WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 14, 2023
TOPIC: TRUST AND OBEY
BY T. O. BANSO
“But Simon answered and said to Him, ‘Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net’” (Luke 5:5 New King James Version).
The refrain of the popular hymn “Trust and Obey” says:
Trust and obey,
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.
The lyrics were written by John Henry Sammis (1846-1919) and the music was composed by Daniel Brink Towner (1850-1919). The hymn was inspired in 1886 and the lyrics are as true now as they were then when they were written. There is still no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.
In his account of the history of the hymn, Towner, who composed the tune, said, “Some years ago, Mr. Moody was conducting a series of meetings in Brockton, Massachusetts, and I had the pleasure of singing for him there. One night a young man rose in a testimony meeting and said, ‘I am not quite sure—but I am going to trust, and I am going to obey.’ I just jotted that sentence down, and sent it with a little story to the Rev. J. H. Sammis, a Presbyterian minister. He wrote the hymn, and the tune was born. The chorus, ‘Trust and obey/For there’s no other way/To be happy in Jesus/ But to trust and obey,’ was written before the hymn was” (Hymnology Archive).
Trust and obey. There is still no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey. Failure of any Christian to trust and obey will make him live a miserable life. Such a person will worry about many things. He will try to figure out answers to many questions agitating his mind. He may have problems believing what God has promised in His Word as He tries to understand in his finite mind how such words could be fulfilled by the infinite God. He is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, eternal, endless, limitless, etc.
Romans 11:33-36 says, “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen” (New International Version).
In order to enjoy God, we must put our trust in Him and obey Him. We don’t have to understand Him and we can never understand all about God. In fact, we cannot understand many things about Him. We must just believe what He has said about Himself in His Word and His promises to us. We may not understand these. His promises may sound unbelievable but we must believe that God will do what He says He will do. His instructions may not make sense to us, but we must obey Him and leave the consequences of our obedience to God. There is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.
Even when you don’t understand what God is doing in your life, trust in Him. When the answers to your prayers appear to be taking a longer time than you had expected them to come, trust in Him. Acknowledge that God is good and He will do you good. When your life seems to have reached a dead end and you cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel, trust in Him. He has your best interest at heart and will perform His will in your life. Trust and obey.
The Psalms, especially the ones written by David, talk a lot about trusting in the Lord. David put his trust in the LORD (Psalm 31:1a, 6b). David said in Psalm 7:1, “O LORD my God, in You I put my trust; Save me from all those who persecute me; and deliver me” (New King James Version). In Psalm 11:1, he said, “In the LORD I put my trust; how can you say to my soul, ‘Flee as a bird to your mountain’?” (New King James Version). David also described God in Psalm 18:2 as his strength, in whom he would put his trust. According to David, the LORD redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned (Psalm 34:22).
God is the help and shield of those who trust in Him (Psalm 115:9, 10, 11). Also, the latter parts of 2 Samuel 22:31 and Psalm 18:30 say that God is a shield to all who trust in Him. The writer of Psalm 118 says it is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man and princes (verses 8- 9). Do you trust in God? “The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him” (Nahum 1:7 New King James Version). Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever (Psalm 125:1). Other scriptures also talk about trusting in the Lord (Psalm 4:5; 37:3, 5, 40; 40:3; Isaiah 26:4). Trust in the Lord. David said, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God” (Psalm 20:7 New King James Version).
Abraham trusted and obeyed God when He told him to get out of his country and from his family and his father’s house to a land that He would show him (Genesis 12:1). He promised to make him a great nation, bless him, make his name great, and make him a blessing (verse 2). God also promised that He would bless those who blessed him and curse anyone who cursed him adding that through him all the families of the earth would be blessed (verse 3).
But how could Abraham be sure that God would fulfil what He had said? He had no other assurance or evidence other than the Word of God and that was enough for him. Because Abraham trusted God, he obeyed God. Genesis 12:4 says, “So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran” (New King James Version). Note Abraham’s age at this time. At 75 years of age, people are already enjoying their lives in retirement and most of them would find relocation to a known place extremely difficult not to talk of migration to an undisclosed location.
But Abraham trusted and obeyed God. If you were Abraham, would you have obeyed God? “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8 New King James Version). Abraham didn’t know where he was going but He trusted God that He had the best plan for his life and obeyed Him. Many times, God doesn’t tell us the details of what He wants to do but if we trust Him, we will obey Him. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11 New King James Version).
