Trust and Obey. There is no other way…

I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding… Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Ps.119:32, 34-35 NIV

“Be even more careful to put into action God’s saving work in your lives, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases Him.” Phil.2:12 NLT

…for it is God who works in you both to WILL and to do for His good pleasure. Phil. 2:13 NKJV

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you WILL, and it shall be done for you. … If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. Jn.15:7, 10-11 RSV

Now glory be to God!  By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.  Eph.3:20 NLT

I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God’s law, but I trust Christ to save me. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. As a result I can really know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead! Phil.3:9 NLT

…the LORD God Almighty, the LORD is his name!  So now, come back to your God! Act on the principles of love and justice, and always live in confident dependence on your God. Hosea 12:5,6 NLT

Today you must listen to His voice.  Don’t harden your hearts against Him…For the word of God is full of living power. Heb.3:15; 4:12

Ok, so that was a long string of verses.  But they have spoken to me this morning. Sometimes I struggle, often I struggle, to make decisions.  Opportunities come.  I’m asked if I’d like to do this or that and I wonder, should I?  For Jim this is straightforward.  “Well, do you want to? If you don’t want to, don’t do it!”  He has a strong faith in God’s ability to direct him in the path he should take. But I know me, and I know I’m disinclined to do anything new and untried. So I waffle.  I hesitate to say NO thanks, not because I find it difficult, but because it is so very easy for me to slam doors of opportunity. So should I or shouldn’t I? 

What is God calling me to do?  When I’m tormented by doubt even this crucial question is a stickler.  There is no formula for knowing in every situation what God is calling me to. But faith calls me to pause and ask, and then to say YES or NO based on God-confidence not fear. The God who calls me to His service knows me through and through. He resides in me and is well able to direct my heart according to His good pleasure.  By trial and error I am learning this kind of faith.

I admire David’s grasp of the goodness of God’s laws (See: Psalm 119!). He found delight in knowing and doing God’s will. Not perfectly of course.  Sometimes his flesh pounded so loudly in his ears he took no thought of God’s commands, and had to come the long and painful way around to listening…But the trajectory of his life was one of listening and obeying and finding JOY in God’s designs for him.

I am particularly  grateful for the clarity of Paul’s letters in piecing together the connection between faith and obedience… He says, and I paraphrase: Work out this great salvation that God has accomplished in you.  Act on it with reverent fear.  For the God who saves you is at work in You.  He will shape your will and energize your service as you feed on His Words…He will accomplish in you this salvation He has begun, through the process of your faithful service for His Kingdom’s sake.  

My take away is that I am free to walk in confident obedience–not on eggshells of indecision paralyzed by the fear of missing an opportunity or making a poor decision. By faith I can give say Yea or Nay looking to God to make my way perfect, trusting that He sees and knows and works in me for His good pleasure. Trusting too that He will work in me and through me for His kingdom’s sake and His glory!

May He grant us all joyful obedience in doing what pleases Him! Thanks for sharing my morning’s ponderings ( :


Out of Weakness made STRONG!

The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valor–Go in this might of yours and save Israel…do I not send you? –the LORD

Please, Lord, how can I save Israel–my clan is the weakest…and I am the least in my father’s house.  –Gideon

‘But I will be with you…’ My power is made perfect in weakness. And the Spirit of the LORD clothed Gideon… –the LORD

Judges 6:16; II Cor.12:9; Judges 6:34

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me…for when I am weak, then I am strong–Be strong in the LORD and in the strength of His might!  –Paul

II Cor.12:9,10; Eph.6:10

I’m studying the life of Gideon these days.

Timid Gideon–hunkered down in a wine press threshing wheat so there will still be food to eat after the hordes of Midian have descended once again on the harvest fields.

Chosen Gideon–“O mighty man of valor, go in this might of yours and save Israel!” An unlikely selection from any vantage point but God’s!

Cautious Gideon–tearing down his clan’s idols by night because this was the first step before God would step in to vanquish the enemy (and he hadn’t the courage yet to do such a thing in broad daylight!) Then, Double-checking and Triple-checking that God really intended to use him to save Israel…

Confident Gideon–(at last!) having seen pyro-technics, having exhausted tests with fleeces, and having overheard a bizarre nightmare as told by a terrified enemy, Gideon is now ready. With trumpets and torches and clay jars for weapons he and his 300 Hand-selected men ambush the enemy declaring “a sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” though there are no swords in sight but those of the enemy.

This is as far as I’ve gotten in the story. It has been plenty to ponder. Clothed with the Spirit of the Lord, armed with the Sword of the Spirit, equipped with faith in Almighty God, there is no exception clause for whom God might use and there’s no telling what He may yet do through me and you as we move forward one Spirit-led step at a time in this our/His strength!

Let’s be listening and watching, praying and hoping. And who knows if the LORD may use us to be solutions to the problems that most vex us!

And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. … These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

Heb.11:32-34, 39-40 NIV

There is yet room for us in the annals of faith, by God’s grace!