Trust and Obey
When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way;
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Welcome to Sealed Orders! This is a time for you to be alone and focus on God. Normally, you’d be sitting at Pine Summit, waiting for dinner, trying not to talk to the people around you, worrying about sunburn, etc. But I assume right now you’re in your “classroom” at home. I’m sure you’re sick of it! So maybe go sit outside and read this. Print it out on a piece of paper. Get away from the screen. Don’t forget your Bible!
Okay. Settled? In the grass? Perfect. (I know, South westerners, there’s no grass, just rocks. Pretend.)
This week our theme is Trust and Obey. It’s a great song, that’s lasted over 100 years. Why? Partly because it’s catchy. But mostly because it’s true.
The first verse talks about walking with God. And about “shedding glory”. Which, I confess, makes me think of animal hair. Maybe this is a verse about Aslan, and how if God appeared as a lion, all the characters in Narnia would have lion hair everywhere….
And it’s kind of like pet hair. Glory “shedding” is the glow you get when you are in the presence of God. Just like hair from your cat, people can tell when you’ve been in the presence of God, because his glory sticks with you.
Have you ever been around a truly joyful person? Not a “smiles all the time” person, but someone who has deep joy. Their attitude is contagious. Just being around them makes you feel like things are great! Even when they are hard. With God, it’s a million times more so.
Walking with God is one of the most used metaphors in the Bible. Probably because they did a lot of walking. Walking was a huge part of their lives. We don’t really walk as much. Sometimes we even have to get up at 10 pm and walk around the house to complete the circle on our Apple watch. This isn’t like those walking clubs you see in the mornings which last a half hour, and then everyone goes their separate ways.
A better metaphor for us might be “when we drive with the Lord.” Think about how often you are in the car. Sometimes it’s a fun car trip, but mostly it’s the everyday stuff; driving to school, getting stuck on the freeway, following Waze, sitting in the In N Out drive thru. That’s what life with God is like. We shouldn’t just be in the presence of God when we are worshipping on a Sunday, or when we are praying at night. It’s a constant thing. Hours a day. So, someone who “walks with the Lord” is someone who spends lots of time with God, who always has God on their mind.
So, let’s talk specifically about how you “walk” (drive) with the Lord.
Spend time with God
I’m sure you all spend time with God. Worship, Bible study, prayer. Those are all examples of “quality time” with God. But in addition to quality time, we need to spend what I like to call “quantity time.” Quantity time is when we aren’t doing something specifically “about” God, like worship. But we bring God along in our minds to tasks like studying, working, walking the dog, talking to our friends, or playing games on our phone.
Don’t give up the quality time with God, of course. But make sure that when you’re not focused exclusively on Spiritual things, you are mentally bringing God with you. Think about how God would react in the situation you’re in. Imagine God beside you, what he would say or do. Pray continuously.
Listen to God
During all this time you’re spending with God, you can’t ignore Him, of course. God often speaks to me when I’m in normal-people situations. But only when I’m attune to His voice. It’s easy to tune God out, like the announcements during lunch at camp. There’s a lot happening in life! Focusing on that voice telling you the same things you should already know is hard. But it’s worth it.
Listening to God doesn’t usually result in anything dramatic. It’s not usually God saying “go ye into the lands of yon and maketh discipleths unto my nameth” It’s usually more God saying “do you really need to make that negative comment? Maybe say something uplifting instead.” Or “Go say hi to that person. They might need it.” It’s the micro stuff that matters.
Act like God is there
Obviously, if you’re walking with God, He’s present. And we believe that God the Holy Spirit is everywhere. It’s not like God is a spy, though. God isn’t hiding behind a desk, waiting for you to slip up and cheat on your test.
When you act like God is there, it’s a positive thing. God being in our conversations makes us lift other people up. It makes us act like better people, and ultimately become better people. When you have a choice to say something mean, or something uplifting, and you visualize God being there, guess what you choose? Also, when we think of the fact that God is present, it reminds us that the almighty GOD is right there! With us! Things can seem a lot less scary at that point. It’s like taking your much bigger brother to the playground when you’re seven. No fourth grader is going to pick on you when your 15-year-old brother is there! God isn’t so much a bodyguard, but as a companion. Someone to make us feel not alone. But the presence of God can work wonders. Literally. It gives us courage and self-assurance.
Take some time now to assess where you are. Are you already walking with the Lord? Or maybe you haven’t been lately? Pray for the presence of the Lord. Think about what you want to learn this week. Think about where you need to go spiritually. Thank God for how far you’ve come already. And remember, when you’re driving with the Lord, He is guiding you. You won’t go astray. Good things will happen.