I’ve been reading through the E100 with my church and one of the themes I’m enjoying is the theme of faith producing radical obedience and how it so pleases God. I noticed it the other week when Abraham is willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac, because He believes that God is who he says he is and will do what He promises to do. God was pleased. Then I read about Joseph last week who even when life went from bad to worse, kept his faith and served diligently wherever God had him. He is even able to say to his brothers, “what you meant for harm, God meant for good.” What faith! This morning it was two midwives who chose to obey God, fearing Him more than Pharaoh who had commanded them to kill new born Hebrew boys. What faith!
Last week, I also read the following in a marriage book, and it helps me take the big ideas from scripture and insert them into my own life. Author, Winston Smith, says:
True faith is most obvious when it empowers you to action that’s opposite to your emotions. Doing what you feel like doing doesn’t take faith. Faith, being focused on the unseen person and activity of God often calls you to move against your fears, doubts, disappointment, and anger. That doesn’t mean that you have to deny those feeling. on the contrary, you have the freedom to acknowledge and confess them because you aren’t allowing yourself to be defined by them. In your marriage [or parenting, or work place, or church, or friendships], you choose to act not just because you feel things but because you’re moved by another relationship that’s more powerful, your relationship with God. the power of that relationship becomes most obvious when it moves you to do what God wants, rather than what you want. (Marriage Matters, pg.263, parenthesis mine)
So often, my feelings rule the day when it comes to “common place” obedience. I want to remember Abraham, Joseph, and the midwives, but far more, I want to remember the faithful God who is who He says He is and does what He says He will do; and I want that belief to move me to acts of obedience both radical and mundane. I’m so glad that who He is is Jesus, the Savior, and what He does is have mercy on sinners, like me, who still waver in their faith, but by His grace, don’t want to.