Trust and obey. There is no other way – to be happy in Jesus – than to trust and obey.   

 

I’m sure these lyrics are not familiar to many because they’re from a hymn that is rarely, if ever, still sung in churches today. But I know them well because I remember hearing my grandmother sing them to herself as she sewed or knitted. She experienced the greatest amount of peaceful serene when she would get lost in her sewing, while humming some old hymn to herself. One of the verses that stuck out to me went like this:

 

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

 

In a world riddled with anxiety and fear, the solution to it all comes much easier than one might think. There is no magic formula, special diet or exercise regimen that can bring about the peaceful freedom that is found in obedience.  

 

You see, obedience is more about trusting than it is about rules and regulations. The word obedience signifies attentive hearing, to listen with compliant submission and agreement. It is more about not leaning on your understanding but in all your ways, trusting and obeying the One who is first and foremost trustworthy.

 

It is in our human nature to question, to push against things that we believe confine and conform us.  We want freedom, we want choice, we want individuality. But that is the great thing about obedience for it is only through obedience to Christ that true freedom is available to us.

 

The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6, MSG)

 

The world craves peace. The secret to that peace is obedience. The great thing about obedience when you are a Christian is that our God is ultimately trustworthy, so we have nothing to lose and nothing to fear. 

 

 

Abraham was told to go – even though he didn’t know where – he went. There is freedom in that type of obedience. 

 

Esther was charged with speaking up – even though it could cost her life – she did. An entire race of people was saved as a result of her obedience.

 

Though he had a rough start with fear and doubt, Peter rose above that and when told to go preach the Good News, obeyed and became a huge part of the birth of the church.

There is freedom in obedience. Don’t ever let the world tell you otherwise. But to experience freedom, one must trust and to trust one must obey. 

 

Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,

Can abide while we trust and obey.

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