Friday, February 29, 2008

God is Faithful...

...So Why Do I Find it Hard to Trust and Obey?

Recently, a friend of mine asked the question "If you could name just ONE song that touches your heart in a special way, what would that song be?"

That was a hard question for me to answer because there are SO many songs which have touched my heart over the years. (I have a playlist full of just a handful of such songs at the bottom of this blog.) Some songs will be meaningful during a certain situation...or for a particular "season" in my life. But, I think the one song that has ministered to me over and over -- in the hard times as well as the good -- is "Great is Thy Faithfulness" by Thomas O. Chisholm.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father!
There is NO shadow of turning with Thee;

Thou changest NOT, Thy compassions, they fail NOT:

As thou hast been Thou FOREVER wilt be.

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,

Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,

Join with all nature in manifold witness

To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth.

Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow

Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness,
Great is Thy faithfulness,

Morning by morning new mercies I see:

ALL I have needed Thy hand hath provided

GREAT is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!
Just think about it. God is faithful! Yes, we may go through times where we don't understand what He's doing or what He's allowing. There may be times when we can't see His faithfulness when we're in the midst of trials. But in the end, we can look back and then we do see that it was His faithfulness that brought us through even the darkest of times.

So often, though, I take my eyes off of Him -- and HIS faithfulness -- and look at my circumstances. I've discovered that it is hard to trust Him when I'm looking at my circumstances and trying to find a way for ME to get me through them. See, I can't get through ANYTHING in my own strength. It is only when I am looking to Him -- fully dependent on Him -- that I can trust matter the circumstances. It is in knowing and fully grasping just how much God loves me -- enough to send His ONLY Son to die for me (John 3:16) -- that I am able to fully and completely trust Him. Understanding God's perfect love truly does cast out all fear (1 John 4:18).

Another old hymn that I love -- and have been thinking about a lot lately is "Trust and Obey". I love the phrase that says "Never fear, ONLY trust and obey." When I remember how much God loves me, the trusting part is pretty easy. It seems to be the obeying part I can't seem to get down. I often find myself asking the question, "If I truly trust Him, like I say I do, then why am I not obeying Him?" It seems to me that when I don't obey God's leading in my life, I am really saying that I don't trust Him...I am living out of fear rather than living in God's perfect love for me. Trusting and obeying just seem to go hand in hand...and both seem to stem from knowing just how much God loves me. If I truly grasp His love for me, there really will be no room for fear...trusting Him will be easy and that trust should, in turn, be acted upon with obedience. After all, it would make sense that if I can trust Him -- based on His love for me -- then I can surely obey Him because of that same love -- a love that is always centered around His perfect plan for my life.

However, that is not always the case for me. I can know that He loves me enough to trust Him, yet still refuse to follow Him in complete and total obedience. I am learning that there is another love issue love (or lack thereof) for God. My unwillingness to obey, even after realizing how much God loves me, is evidence that I don't really love God in the way that He commands. Jesus says in John 14:15 that if I love Him, I WILL obey Him. Jesus is not telling me to go around trying to obey Him in order to prove my love to Him. It is the other way around. My obedience is evidence of my love for Him. When I truly love God with ALL my heart, soul, and mind, obedience will be a natural outflow of my love.

God IS faithful. As I begin to understand the width, length, height, and depth of His love (Eph. 3:18) -- a love that allowed His son to take MY sins on the cross (Romans 5:8) -- and truly love Him with ALL of who I am, then I will walk in complete and total trust and obedience.

Pressing in to my faithful Father!!!



Cheri said...

What a wonderful post!I am discovering some of the same things about myself.I pray that trusting and obeying will soon be something I do out of second nature.

MrsJoeB said...

I think that song for me would be "Amazing Grace, The Chains are gone". God is so good to bless us with songs! Breautiful post!
In His Graces~Pamela

MrsJoeB said...
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