Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Only He Who Obeys Believes

This is love for God: to obey his commands. I Jn 5:3

It was a small discussion group of doctors organized by the church on Sunday nights.

He was barely forty with his practice now out of debt, and he was finally able to provide the income he needed to care for his family. “To be honest with you, I really do believe in Christ, but I just don’t feel the desire to seek Him like I once did.”

“Are you spending time in prayer and going to church?”

“Just like always.”

“What ever happened to the partner you used to tell us about, the one you felt God wanted you to witness to?”

“I almost spoke to him once, but it just never seemed right.”

What about the mission to Belize you felt called to take part in a few years ago?”

“The timing just never worked out.”

Dietrich Bonheoffer died in a Nazi concentration camp because he felt that God had called him to be instrumental in a plot to kill Hitler. Long before his imprisonment he wrote, “Only he who believes is obedient and only he who is obedient believes.”

Bonheoffer claimed that the two statements were inseparable.

Certainly it is our faith in Christ that draws us to obedience. Certainly it is only His grace that has saved us. Without that faith born from His grace, nothing is possible. But the growth of our faith is also dependent on obedience. Without obedience we will rarely place ourselves in a position where it is possible for our faith to grow. Peter would never have been convinced that Jesus could truly help him walk on water if he had never stepped out of the boat. Sometimes we think that by hearing the right speaker or reading the right books or being diligent in our morning devotions we will get God to rev up our faith enough for us to do great things for Him. But, if we never take the step of obedience that lies right before us---the word of witness, the mission trip, the sacrifice of money, the time spent in healing a relationship---if we never step out of the boat into the water where Jesus stands calling, our faith will become stagnant. We certainly need to continue our devotions and spend time in church and listen to great speakers, but we must couple these acts of worship with a step out of the boat if we want our faith to grow.

What is Jesus asking you to do this week, this day, this year? Just take that step; watch what Jesus will do with your obedience; watch Him grow your faith. “Only he who believes is obedient, and only he who is obedient believes.”

Dear God,

Let me take that one step for You, then grow my faith and let me take another. Amen

No comments:

Post a Comment