“As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, ‘Have mercy on us, Son of David!’ When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; and their sight was restored.” - Matthew 9:27-30
There is an old hymn entitled, Trust and Obey with the lyrics indicating, “…there is no other way to happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” Sometimes I find those words providing me a gentle joy; other times I simply find them tiring.
Well, I was reading a tidbit written by Joan Puls, from Every Bush Is Burning, that basically said our willingness to trust and obey is dependent upon our relationship with God. So insisting that someone trust God when that person has no relationship with God is wasted energy. Calling for obedience to God without the intimacy of divine experience is a fool’s request.
Puls goes on to say: “Obedience is the offspring of a deep and intimate relationship between our own hearts and the God who embraces us and who shares with us a joyous delight in and passionate concern for all of creation. When God is the one in whom we live and move and have our being, then our spirits will reverberate and our lives echo that limitless love.”
In the ebb and flow of faithfulness, what might we do to continually grow a closer, more intimate relationship with Jesus so that trust and obedience are byproducts of a joy-filled faith rather tiring chores for a demanding God?
I believe that expressions of limitless love born out of our own intimate relationship with God are, hands down, the best way to find joy in our own lives and to encourage others to explore a relationship with God built first on trust and then on obedience.
Gracious God, I know that you can do all things! Grant me the will to joyfully express your limitless love to everyone I encounter today. Amen.