A few years ago, my relationship with the Lord was shaken up, in a good way, by a prophetic word from a friend. My wife and I were having dinner with another couple, and I was explaining some of my struggles in my walk with Jesus. The husband has a prophetic gift, and midway through the conversation he began to tear up. With a few tears trickling down his face, the man looked at me and said, “He wants to know why you don’t trust Him.”
That question shook me to the core.
My eyes were opened to the reason that I do not always obey promptings from the Holy Spirit. I don’t always believe that He will be there for me if I do, nor do I always trust that He will take care of me if things don’t go right. I don’t always trust that He has my best interest in mind. Therefore, obedience sometimes feels more like a chore than a joy.
God has given us free will. With that free will comes the option to obey or not to obey. This world presents us with plenty of other options besides obedience, and if we don’t trust God then we will choose those other things over Him more often than not. This helps to explain why God chooses to lead us to repentance by His goodness (Romans 2:4 NIV). When we taste and see that He is good, it establishes trust.
It could be argued that a lack of trust is the root of all disobedience.
Just think about some of the reasons we don’t obey other people in this world. We sometimes don’t obey people in authority because we don’t agree with their vision, because we do not feel they are competent for the job, or because we don’t believe that their motives are pure. All of these things can be summed up by saying that we do not trust that someone is leading us in the right direction. We simply don’t believe that it is in our best interest to obey.
When I was a small child, I just did whatever my parents told me. I had no reason to question their motives or their instructions. As I grew older, and I became more aware of their flaws and imperfections, I was less inclined to obey. I became a bit rebellious. All of a sudden, I had a reason to doubt my trust in them.
Disobedience naturally followed.
I have found that it can be similar in my walk with the Lord. There are times where I am chasing after Him, seeking His will and being recklessly obedient. Then something might happen that causes me to doubt His faithfulness. It could be disappointment, rejection, persecution, etc. Then, all of sudden, obedience becomes much more difficult. I start to question the motives behind the commands.
Let me be clear in saying that this is an absolutely incorrect perception on my part. Judging God by my expectations is a dangerous thing to do. However, I am trying to support this idea that a lack of obedience can always be traced back to a lack of trust.
As human beings, find a lot of reasons and excuses to avoid full on surrender and obedience. We create false religions. We hide behind our theology. At the end of the day, God wants a childlike, persistent faith that shows itself through obedience. And the only reason we would not give that to Him is if we don’t trust Him.
Maybe you are struggling a bit with your obedience to God.
Maybe things are a bit dry in your relationship with Him. Perhaps you have searched long and hard about why that is, but can’t quite put your finger on it. I have been there before. I would encourage you to ask the question, “Do I really trust Him?” Do you know that He is good and that He loves you? He will never leave you or forsake you! Do you know that He will supernaturally come through for you in the same way He did for the early disciples in the stories we read about in the Bible?
It always comes back to a lack of trust. Just ask Him to reveal to you why you do not trust Him, and then allow Him to affirm to you once again how real and good He truly is. When you trust Him, you will obey Him!