Faith and Obedience

Faith and obedience are as inseparable as the two sides of a coin.

God sometimes calls us to acts of obedience that have the possibility of undesirable consequences. We hesitate. We procrastinate. We rationalize. Then, finally, we call our weak faith into play and do the thing He has asked.

And because He is our Father He still supports and protects us. The possible unpleasant results do not happen. Our faith grows stronger. We are more willing to be obedient next time.

So each act of obedience results in increased faith. That increased faith, in turn, brings about a more instant, joyful and confident obedience the next time He calls. We become more mature Christians because of the upward spiraling interplay between these two spiritual aspects of our lives.

James was referring to this connection when he wrote “anyone can see that I have faith by the way I act”(James 2:18 LB) It was obedience that directed James’ actions. He was doing the things God selected for him to do, not the things he had chosen for himself.

If we are disobedient, we need to ask the Father for increased faith that will give us the courage to obey. If we lack strong faith we need to act in obedience anyway and our faith will be strengthened when we observe his protection and provision.

And our reward for increased faith and obedience? The greatest reward of all: “Well done” from our Father. (Matt 25:21 LB)

Why?

Tombstones in our cemeteries note the beginning and ending of our lives, but they fail to mention the “why” of what happened in the years between those dates.

Jesus’ life on earth began in a barn and ended on a Jerusalem hillside. His ministry began when He walked out of the Jordan River and ended when He was resurrected. Between those events He taught, healed, raised the dead, fed the hungry and removed demons. Why? According to his own words it was to “seek and save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)

And when He had accomplished all his Father intended for him, He went home.

My life began in a modest home in a town in southern Missouri. My ministry as a child of God began in another small town in the same general area. Both will end at a time and in a place still to be revealed.

Until then I pray that the “Why” of my life will always be the same as His. My acts of service will differ, but my dedication should be the same. Then the time, mode and destination of my trip home will be glorious beyond imagination.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, after my death, everyone who knew me thought my headstone should say  “He served God by serving others because he loved them.”