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Obedience - Acting Out Your Faith

Obedience is a necessity to the Christian life. However, in this article, I want to challenge your thoughts regarding what it means to Obey.

1 Samuel 15:22 Samuel said, “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Obedience is better than sacrifice, a listening ear than the fat of rams.

There is something we need to think about, that is, a characteristic mark of the Christian is obedience, not work.

But what is the difference? Work is trying to do something to convince God to act. It’s a sacrifice that we do to try to impress God. Many Christians live out their obedience of God with this understanding. They read the Bible, pray, and even fast as a requirement or as a work, thinking that doing this activity will make God happy and cause God to move.

Obedience is acting out of faith and doing what God says. We must remember that no level of sacrifice or works is a substitute for the obedience of faith.

Just a note: When we are new in our relationship with God because of the childlike manner in which we walk, we may do things out of works and see God move but we can't stay there, we must grow and move into maturity.

Through this post, I want us to realize that obedience to God and obedience to His Word must come out of a life of relationship with involves a life of faith.

Think for a moment, the Bible says in Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

It says there that He who comes to God, that’s relationship, it then says that he must believe that He (God) is, that’s faith. We have to realize that relationship with God and faith go hand in hand and work together.

The Bible tells us that God is a God of faith. Faith is what pleases and moves Him.

Hebrews 11:6 – But without Faith it is impossible to please God.

Romans 14:23 – Whatever is not of faith (AMP – Whatever does not originate and proceed from faith) is sin.

Everything in our Christian life, in our relationship with God must proceed from faith. So obedience for a Christian must originate and come out of faith.

The interesting thing is this, our obedience, or lack of, generally tells us where our faith is at. You obey what you believe in.

Have you ever told someone something, or gave some advice to someone, and the person didn’t listen and when they came back to you they said I should’ve listened?

Do you know what they are really saying? I should’ve believed you, I should’ve had faith in what you told me. They didn't listen to you, because they didn't believe you.

Where there's no faith, there's disobedience. Here is a thought you can count on. When doubt comes, the next step is disbelief, and when disbelief comes in, it will lead to disobedience.

Here is a thought to challenge us: Our Obedience, the acting out our faith, gives us an accurate indication of how much we believe God and His Word. This is also a good indicator of where our relationship with God is at.

Another Challenge: Examine your life against the Bible and consider these questions.

-Do I believe in God?

-Do I believe what God says?

-Do I believe what God says when I don’t understand, it doesn’t make sense to me, or I disagree?

James 2:17-22 So faith by itself, if it has no works (actions of obedience), is dead. But a man may say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God; you do well. The demons also believe and tremble. But do you want to be shown, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? Do you see how faith worked with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?

Faith is more than words or knowledge, it is demonstrated by obedience (yielding) and responding to the promises of God.

This is not to make anyone feel guilty but logic tells me that since faith is demonstrated by obedience, a lack of obedience demonstrates a lack of faith. Where there is no faith there will be disobedience.

Now, here is how most Christians work this. Most make a decision, which on one hand is good, but on the other hand, it often leads to failure. They decide I am just going to try to obey more. I am going to listen better. I am going to be a better Christian and just be obey God. What happens is they do good for a week, then something happens and they slip back and now they are feeling miserable and the devil comes along and tells them how big a failure they are and they are defeated.

That is because obedience was not a product of relationship and very little faith was involved. Obedience to God cannot work if it is simply accomplished through our will. Obedience must be a product of our relationship with God which is a life of walking by faith.

Therefore, to walk in greater obedience to God, one must grow in their faith, otherwise, it will fail. Growth in faith will lead to greater obedience. If you believe, have faith, in Jesus, there will be the activity that backs up your faith.

When you sincerely believe Him, you will abandon sin, you will reject wickedness, you will act on His Word, you will follow him, you will obey him.

Remember, faith is not the result of striving. Faith comes out of a relationship. One aspect of growing in our relationship with God and living and growing in faith is getting into the Word of God.

Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Reading the Bible is not so you please and make God happy. Reading the Bible is so that you grow in your relationship with Him, grow in your faith in Him, so in that relationship by faith, you can live as God instructs and receive all that God has for you.

So let me encourage you. If you want to grow in your obedience to God, continue to develop your relationship and faith in Him. Blessings!


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