Trust and Obey by Bryan Craig
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. Luke 9:51-53 ESV
The Holy Spirit has been impressing a strong message upon me for the past few weeks. As always, these are the messages I feel compelled to share because there is a chance others need to hear it as well. The topic is Obedience. The message is this:
If we are disobedient to the Lord in any area, He cannot bless us, or perhaps, He won’t bless us. Why would He bless and reinforce disobedience? But if we are obedient, He loves and longs to bless us. And when I mention “bless us”, I’ll explain later what I mean by that.
In our Journey process, when we discuss Abiding, we talk about disobedience. We talk about how Jesus and the Gardener (God) will Discipline us if we have a willful sin in our lives. He disciplines us by allowing pain into our lives. As Bruce Wilkinson says in his book, Secrets of the Vine, “When the sin stops, the pain stops.” So, living with a sin in your life can be Disobedience. But there could also be other forms of Disobedience. Perhaps, God has asked us to do something and made it clear, yet we have not done it. That’s Disobedience. As we spend time in God’s Word and meditate upon it and journal our hearts and pray to the Father, in Jesus’ Name, by the power of the Holy Spirit, OFTEN He prompts us with action items. We are His ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20), part of the Royal Priesthood (1 Peter 2:9), called and set apart for His work in this world. If we are not Obedient, we interfere with the Lord’s Will.
There are many verses on Obedience. Here’s a few from the first Bible reference I pulled up, but there are hundreds more:
John 14:15 - “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
1 Peter 1:14 – “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance.”
Acts 5:29 – But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”
1 John 5:3 – “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.”
Isaiah 1:19 – “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.”
Luke 6:46 - “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?”
One of my mentors sent lyrics to the old hymn, which is the title to this devotional, Trust and Obey. Here’s a few lines:
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
In Rocky’s book The Journey to the Inner Chamber, He depicts this Inner Chamber, where Jesus is inviting us to come closer, and as you may know, there are words above the doorway to the Inner Chamber… He Who Enters This Chamber Must Do So by Personal Abandonment and Absolute Trust. It is an invitation to go “All-In” with Jesus and find this intimate, abiding, Spirit-led life with Him. But there is a moment of “counting the cost”. There are things in our life that must go.
Hebrews 12:1-2 helps us understand this: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
This verse tells us 2 big things can get in the way of our race with Jesus. Sin is an obvious one. As we said earlier, willful sin is disobedience to the Lord. I love Susanna Wesley’s definition of sin:
Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, takes off your relish for spiritual things, whatever increases the authority of the body over the mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may seem in itself.
Hebrews 12:1 also mentions something called “weight” that gets in the way, and we are told to lay it aside. Another translation calls the weight a “hindrance” and says lay aside “anything that hinders”. If there is a sin or hindrance in our life, the gracious Holy Spirit will make us aware of it. Then, it is up to us to be Obedient and remove it.
The Holy Spirit made me aware of a “weight” or a “hindrance,” which could at times look like a sin in my life, especially if I use Susanna Wesley’s definition. The Spirit has been stirring thoughts about this for the past 27 years, and I’ve wrestled with eliminating it from my life many times. Once, on 7-11-11, I made a vow to get rid of it. Sadly, I did not keep my vow. Of course, I justified it because I didn’t really see it as a sin. However, if I’m honest, there’s always been a “check in my spirit” as they say when the Holy Spirit is putting His finger on something specific. A few weeks ago, it became clear to me that this was an area of Disobedience in my life. No wonder I’ve had moments of depression, confusion, feeling overwhelmed, or being stuck.
In a powerful moment for me, I repented of my disobedience and told the Lord I was ready to be fully obedient to Him. I cannot tell you how wonderful it has been to feel His peace and His joy and the fullness of His Spirit that rushed into my life the moment I decided to be obedient. This is the Blessing I spoke of earlier. God loves us and He longs to bless us, but He cannot bless disobedience. But the moment we trust and obey, He pours out the blessing. Like Jesus in the verse at the top in Luke 9:51-53, who “set his face” toward Jerusalem, meaning He was stone set on being obedient to His mission, I too, am setting my face toward obedience to God’s calling.
I’m sad to say it took me 27 years, but I’m thrilled at the adventure ahead, and I pray, perhaps, this little devo might be used by the Holy Spirit to put His finger on something in your life that’s blocking the flow of His blessings. I hope you don’t wait 27 years. Don’t trust my word on all of this…Trust Him.