September 18, 2019
Trust and Obey
The LORD said to Joshua, See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors. You shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days. Also, seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead." So, Joshua had the ark of the LORD taken around the city, circling it once; then they came into the camp and spent the night in the camp. Now Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew the trumpets; and the armed men went before them and the rear guard came after the ark of the LORD, while they continued to blow the trumpets. Thus the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp; they did so for six days. Joshua 6:1-14
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.