Friday, November 8, 2013


Trust and obey,
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.
(Words: John Sammis, 1887. Music: Daniel Towner.)
Trust is the vital ‘work’ of faith, and obedience is the ‘work’ of works. They are two equally important sides of the same coin – a coin that holds in its entirety every important wisdom for the living of life.
Before we kick off in earnest, wisdom and important are crucial catch-words in our vocabulary. Wisdom is be-all and end-all of life. Nothing else really matters. From all true things wisdom comes and is. This introduces us to the word important. From everything important, wisdom starts it. Important focuses us on the eternal things: wisdom is never more eternal than anything else it is. As God never changes neither does wisdom. We should only be bothered by the important things in life: wisdom. In this way, wisdom and important are synonymous.
Now let us focus on these two important matters of wisdom that are our two solitary instructions for daily Christian living – forget your theological debates and your struggles relationally and those living pains of grief. Forget them for this moment.
Trust and obey. Selah.
Again, trust is the vital ‘work’ of faith, and obedience is the ‘work’ of works.
Trust is the investment of our minds and hearts on the object that is faith. By faith come our works and without faith our works are dead. Faith comes first by our trust in God alone. There are many worldly and flesh-inspired barriers to faith. It is important to know this; very, very important. Daily we are destined to struggle to trust because of these barriers to faith. We fear figures of humanity even though we are told in the Word not to. We get discouraged by our circumstances relating to the issues of the world that hold us seemingly captive. But...
Trust is never more important.
Then equivalently important, but secondary in order, is Obedience.
Having trusted in the Word and will of God, we obey decisively. Works have received such a bad rap, because of the Pharisaical element in all of us that has us doing our works having missed the vital contribution of having heard from God in the first place: trust.
This is like playing Monopoly and passing ‘Go’ without having first picked up our $200. We get the cart before the horse; indeed, we have no horse. What good is a cart without a horse to propel the cart? Such is ‘obedience’ having missed trust.
Obedience without trust is a work done in vain. There is no glory of God in it. It is a waste of time, effort, and resource. It is an abomination. We may do such special things this way, but we are doing them for ourselves or others and not God. Such works are worse than doing nothing.
Trust is the vital ‘work’ of faith, and obedience is the ‘work’ of works. Trust in God comes first; then obedience has to be the decisive second. Both are important. Both are wisdom. If only we would keep life this simple.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

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