As we were singing this hymn during worship a few Sundays ago, I was moved in my heart by these words of trusting and obeying. It seems so simple and logical. It’s the simplicity of the message that is so attractive. Jesus doesn’t call us to do unimaginable acts of service to prove our love and devotion to God. He calls us to a life of simple, humble trust and obedience. This is our demonstration of love. Our act of obedience. So simple, yet we fail so often. Read through these verses and think through the call of faith in your own life. Let these words rouse your spirit and affections toward Christ. Then sing along with the video below and renew your passion for trusting and obeying Christ alone.
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.
It is only through the light of God’s word that we are able to walk with the Lord. This light of the gospel being shone in our heart exposes and illuminates the darkness that lingers within each of us. We need this light to penetrate and reveal our hidden and secret sin. Sin that we not only keep hidden from those around us, but we also keep “hidden” from the Lord by refusing to acknowledge and repent. It’s our intentional repetitive time in God’s word that illuminates our heart and guides us in our walk through this life. As his gospel brings light to our heart and we repent of our revealed wickedness, the Lord draws near. He sheds his glory upon our path and enables us to do his good will through obedience and faithfulness to the light of his word. It’s this pattern of light revealing sin, repentance coupled with faith, and trust enjoined with obedience that allows us to see that the Lord abides with us. Our great God lives within us and has placed his Spirit within us. The Creator has united himself to our very heart and soul.
Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
but our toil he doth richly repay;
not a grief nor a loss, not a frown or a cross,
but is blessed if we trust and obey.
This walk is not one through a life of comfort and ease. We have a great enemy that is intensely focused on destroying us. The Tempter is insistent and relentless in his pursuit of our downfall and the marring of God’s image bearers. Our life is filled with burdens. Our hearts are filled with sorrow. We struggle and toil. We grieve and are troubled. We have many trials and adversities that threaten to undo us. Yet, none of these are outside the providence and sovereignty of the Lord. Not one burden or sorrow is beyond the reach of our God. Every tear we shed is a blessing. A blessing from our Father. These hurts and wounds are blessings in disguise. They are meant to refine us. To work in such a way to bring a blessing. The blessing of revealing our weakness and the strength of God. To show us that our dependance is not upon ourselves and our ingenuity. Our dependence is to ret solely upon Christ. He is the strength we need and he will surely bring blessing from our hardship.
But we never can prove the delights of his love
until all on the alter we lay;
For the favor he shows and the joy he bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
How can we experience this blessing and faithfulness from the Lord? We must put our trust and faith into action through obedience. It is not enough to just mentally acknowledge the delights of God’s love and our commitment to him. Mental ascent is merely head knowledge. We must walk in trust and obedience. We do this through laying everything upon the alter as a sacrifice. Our life is to be marked by an obedience that cares not for the things of this world over and above the Lord himself. Do I believe that God is steadfast in love and mercy? Then demonstrate this by forsaking your sin and “rights”. Do I want to see the delights of his love washing over me day after day? Then come to Christ in humble repentance. Lay all of your time, talent, and treasure at the foot of the cross. Give it all to him. Show your trust and obedience in faithfulness of God. Give and give again.
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.
Then… This points us back to the beginning. As we do all of these things, we will sit humbly at the feet of Jesus overwhelmed with joy to be in his presence. We will weep tears of joy over the faithfulness of Jesus. We will be overcome with the mercy and grace of our Redeemer. We will truly know from experience that the sure hand of God is guiding and leading us. We can fully trust that where he has us and where he is leading us is exactly the perfect place for us. We will act as he wills… We will go where he sends… We will never ever fear… Why? Because he is a faithful Savior who is steadfast in love and this perfect love is focused on us. He may lead us into a hard place or a place of sorrow, but we can have confidence that his leading is good and that it is for our best and for his glory!
Trust and obey, for there's no other way
to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
We can look for happiness in a thousand different places, but we will only find true happiness in Christ alone. The fullness of happiness and joy is truly found in trusting and obeying our Lord. This world will only offer a false happiness. A fleeting reflection of true happiness. A happiness based on self-pleasure and self-righteousness. True and lasting happiness is the joy of the Lord in the penetrating work of the gospel upon my heart. Changing me from the inside out. Giving me new desires and passions that honor Christ. Therein lies happiness and joy. True happiness and joy. A life of faithful hopeful trusting and obeying the Son of God.