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Trust and Obey

“Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.” (Psalm 27:14)

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless. Scarcely have they been planted, Scarcely have they been sown, Scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth, But He merely blows on them, and they wither, And the storm carries them away like stubble. “To whom then will you liken Me That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” (Isaiah 40:21-31)

Who among us can deny that within lives a spirit? It is so because God created us in His image. “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26) Who among us when in our deepest omitting of personal truth does not know we have an eternal inner being which governs our life’s journey? “He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:33) I submit to you that none of us are with-out the knowledge of our individual spirit living with-in and that we know this to be the defining essence us and all of creation. It is this the spirit an image placed upon us likened to that of God the creator. For it is the spirit that he placed within us to Worship Him in spirit and truth. For it is the spirit that he placed within us to Worship Him in spirit and truth. When I, a vapor dancing upon a speck of time in eternity, convicted by the Holy Spirit, blackened by my willful misdeed ,approach the Father who is Holy, by the grace of His Son Jesus, am filled with fear. “Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” (Isaiah 6:5)

By His Word He created the Heavens and the earth and by His Word He can remove it. Full is His mercy that He should pardon us His wrath. In my humility I have known by His Word he created all out of nothing. What then can He not create if only I should let Him. Imagine then what He could, can and would create out of you if only you would let Him. The bigger question then being, considering what I have done, why would I not chose to move from death and defeat to life and victory through His Son Jesus by submission to His perfect and Holy Will for my life. Is it not His life, that I am privileged to live in return to Him? Is it not for His Glory that I was made? Would it not be greater to live for that which I was created than to live for that which I create? At this moment of my time I find it hard to imagine that any would answer in the negative. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Here then I share the mystery to many that as I return to the well of His living Word each day I come into the full view of my insufficiency compared to a Holy God. In my humility I question my own ability and desires. “For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7:15) Why do I not find the strength to do that which He commands? Why do I stumble each day over the same obstacles? Where is the power, the ability? How many times must I ask Oh Lord one more opportunity to please you? I grow weary and question if even I am capable of ever being worthy, of ever having true victory, of doing His Will in my life.

A man invested everything he had in building a very large boat. His neighbors inquired as to why he would build such a large boat so far away from an ocean or sea. He replied that soon the earth would be totally under the water. They laughed and thought him to be a very foolish man. A man who invested everything he had to build a boat thinking that the world would flood. Yet Noah entered the boat he had built a pauper and came out inheriting the whole earth. (Genesis 7-9)

A mighty fortress rested in the land of Canaan called Jericho. Beyond the walls a ragtag mass of invaders gathered with nothing more than sticks and stones to conquer this mighty city. The odds of their victory over Jericho was not worth the mentioning. They were nothing more than an amusement to the inhabitants of Jericho. For six days they thought Joshua to be a fool to encircle the walls of Jericho.   On the seventh day at the sound of Joshua’s trumpets and a great shout unto the Lord the walls of Jericho collapsed. (Joshua 6)

How much power and strength did Noah and Joshua have? How much courage did they each display in their endeavor. What abilities did they have that were greater than those others about them? What more or less where they in comparison to you or me. Only one, Faith in God.

It is amazing that as we go about our day that a song from the past can be heard and at once a simple truth can be revisited again. Brought back to life from the memory. Grandma Welch used to sing Trust and Obey to me when I would visit her in Charleston, West Virginia.

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.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.

But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

John H. Sammis, 1887

There are many little things that Grandma Welch used to do that hold a greater meaning today. There are many things we all do that will hold a greater meaning farther on down the road for those who we have influenced and pass after us. Some day we all shall be judged not only for our deeds but also for the influence of that we have done throughout all of humanity, don’t you think? But think about that for a moment. Trust and Obey, Faith and Commitment. Thus we see the problem of paragraph two. “My own ability and desires” “I not find the strength” Again as Grandma Welch used to say, I have a problem. Who among us has the Faith to build a boat in the desert, the strength to conquer a fortress with a shout? Do you? Do I? The question then is not can we, but do we. For none of us have the power to stop a flood or the ability to shout down a fortress. But do we have the Faith that God can and do we have the commitment to let Him?

We were created by the Word of God. Sustained by the Word of God. Shall someday give account to Him by the Word of God. He who created by His Word, sustains by His Word, judges by His Word, is the source of all power, all ability and through His strength gives us the authority to do all things. On my strength and ability I can do nothing but through Him all things can be done. To say that is truth, to live that is truth and to accomplish that requires only Faith that it is truth. As I pass through my day I need not power, for He is the power, I need not strength for He is the strength. I need only Faith that He will provide that which is needed to do what He has called me to do, Glorify His Name.

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

April 21, 1997

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