I don’t know about you, but obedience seems to be one of the hardest lessons for me to learn. Not that anything in the Christian life is easy (actually everything in the Christian life is impossible apart from Christ), but I find it hard for me to give in to my will and obey God. Sometimes it’s because I don’t understand, and think I have a better idea. Other times, my struggle with obedience comes directly from my wanting what I want.
There is a story about a guy who was walking alone along a cliff one day. Suddenly, the ground beneath him gave way and he began to tumble down the ravine, but luckily, he hit a tree that was growing sideways from the cliff and held on for dear life. The man began to check himself to make sure he was alright. No broken bones or major pains. He then began to be thankful that he was holding on to the tree. Then a terrible thought crossed his mind. He couldn’t hold on forever, and as far as he knew, nobody was around.
“HELP! Can anybody hear me! I need HELP!” the man screamed.
A voice replied, “I can hear you.”
“Who are you, and what are you doing here.” The man said. “Get me outta here!”
“I am the Lord your God,” The voice replied. “I always see you, and I am here to help you. But you have to trust Me. Do you trust Me?”
“Yes, yes, yes!” The man said. “I will do whatever you say if you will just get me down from here! I will give up my bad habits, and go to church every Sunday. I’ll serve you the rest of my life!”
God replied to the man, “Easy on the promises right now. I want you to know I am here to take care of you. But to get you down, you must let go of the tree.”
“What? Are you kidding me?” The man said.
“NO! You must trust me and obey me. I said let go of the branch.”
There was a long silence. Then the man began to yell, “HELP! HELP! Is anyone else up there?!
Trust and obedience to God does not always make sense, and it is rarely the easiest thing to do. Often, following God will mean to give up habits and friends, and will call us to let go of the branches in our lives that give us security. But God is always calling to us to trust Him and obey. When we do, He has assured us that He will be there to catch us and take care of us.
As you read this chapter, think about all of the ways God’s people obeyed. Has God told you to let go of a branch and trust Him. Let go, today!