Instant obedience will teach you more about God than a lifetime of Bible discussions

Trusting God is an act of worship.  Psalm 147 is a listing of the things that give God joy.  Even though God created everything – and He certainly takes pleasure in all of His creation – His greatest joy comes when we place our complete trust in Him.

His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor is His delight in the legs of a man; the Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.  -Psalm 147:10-11

1 Samuel 15:22 teaches us that, “obedience is the highest form of worship.”  Well, obedience is simply acting on your trust in God, or “putting your faith into action”.

Abram believed on the Lord, and the Lord credited it to Him as righteousness.  -Genesis 15:6

Note that this trusting from Abram came before God blessed him and changed his name to Abraham – before God fulfilled His promises to Abram.  Why is obedience so pleasing to God?  Because it proves you really love and trust Him, and trusting is an act of worship.  Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will obey My commands.” (John 14:15)

I’ve been in this rut recently where I feel like I spend a lot of my time with God frustrated because I don’t understand why He does some things and doesn’t do others…  And recently, I felt like He was saying to me, “Nick, stop trying to figure Me out.  Just walk with Me in obedience and get to know Me.  And I will give you understanding.”

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. -Proverbs 9:10

Trusting in the Lord and obeying Him is just the beginning of knowing Him.  That’s just what gets the ball rolling!

Listen to what Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life, has to say about trusting and obeying God:

God doesn’t owe you an explanation or reason for everything He asks you to do.  Understanding can wait, but obedience can’t.  Instant obedience will teach you more about God than a lifetime of Bible discussions.  In fact, you will never understand some commands until you obey them first.  Obedience unlocks understanding.  -Rick Warren

Trusting God completely means having faith that He knows what’s best for your life.  Why doesn’t the tree in Jeremiah 17 worry in times of drought, while the bush can’t even SEE the blessings when they come?  Because the tree has sent its roots down deep, to where a more eternal source of nourishment is located.

The tree in Jeremiah 17 is not dependent on what moisture and nutrients it may or may not be able to find on the surface.  Meanwhile, all the bush has is what it might happen to run into on the surface!  The bush’s only hope – it’s only “confidence” – is that its present location and circumstances will always be good and favorable and nourishing.  The bush’s only source is whatever happens to be present with it on the surface at that exact moment in its life.

When there is a heat-wave or a drought on the surface, the bush has nothing to turn to!  But the tree doesn’t have to worry in heat or drought, because it does not gain its nourishment and confidence from its present circumstances on the surface.  The tree’s nourishment comes from having its roots reaching deep down into the rich soil of the streams of water near by.

Now, when I first read that part of Jeremiah 17:6 that says the bush “will not see prosperity when it comes,” I didn’t really understand what it meant.  But as I thought about it further, I realized that the bush’s problem is poor or nonexistent roots.  By contrast, the tree is always connected to the streams through it’s deep roots.  So regardless of what is happening on the surface – whether it is raining or if there is a drought – the tree doesn’t have to worry, because it is constantly plugged into the nourishment of the stream, deep beneath the surface.

The bush, on the other hand, is like a tumbleweed: it’s entire livelihood is based on what’s on the surface.  The tumbleweed won’t see prosperity when it comes because it doesn’t send its roots down into the soil to receive it!  The very thing the tumbleweed needs in order to become a thriving plant is water – but it doesn’t use its root system to drink the water, even when it’s available!

Let your roots grow down into Christ and draw up nourishment from Him.  See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong & vigorous in the Truth.  -Colossians 2:7

What instruction has the Lord given you that you are hesitating to obey?  Why the hesitation?  Is it that you don’t understand WHY He has asked you to do this?  Could it be, as Rick Warren said, that God has a greater understanding that He wants to give to you, which can only come through your faithful obedience to His present instructions?

One response to “Instant obedience will teach you more about God than a lifetime of Bible discussions

  1. Pingback: From a Long, Long Way, You Saw Me Coming | LikeTreesPlanted·

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