Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
When life is going well, it can feel inspiring to sing the hymn that says, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” Yet life is not always clear. No matter how committed we are to our spiritual walk, life has a way of distracting us… and for some, even breaking us. Nevertheless, I am thankful that God loves us through our shortcomings – even when others don’t. He sees us for who we are, and He still stretches out His hand towards us. As our faith increases, we feel the power of God moving through our lives. Yet when we are asked to walk into the unknown parts of our journeys, our faith can feel insufficient. Why is that?
Building a Relationship with God
To know scripture and to have a relationship with God are not one in the same. To know scripture is to know what the Bible says. To know God is to develop a relationship with Him that extends beyond knowledge and into personal experience. If not, we will be “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7) When we start to genuinely experience God, we receive His truth and His light. Our characters will reflect His, as we become the embodiment of love, patience, and kindness. We work on the areas that are weak, knowing that with God’s strength, we will be made whole.
Faith is also a critical part of this experience. The more we get to know God, the more our faith is strengthened. Hebrews 11:6 reminds us “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” To believe that “God is”, is the most powerful decision that we can ever make. We accept His infinite mercy, power, and grace as we lean into His wisdom and His will.
With God, all possibilities are on the table, even the ones that seem unlikely. I think there is joy in knowing that God can, and we should find peace in knowing that if He does not, He still has our best interests at heart. I cannot explain every aspect of God, but if I could – then He wouldn’t be God. And yet with all this discussion on faith, there is still the looming question: how do we move forward when we don’t know where we’re going?
To Trust & Obey
Well – the truth is that we never know where we’re going. We may think we know where we’re going, but even the most intentional plans can be met with unpredictable circumstances. When we start to accept that we are where we are because of God’s grace, we can then understand that our decisions are only a part of the equation. We may choose to save money, but it’s God’s grace that keeps us from having to spend it on an unexpected emergency. We may choose to drive safely, but it’s God’s grace that keeps others from causing us injury.
So when God asks us to step into the unknown, understand that what He is really asking is for us to go somewhere we had not planned. We are being called to choose a route that we did not intend to take, and to trust Him along the way. This is the truest expression of faith – stepping forward without seeing what is in front of us.
Living by Faith
In the scriptures we read:
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.Hebrews 11:7-8
What I love about Noah is that he had the faith to do what God asked of him solely because God asked it of him. There was no earthly proof that the world would be destroyed by a flood; yet for Noah – God’s word was enough. And for Abraham, I admire his ability to move forward in the ambiguity. He trusted, that in due time, God would make his destination clear – and He did.
This is the power of faith. We will trust and obey, even when others may find our decisions a bit strange. We can navigate through tough choices, heart-breaking situations, and unpredictable moments with grace and love. To know God is to experience Him in His fullness as we discern His will from our own. Never underestimate what faith the size of a mustard seed can achieve. With our trust in God, the possibilities are endless. So step out on faith, and let God lead you into the next phase of your journey.