Wednesday, April 20, 2022

IBS-39 Trust and Obey: Foundation to Bible application

The Big Idea: Learning to both trust and obey God are the basics of the Christian life. .

As a child, I learned this old hymn (circa 1880s). People who have followed God for years say these are the basics of happily living the life of faith. It is a foundation based in Bible application.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.


The Basics

Trust and obey: one follows the heels of the other. Stripping faith to the minimum consists of these two actions. It is raw Bible application.

Trust: to believe, follow, put confidence in or accept completely. In my own words, but a dictionary definition is similar. Explore “trust” in Hebrew and Greek (often translated “believe” in the New Testament) will be similar.

Obey: To follow through and do what is said. Just do it. Again my own words, similar to any dictionary definition.

Practicing “Trust”

Think of an adult you trusted as a child. Most children learn to trust someone. You listened to their opinions and advice. You followed their example. You went along with them. You knew you could count on them. Maybe you learned who you could count on over time.

Start there with God. Read the Bible, His Word. Listen to it. Try it out. Practice taking its advice. Follow it and discern it is true. Learn that you can trust it.

Practicing “Obey”

As a child you listened to a trusted adult, sometimes to avoid consequences of disobeying. You figured out that following their advice is useful. Perhaps years later you realized they knew what they were talking about.

Start there with God. When you read the Bible, practice taking its advice. Does this sound a little like “trust”? The trust part is trying it out and learning you can rely on it as a good and true word. The obey part is doing it.

In many ways they are linked together. You trust and follow through to obey. You obey so you learn to trust more.

Happiness and Peace

As we trust God and follow through we learn we can lean on Him more. Peace flows from doing the right thing and discovering He does what He promised (2 Peter 3:9-11). True joy and happiness come as we lean on Him. His ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9) and we need His love and care.

Happy are the people who have all this. Yes, happy are the people whose God is the Lord! Psalm 144:15 NLV 
Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. Eph 3: 17 NLT


This post is thirty-ninth in a series as a Practical Starter Guide for Inductive Bible Study.
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1. What do you believe is your source of happiness? Peace? Is obeying God on that radar? Why or why not?

2. Growing up, were you able to trust an adult? If not, have you found difficulty trusting God or have you found He is worth trusting because He is more trustworthy?

3. How could you apply trust and obedience in something in the Bible today?

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