The Bible also tells us how Abraham trusted and obeyed God when He asked him to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. Abraham didn’t question God even though the command didn’t sound logical. “Then He said, ‘Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you’” (Genesis 22:2 New King James Version).
Why should God ask him to sacrifice Isaac, when He had already promised him that He would establish His covenant with Isaac and his descendants after him? “Then God said: ‘No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him’” (Genesis 17:19 New King James Version). He also said in verse 21, “But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year” (New King James Version).
Abraham might have first wondered how this promise of God would be fulfilled after sacrificing Isaac. Isaac wasn’t yet married at this time not to talk of having children. The Bible doesn’t tell us about his age at this time but he married at the age of 40 (Genesis 25:20). Nevertheless, Abraham trusted and obeyed God. Hebrews 11:17-19 says, “By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.’ Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death” (New International Version).
Eventually, God stopped Abraham at the point of sacrificing Isaac. Indeed, He didn’t really want Abraham to offer Isaac as a burnt offering to Him. He only wanted to confirm if he feared Him. God said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me” (Genesis 22:12 New King James Version).
God provided Abraham with a ram to sacrifice in place of Isaac. “Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: ‘By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son – blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice’” (verses 15-18 New King James Version).
Trust God and obey Him. There’s no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey. Trust and obey God even if you don’t have all the details about what He wants to do or it doesn’t make sense. The Prophet Elijah trusted and obeyed God after Elijah had announced to Ahab that there would be no dew or rain for some years. God told Elijah to turn eastward and hide by the Brook Cherith where he would drink from the brook; He also said that He had commanded the ravens to feed him there (1 Kings 17:4). How could ravens feed a human being? Ravens are greedy but God commanded them to feed His servants. God could have sent His angel on this errand but purposely sent the ravens. God created the ravens and they obey His commands.
Elijah trusted and obeyed God and the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and evening; he also drank from the brook (verse 6). God took care of His servant. Trust and obey God. He will take care of you, too.
When the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land, God told Elijah to go to Zarephath and dwell there. Again, He told him that He had commanded a widow there to provide for him (1 Kings 17:7-9). A widow is the most unlikely person to feed another person during a famine. But that’s the person God decided to use. And it would take anyone who trusted God to obey such a command. Again, Elijah trusted and obeyed God. He went to Zarephath and the widow God had commanded to feed him did so. She was going to cook her last meal when Elijah met her. But through Elijah, the woman also didn’t lack food to eat throughout the period of the famine (verses 10-16).
Another example of someone who trusted and obeyed God is Peter (Simon) when Jesus told him and his partners in Luke 5:4 to launch out into the deep and let down their nets for a catch after they had toiled all night and caught no fish. The best time for catching fish was in the night and Peter had tried unsuccessfully throughout the night. But when Jesus commanded him he trusted and obeyed Him although, he knew as an experienced fisherman that the instruction wasn’t logical. “But Simon answered and said to Him, ‘Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net’” (Luke 5:5 New King James Version). Did you see Peter’s trust in Jesus and his readiness to obey Him? He didn’t disobey Jesus’ instruction by saying that Jesus was a preacher who knew nothing about fishing.
Consequently, Peter and his partners caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking after obeying Jesus. Then they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came and filled both the boats so that they began to sink (verses 6-7). Peter and his partners went home that day happy because Peter trusted and obeyed Jesus. There is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.
God will take care of you but you must trust and obey Him. Proverbs 3:5-6 says you should trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Don’t walk or live by sight but by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7). Trust and obey. To obey is better than sacrifice and to heed than the fat of rams (1 Samuel 15:22).
TRUST AND OBEY
1. When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way;
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey,
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.
2. 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. [Refrain]
3. Not a burden we bear,
Not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss,
Not a frown or a cross,
But is blest if we trust and obey. [Refrain]
4. But we never can prove
The delights of His love,
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows,
And the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey. [Refrain]
5. Then in fellowship sweet
We will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do;
Where He sends, we will go,
Never fear, only trust and obey. [Refrain]
Trust and obey. It is not always easy to do but that is what God expects of us. There are rewards for doing so. Trust and obey. It is the right thing to do. Do what He says. Go where He sends you. Do His will. If you trust and obey God, you will reap the benefits.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I receive the grace to trust and obey You. Holy Spirit, deliver me from unbelief. Help me to live by faith and not by sight. I shall be controlled by the Word of God, not my senses in Jesus’ name.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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