This morning, I was listening (www.dailyaudiobible.com – if you’ve never tried it – it’s brilliant!) to Deuteronomy 9 and 10. Well, some of it anyway – 9:23 really jumped out at me, so I wasn’t able to concentrate much on the rest 🙂: “You did not trust him or obey him”. Trust and obey. The Israelites had sent spies into the promised land. When they came back, most of them only saw the obstacles. They didn’t trust God’s character and power enough to take the (admittedly scary!) step of faith and obey.
Can trust that is not in some way expressed in obedience really be trust at all? Probably not.
A bit later, once they had realized their mistake, the Israelites decided to go in and start taking the land – without talking to God about it. And were beaten comprehensively (check out Numbers 13 and 14 for the full story).
“Doing the right thing” because I reckon I can do it and it seems like a good idea (or even to earn God’s favour) has nothing to do with trust and isn’t even really obedience.
What struck me most of all is that God is so amazingly relational! He is not after us hitting a set of performance targets. He wants us to walk with Him, to learn to trust Him more and more and within that relationship to obey.
Funnily enough, just a few days ago, I took a number of photos of things that were entwined. Some man made, some nature doing its thing (http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=67177&id=506016444&l=cb3652274f).
That expresses it so well: lives entwined – God as the Trinity – ours with God – with each other.
To top it all off, the sermon today was on John 14: “On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” (verses 20+21)
Couldn’t have put it better myself 🙂