The other day I was singing a song that I’ve sung probably a thousand times in my life, and all of a sudden the third verse hit me like it never has before.
“But we never can prove the delights of His love until all on the altar we lay; For the favor He shows, and the joy He bestows, are for those who will trust and obey.”
I don’t know about you, but I like holding onto things. I like to be in control. I like to be in charge. And essentially what I’m doing is saying, “Okay, God. I know you’ve told me to trust You, but what I really think is that it actually would be better if I would just not do that and just stand over here and hold onto all of my problems and take care of things by myself.”
How’s that working out for you? Because for me, it’s not going so well.
Laying it all down on the altar of faith is hard. It’s not easy to surrender control of your life, to sacrifice your wants and your anxieties and your fears. But God wants you to. Why? Because only when you’ve let go can He prove His loving favor and bestow His joy to us. And too often, unable to see past the temporary security of my comfort zone, I stubbornly refuse to relinquish my hold on my life, and I miss out on all of the goodness and blessings and freedom of just giving it over to Him.
It isn’t a one day, one time fix. It’s a lifetime of choosing to trust Him over yourself, a lifetime of sacrifice. Jesus never said otherwise. But He also promised that it would be so worth it. No more worries. No more fears. No more burdens. No more guilt. No more lonely reliance on yourself alone. Rather, trust. Obedience. Joy. Grace. Favor. Love. Peace.
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 16:24-25
“He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.” Proverbs 16:20
“Trust and obey! For there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”