financial freedom

Trust and Obey

by | Sep 14, 2017 | Maximum Generosity

It is impossible to look at this title and not think of the well know hymn, “Trust and Obey.” Here’s the background story on this beloved hymn. One night at a Dwight L. Moody evangelistic meeting in Brockton, Massachusetts, a young man stood up to testify about his confidence of salvation. He said, “I am not quite sure,” meaning that he wasn’t really certain that God would save him from his sins—and then he continued, “But I’m going to trust, and I’m going to obey”—meaning that he planned to trust God for his salvation and to do what he could to obey God’s will. The song leader that night, Daniel Towner, was so impressed by the young man’s testimony that he wrote down those words and stuck them in his pocket.  Later, he wrote a friend, John Sammis. In his letter, he told about the young man’s testimony and included the young man’s words: “I am not quite sure, but I’m going to trust, and I’m going to obey.” Before long Sammis and Towner had teamed up to write the words and tune that we still sing today. The spoken testimony of an unknown young man has blessed multitudes since 1887 and will continue to do so for decades to come.


There is a great lesson in this for all of us. We never know on this side of eternity how our words and actions will impact the now and the tomorrow. With this reality in mind, it is important that we measure our words and actions. Words can encourage and inspire or else condemn and destroy. The same is true of our actions. In the area of giving, we never know how God will take a donation made to His Kingdom business to multiply impact in the lives of those who need to know Him and those who need to grow in following Him.  


The song “Thank You” by Ray Boltz became popular in 1990. It goes through several scenarios where an obedient Christ-follower meets in heaven with one after another whose lives were changed because of his investment of money, time or energies to do the Lord’s work.  Some of the lyrics say, “Thank you for giving to the Lord, I am a life that was changed, Thank you for giving to the Lord, I am so glad you gave.”


Let us return to the whole trust and obey theme. Generosity giving requires a great deal of trust and a great deal of obedience.The trust is exhibited in how much we believe deep within ourselves that God is able to provide for all our needs while we are faithful in giving to Him. The obedience factor kicks in when the crucial moment comes and we make the decision of how we will respond to the opportunity to live a generosity giving lifestyle.


In Philippians 4:19 the Apostle Paul reminds us that our God will meet all of our needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. This is at the end of the section where he has expressed gratitude to the Philippians for their generosity to him as he set out from Macedonia even when no other church did so. He experienced first hand what our Heavenly Father is capable of doing in a very personal way in our lives if we will only trust and obey.


  1. What score would you give yourself on the “trust and obey”scale?
  2. What score would God give you on the “trust and obey”scale?
  3. What needs to change to bring these two into alignment?

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