During my hour-long commute to work one morning, a song popped into my head and I started humming to the tune. Before I knew it, my heart was overcome with emotion as I sang these words on repeat:
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
I can’t remember the last time I sang this song at church, so it was an unexpected surprise to be reminded of the words. They’re simple lyrics, but if you really dwell on them, they’re hard to sing.
I thought it was quite appropriate and a good reminder, since I’ve been going through a lot in my own life (which sort of explains the blogging break). I am finding that submitting out of obedience is always the best answer, even when I don’t feel like doing so, even when it is difficult. There are times when obedience may cost me everything (or maybe my pride, which feels like everything), but I can be assured that God does hold my best interests at heart. Maybe what I initially want really isn’t what is best for me, and maybe something that I wouldn’t prefer ends up being the better choice. There are definitely days when I choose to debate against the Spirit or to avoid doing what I know will bring God greater glory. Whether it’s apologizing and confessing sin; reaching out to someone that’s harder for me to love; surrendering my desires; or being bold in situations when I’d rather hide — trusting and obeying God is far more sanctifying and lasting than doing things my own way.
After all, God cares more about my holiness than my comfort. He cares more that I find my satisfaction, my worth, and my purpose in Him. There are definitely days when I almost wish that the pruning would be over, that I could just tell God that I’ve already reached my maximum limit so that I no longer need to be stretched. But who am I kidding. I’ve got a long way to go in my faith. I’ve also been learning that when it comes to obedience, it’s either total surrender or outright rebellion. I can’t desire to fit in with this world and to follow God. I can’t compromise my faith, nor can I really satisfy everyone’s expectations (even though I really, really want to). I want to be a sheep that follows my loving shepherd, no matter where he leads because my shepherd knows better than I.
In the moment, I may doubt that obedience is the better answer, but what is certain is that regardless of what eventually does happen, Scripture says that for those that love God all things work together for good, for those that are called according to his purpose. Amen to that.