One of my favorite hymns is “Trust and Obey” because it sums up God’s purpose for our lives. When we practice these two commands, a beautiful cycle begins. Trusting the Lord makes obedience easier, and obedience produces ever-increasing trust. Can you recall facing a challenge that was difficult or perplexing? If so, you know how important these two commands are.
When the Lord calls you to a task that seems unreasonable, you have two options. You can obey Him even though you don’t understand what will happen, or you can become fearful and attempt to find a way out. Joshua chose the first option. Because he trusted the Lord, he disregarded all his military experience and adopted God’s bizarre battle plan. Over the years, he had learned that the Lord is perfectly trustworthy.
The way we respond to God’s challenging assignments reveals what we believe about Him. We may feel as if we’re right in step with the Lord—until He proposes a change of direction. That’s when our resistance kicks in, along with the realization that we aren’t as close to Him as we thought. At that point, our decision determines whether the Lord will be able to use us as He desires. Joshua decided time and time again that the Lord’s way was better than his own, and he continued to serve the Lord for the remainder of his life.
At times, obedience is a struggle, as the mind considers all the reasons God’s path is illogical. When fear takes over, our reasoning says we should run the other way, and we don’t want to comply. But obedience is always the best choice, because our loving omniscient Father can be trusted.
“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. . . . For every man shall bear his own burden.” (Galatians 6:2, 5)
This is one of the most commonly cited Bible “contradictions,” the apostle Paul commanding us, almost in the same breath, to bear other people’s burdens and yet to bear our own burdens. There is, however, no real contradiction, and both commands are equally valid and important.
The problem is partly one of translation. There are two Greek words used here, baros and phortion, respectively. The first means “heavy load,” the second “responsibility.”
When a Christian friend has been stricken with a great burden—whether sickness, financial need, death of a loved one, or even a grievous sin in his life that he has been unable to overcome by his own strength (see verse 1)—he needs desperately the love and support of his Christian brethren. The Scripture assures us that when we help relieve this burden, we “fulfill the law of Christ.” The previous chapter also notes this: “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Galatians 5:14).
At the same time, the privilege of having Christian friends who will share and help with an otherwise unbearable load does not at all absolve us from the responsibility of doing our own part in carrying out our God-given responsibilities. There is no place in the Christian warfare for Christian beggars or Christian crybabies. “Study to be quiet, and to do your own business. . . . That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).
The preceding verse (Galatians 6:4) had urged that “every man prove his own work.” Since God has both created and redeemed us, we can be sure He is concerned about us and will not allow trials, or place upon us duties, that are greater than we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). HMM
There is no deliverance from its power but by death; but, blessed be God, we were crucified with Christ, and as new creatures we are under the rule of grace and. are not under the dominion of law.
Jesus is our husband, grace is the ruling principle of his house, and holiness is the fruit of the marriage. Glory be to God for this!
Romans 7:5, 6
Law provoked our old nature to rebel, grace impels the new nature to obey.
The evil in us resented the divine command, and so the holy law aroused the enmity of our nature, and we rushed on to death. This was not the fault of the law, but of our depraved hearts; yet so it was.
Such is our complex condition. We are new creatures, but the old man struggles within us to get the mastery.
Romans 7:16, 17
The new I sins not, but the old nature is sin, and remains what it always was.
law or rule
Romans 7:22, 23
This is the believers riddle, which only regenerate men can understand. Do we know what it means?
So that on the one hand he agonizes, and on the other hand he triumphs. Loathing sin and glorying in Christ are our daily experience. Groaning after holiness, and finding it in Jesus, we both sigh and sing, repent and rejoice, fight and conquer. This is not a past, but a present experience, and he is a true heir of heaven who feels it within.
And God created… every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:21)
I am thankful I have found a promise from the God of all grace that deals with the “long term” and the eternal. I belong to a body of plain people who believe the truth revealed in the Bible. These are the people who believe that God in the beginning made the heavens and the earth and all things that are therein.
Yes, these plain believing people will tell you that God created the flowers to be beautiful and the birds to sing, so that men and women could enjoy them. We believe that God made the birds to warble and harmonize as though they were tuned to a harp.
But the scientist disagrees, saying, “It is simply biological. The bird sings only to attract a mate.”
Actually, the God who made the birds is the Chief Musician of the universe. He made the harps in those little throats and said, “Go and sing!” Thankfully, the birds obeyed and they have been singing and praising God ever since they were created!
“Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” Ps. 81:10
What an encouragement to pray! Our human notions would lead us to ask small things because our deservings are so small; but the Lord would have us request great blessings. Prayer should be as simple a matter as the opening of the mouth; it should be a natural, unconstrained utterance. When a man is earnest he opens his mouth wide, and our text urges us to be fervent in our supplications.
Yet it also means that we may make bold with God, and ask many and large blessings at His hands. Read the whole verse, and see the argument: “I am Jehovah, thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. Because the Lord has given us so much He invites us to ask for more, yea, to expect more.
See how the little birds in their nests seem to be all mouth when the mother comes to feed them. Let it be the same with us. Let us take in grace at every door. Let us drink it in as a sponge sucks up the water in which it lies. God is ready to fill us if we are Only ready to be filled. Let our needs make us open our mouths; let our faintness cause us to open our mouths and pant; yea, let our alarm make us open our mouths with a child’s cry. The opened mouth shall be filled by the Lord Himself. So be it unto us, O Lord, this day.