Welcome and thanks for participating in day 17 of the ARISE fast and devotional blog. If you haven’t read the previous days, please go back and read them before reading
Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Do you remember your elementary school experience? Those fun years, before everyone started “dating” and everything got so intense in Jr High…
From second grade to the middle of seventh grade I attended Temple Heights Christian School in Temple Terrace. In second grade I had Mrs. Robertson. She was my favorite. She had white hair and fluffy fingers. She was REALLY old and also really nice.
In the second grade at Temple Heights we had chapel service once a week. Mrs. Robinson would make us line up in a straight line – “no butts, not cuts, no alligator guts”, is what us kids would say to those trying to jump the line ahead of us. We would stop at the bathroom and water fountain, and then head to the chapel – the smaller room near the much larger sanctuary.
In chapel, we would have church for kids. But not like “children’s church” which might utilize puppets, magic tricks and skits… the school must have figured that would have been too much fun for us mature students. Instead, we had church just like the adults, with worship songs sung by a lone guy with a mullet on the piano and someone preaching a short message supposedly geared toward children…. And let me be clear, the speaker was never fun like Pastor Josh. In fact I don’t remember a single sermon given in my 5 years of elementary school at Temple Heights… how.
However, we did enjoy the mullet man’s worship. All us kids belted out songs from the depths of our young souls as the mullet maestro performed his versions of “Oh Lord You’re Beautiful” (Keith Green), “As the Deer”, and “We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise”.
But my favorite was “Trust and Obey”… probably because it was the only somewhat kids song we sang. So we all stood straight, took a deep breath and then loudly… and probably off key… exclaimed
Trust and obey
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey
Trust and obey. A simple song. A simple idea that can be quite complicated to practice.
Yet at the core of the movement of Christianity is the ability to trust and obey God. Many people pray. Some pray in the mornings, and some pray in the evenings. Some pray earnestly and incessantly. Some go away and pray, and some even lock themselves in closets to pray. Some even lock themselves away in monasteries to give their full life to prayer. I personally don’t believe God calls any of us to a life of prayer that forever isolates us from the world around us. The same God who calls us to meet Him in the solitary place also calls us to return to the crowded streets where people desperately need Him.
Prayer is powerful. But the real power of prayer is only realized when the prayer is released from someone living a lifestyle of obedience. Prayer without a willingness to be obedient is just babble. Prayer connects you to God and positions you to seize divine moments… BUT only when you’re willing to…
Trust and obey.Institutionalized Christians often pray. But they don’t pray to obey. They pray just because it’s expected, or they pray to make someone think they’re spiritual, or they pray to make them feel good about their spirituality… or most commonly… they don’t pray. They just close their eyes and listen to someone else pray while pretending to pray.
People of the movement pray to obey. They pray to unleash a movement and then through obedience become that movement they prayed for. Their prayers bring courage to their hearts and motivation for action. They prayed with the intent to obey.I believe it’s time we recapture the action associated with prayer. Our hearts should be leaning in and ready for movement as we pray. Prayer brings the marching orders for those in the movement. We pray, we obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way…
JOIN THE MOVEMENT
Esse Quam Videri,
Meditate and reflect on this verse and questions:
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Matthew 6:7
1. What is your purpose in prayer? What is your intended outcome?
2. What do you think is the most important element of prayer?
3. When God speaks, are you willing to trust and obey?
– Pray that God creates a fresh passion in you for prayer.
– Pray that God gives you the courage to always obey.
– Pray that you become the movement you pray for.