The familiar hymn, “Trust and Obey,” encourages us to trust in the Lord, come to Him in obedience, and submit to His will. This beloved hymn is right in its exhortation and encouragement to those who sing with the understanding of its important message.
What is biblical trust? The words “believe” and “faith” come from a common root word in the original Greek. To believe, or have faith, means to trust, act faithfully, and act reliably. This harmonizes with the Scriptures because saving faith is pictured as a comprehensive ideal. Paul taught so he might bring about the “obedience of faith” (Romans 1:5; 16:26). James said faith without works is dead (James 2:17). Trust alone does not save.
Trust and faith in God means we will absolutely put our confidence in the Lord. We must cast our doubts aside and learn how to be like a little child, placing our trust in God (Matthew 18:3-4). As Abraham “did not waver in unbelief” (Romans 4:20), he trusted in God’s promise, having full assurance that God would do as He said.
Faith is incomplete though if it does not follow through, to prove itself reliable—or else it is vain and empty words. Faith is merely a facade if it does not have works. That is the point James wants us to understand in James 2:14-26. If there is no obedience and no working with our trust, then it is not true, biblical trust.
Obedience is complying with God’s will and following His commands. Faith and obedience go hand in hand. It was by faith that Abraham obeyed (Hebrews 11:8). True obedience is that which comes from the heart. Paul said, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness…” (Romans 10:9-10). The heart must be the motivator in our obedience.
Biblical trust means more dependence upon God and less reliance upon ourself. Genuine obedience is the response and submission to God’s word because of our confidence in the Lord and His promises. Let us trust and obey!
by Sean P. Cavender