This year, my focus word is obedience. Not normally a word that evokes warm fuzzy feelings. But having walked with the Lord for 62+ years, I have learned from experience that obedience is the safest and best place to be. If you struggle in this area, do not simply focus on what He asks, but look at who is asking you. Please know I am not claiming perfection in this area, but I think I am quicker to obey than ever before.
Deuteronomy 32:1-4 is so encouraging. It is a song of Moses, recited to the assembly of Israel. Listen, O heavens, and I will speak! Hear, O earth, the words that I say. Let my teaching fall on you like rain; let my speech settle like dew. Let my words fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on your plants. I will proclaim the name of the Lord; how glorious is our God! He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is!
When doubt or fear try to thwart my obedience, it often is because I am looking at myself, including my insecurities and weaknesses. Re-focusing on Who is asking helps me change my thoughts and release my fears. I admit, I have been a slower learner in grasping this simple lesson. Last week, I watched my son working with his son. He was trying to get him to try a food he had liked before, but wasn’t wanting to eat that night. He said, “Son, do you trust me?” Our sweet four-year-old Tobi boy answered, “I don’t know”. What an honest answer! He eventually ate the Taquito, and I think he liked it. I could see the struggle in his own heart about wanting to trust his day, but then looking at this bite and being unsure. Isn’t that what often happens to us? We focus more on the task than we do our loving Savior. Scripture encourages us to come as a little child, but even little children grow in their trust.
Another way we grow into trusting obedience is by just doing it! Taking a deep breath and jumping in and going, “I trust you Lord”. No matter the outcome, the timing, or the journey, I will trust you. In Psalm 13, David cries out to the Lord, “how long?” God gets it. He gets that we often wonder where He is during our crisis. O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand? Turn and answer me, O Lord my God; Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die. But David kept on trusting. He kept on praying. He kept on rejoicing. He reminded himself of God’s salvation. But I trust your unfailing love, I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me. As we follow David’s example, we will experience His salvation in the land of the living.
Remind yourself, like Peter, “who else has the words of eternal life?” Please, dear ones, do not grow weary in trusting Him. Do not grow weary of walking in obedience to your Savior.