Trust and Obey

The Open BibleHebrews 11:8-13  “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith, not having received the promises…”

I have a hard time with self motivation.  I’m not sure of all the causes.  Part of it is a sense of belonging.  It’s hard to want to do things by myself.  Another part is wanting to see the return on my investment.  I want to see the results or at least be assured of what they will be.  Unfortunately, a life lived by faith doesn’t show you the results, what they will be, when they will be, or sometimes even if they will be.  That’s why faith is paired with obedience.  Trust and obey.

God told Abraham to leave his father’s country and go.  The only thing he was told about the results was that God would give him a land, make him the father of a great nation, and make him a blessing to the whole world.  He was given a general direction to travel, but he wasn’t told exactly where the land was, how he would be father to a nation since he had no children, nor how he would be a blessing.  And we are told in Hebrews that he died without seeing God’s promises come to fulfillment.  True, he saw the land, and he finally had some children, but he never received title to the property, and a few family members doesn’t make a great nation.  Nothing was said about the blessing.  But Abraham obeyed and went.

I’ve never had a great calling to write that I know of.  Certainly nothing like Abraham had.  And I wasn’t given any promises for future results if I did.  I’ve just felt like it was something I was supposed to do.  So why haven’t I?  I’ve tried to make a start several times, but eventually quit.  I could point to the aforementioned lack of self motivation, but the real reason is lack of obedience and faith.  I need to do it because I think God wants me to.  I don’t need any other reason.  And while He could promise me something or give me some idea as to the results, faith should not require that.

Scripture tells us Abraham was fairly wealthy as far as possessions go.  So it would be safe to assume that he was doing well in the place he was.  There was no real reason to leave except that God told him to go.  He also passed through some nice places on his way.  He could have easily stopped and settled down where he found himself.  But that’s not where God wanted him, even if it was a good spot.  Partial obedience is disobedience.

It’s easy to change directions when there are obstacles in the way.  It’s easy to leave a situation when circumstances become rough or completely unbearable.  It’s far harder to move or change course when everything is going well.  But obedience means leaving the past behind whether it is good or bad.  I have a hard time moving unless forced to do so.  And at times I’ve probably passed up best because I couldn’t let go of better.  If I miss out on opportunities due to not letting go, that’s a tragedy.  If I miss out when I was told to go, that’s disobedience.  It’s hard to write when you’d rather be doing something else, even noble activities.  You have to decide what is the priority.  God told Jeremiah if he would separate the precious from the vile, he would be God’s spokesman.  Sometimes we have to separate the precious from the good.

Once Abraham got to his destination, God told him he had arrived and instructed him to travel around the land.  In His timing, God also sent the son of promise.  Abraham tried to force God’s timing by doing things his way, and it brought nothing but trouble.  Still, God was faithful to His promise.  God reveals the next step when it’s time.  His best is always connected to His timetable.

I don’t have great ideas for writing.  That is not an excuse.  Jesus said he who is faithful in little is faithful in much.  I began writing down individual scripture verses and any thoughts God gave on them as part of my daily Bible study.  At first there was more scripture than thought.  But as I’ve continued to study, God is giving me more and more.  I’ve begun posting those daily studies.  When the posts are nothing more than reprinting scripture,  my ego would like to embellish things a bit, but I’ve decided to show the growth as it comes.  It’s interesting to see that God is doing more as I do more.  In fact, I would not be able to see what God is doing now if I had not done what He told me to do before.  It’s hard to take the little steps.  They don’t cover much ground and only get you to the next step.  But they are necessary.  Take them.

I don’t know what direction my writing, or life, will take.  But I’ve decided I can no longer worry about the results and must stop concerning myself with constant planning.  I must be faithful to do what He has for me to do now and trust that He’ll show me the next step when I get there.  You can’t see what’s around the corner or beyond the top of the hill until you reach it.  Don’t stop before you get there.

Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

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