the heroes of the faith who trusted and obeyed God, because in each of those situations, God was glorified.
So what happens when we don’t trust God? I see two different paths based on the examples I gave above.
- Self-sufficiency – we use our own logic to make things happen or to rationalize our behavior. Take Eve for example. She didn’t trust that God was good and thought she knew better. As for Abraham, he tried to intervene with his own plan to bring about God’s promised son. This is where I have felt convicted. How often I try to assume that what seems logical and reasonable is actually trusting and obeying when I am not seeking God’s direction or sensitive to the Holy Spirit prompting in an area of my life. This type of self-sufficiency reminds me of the following verse:
Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand. Some boast in chariots and some in horses, but we will boast in the name of the Lord, our God. Psalms 20:6-7
Am I boasting in the chariots and horses in my life, or am I trusting in God?
2. Despair –when we forget God’s trustworthiness, we lose all hope. The children of Israel saw an impossible situation and instead of trusting God, they lost hope and whined and complained and disobeyed. The following verse is a great reminder for those times we want to slip into despair:
Who is among you that fears the Lord, that obeys the voice of His servant, that walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. Isaiah 50:10
If I am in constant contact with this Trustworthy God, through prayer and Bible study, He will help me. It’s when I start getting too busy or too confident in my own abilities or when I become so overwhelmed and discouraged with life that I am prone not to trust and obey.
Today, we want to focus on how that looks in our prayer time, especially on Tuesday mornings. We have a template we use to guide our prayer time called the Upward, Inward, Outward Look. We like to think of it as a resource or tool that helps everyone know what to expect when we pray in groups.
We always start with the Upward Look. This has 2 purposes
- God is worthy of all our praise. Revelation talks about angels worshiping God. Shouldn’t that be our response as well even when we can’t see Him?
- It makes us focus on the Truth about God and realigns our perspective. Think of how this relates to trusting and obeying. Let’s say my circumstances are horrible this week. I don’t see God at work at all. When I pray using God’s word to praise Him—my trust in God in not based on my current circumstances. It is based on the truth of God’s word. I might read a direct verse from the Bible related to God’s trustworthiness.
Now let’s look at the Inward Look. Once my eyes are back on Jesus and the Truth, I confess to God that I haven’t been trusting Him this week. I ask his forgiveness and help. Or maybe I realize I haven’t been obeying. I am doing things my own way. Again, I ask for God’s help.
Finally comes the Outward Look – Praying for others . . . praying for the people in your group. This is where I am asking God how I can obey Him today. How can I be obedient today as a mom? As a friend? At my job? In my circumstances?
Finally today, ask yourself these questions:
- Am I trusting God?
- How is God asking me to obey?
As you do that, think about what God has to say in 1 Samuel 15:22:
Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord?
God delights in our trust and obedience. Let’s make that our offering to Him.