Trust and Obey is a favorite hymn of the Christian church. The song itself was a collaboration between John Sammis and Daniel Towner but was actually inspired by an unnamed young man giving his testimony after a service given by Dwight L Moody. The young man’s closing remarks were “I’m not quite sure (about the specifics). But I’m going to trust, and I’m going to obey.”
Although this new convert had very little Bible knowledge beyond what he had just heard preached, he made the declaration to all who could hear him that he was going to place his trust in Jesus and then obey His commandments. This powerful statement of faith so moved Daniel Towner that he immediately sought out his friend John Sammis who then went on to write the lyrics for Trust and Obey.
I believe the Holy Spirit spoke powerfully that night through that young man. While we can obey someone up to a point without trusting them we will never have the type of relationship that God desires with us unless we also trust him intimately.
As new believers and young Christians we obey because we are told to do so and taught that to obey God is to please Him. Obedience is encouraged and we are taught to do certain things and to not do other things. Altogether these things give us the appearance of being good and upright, at least outwardly. There is real human effort involved and insofar as we have the strength to do so, we will remain on the path. But until we actively seek God and His presence with our whole heart and desire to know Him better, we will not have the strength to continue to obey once times get tough.
Only God’s presence in the heart of a man or woman can give that person the fortitude to continue on the path of righteousness once the storm comes. Human effort must meet God’s divine resources if we are to grow and make progress in our faith and God’s greatest resource is only available to those who intimately trust Him; namely, His presence in a real and powerful way.
Many times I have asked God why I did something that I knew was wrong or didn’t do something that I knew He wanted me to do. For a very long time I internalized that failure as weakness on my part and took it to mean that I was fairly bad at this Christianity thing. But what God has shown me since then is that He loves me unconditionally and accepts me as His precious child. And along with that He has made me realize that what I need most is just to know Him better and to increase my trust in Him, step by step and day by day. When we trust God with our whole heart, obeying Him becomes a joyful outward reflection of that inward trust. Trust and obey belong together in the life of every believer and the absolute best thing you can do for yourself, your family and everyone around you is to get to know your Savior.