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Trust and Obey: Now go for it!

How does Heavenly Father feel about His Son?

First I want to address our emotions before I talk about any intellectual information.

How does the Heavenly Father feel about His Son, our Lord, Jesus the Christ?

We know from the announcement at Jesus’ baptism that He is “well-pleased.” The two of them have fellowship and when we are included we have joy. Jesus told his disciples before he died, he would pass on to them his peace and his joy from the Father.

My conclusion: Heavenly Father rejoices tremendously, infinitely not only over His Son’s skill at creating the universe but even more at his love, being willing to sacrifice glory and pleasure to get human and suffer poverty, rejection and pain so we human creatures could be elevated to the heavenly status of “children of God.” When Father looks at Jesus He is proud and pleased, especially since they are united in mind on what to do and how to do it. Every day they sing out the word that keeps the universe spinning.

A Victory Shout!

One of the special reasons for pride and satisfaction is Jesus’ success at defeating God’s enemy, Satan, who cannot be killed and who is smarter than any human. He knows God is good and can’t go back on His word, so Satan tries to figure Jehovah out. Humans he already has figured out. God’s enemy had politicians, religious leaders and popular opinion on his side. He maneuvered everybody to get Jesus killed and succeeded.

But Jesus also succeeded. He only obeyed his Father, making up for the sin of Adam and all God’s People who had the Law of God. He never retaliated and took revenge on the people who attacked him. Every time he encountered a demon or an affliction the Enemy had caused, he overcame the problem, bringing healing and deliverance. Jesus showed his followers what Heavenly Father is really like, with His love and patience and faithfulness and gentleness.

So let me compare our joyful Heavenly Father with one of us. When a father sees his son kick a soccer goal, he not only boasts over that success, but also remembers the hours spent in practicing and coaching that have now paid off. When a mother hears her daughter say, “Thank you, mommy,” she is not only gratified that she has blessed her little girl, but also that the countless repetitions of teaching gratitude and manners are starting to shape her child’s attitudes. Because my friend is overcoming cancer, I am not only relieved and rejoicing with him, but also thanking God for the opportunity I had to pray and ask for that healing. We can both rejoice and God feels much the same joy. His children are trusting Him and obeying His command to ask for what they need and He is working with them to get victory over their common Enemy, Satan, who only steals, kills and destroys.

Trust and Obey, There’s no other way

There is an old hymn that says, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.” For folks like myself who grew up singing this song, there is an emotional warmth in those words. Unfortunately the trust I had then was what I would label “domesticated.” I expected people to be busy about daily tasks, work, family and so on. There were a few religious tasks too, such as church attendance, tithing, praying and witnessing. But basically prayer was always, “Lord, please…” Someone had a problem. I had a need. Maybe God would help and sometimes He did. But that was about the extent of believing and obeying. Today I would call that “not much.”

Technology has raised our expectations of how healthy we can be and how far we can go to serve the Lord and how much we know to pray for and how much time we have available to serve Him. The missions movements of the nineteenth century raised the standard of how much of the world the Lord wants to reach with the Gospel: everywhere. The revivals of 100 years ago have raised our expectations of how much power God has made available to His Church when they preach and pray in confidence. We have seen miracle healings, revelations, deliverances, Bible translations, tribes and peoples coming to faith in Christ. The Church is not “domesticated” any more.

Trust and obey, yes. Now go in the power of the Holy Spirit. Yes, you. Yes, I. Ask the Lord to heal. Ask Him to do miracles, signs and wonders. Speak in His name, “Be healed in Jesus’ name!”

Our victory is His victory

And you know what? Heavenly Father is “rubbing His hands in joyful expectation of your triumph,” because every time you and I trust Him and obey Him, Jesus’ victory of the Cross and Resurrection becomes actual here in front of us. His joy is our joy. Our struggle is His opportunity to do something supernatural. And from the looks of things in the world around us, we are going to have more struggles than we like to have. But God will do more supernatural things than we have seen before, because He is going to tell us to ask Him.

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