What is faith?
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
— Hebrews 11:1
What does it mean to be obedient to Christ?
“Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always.” — Deuteronomy 11:1
If serving God or becoming a missionary is your desire, these may be two of the most important questions you could ever ask yourself. Undeniably, any follower of Jesus must ask themselves these things daily. And they are certainly questions of preeminence for anyone considering a life in missions. But I may need to pause here and ask a pointed question: have not all Christians been called to a life on mission for Christ?
“The harvest is plentiful. The workers are few.” – Matthew 9:37
But I digress back to our original two questions. Am I living by faith? Am I living obediently to Christ? But out of these two questions, another arose, one that I have wrestled with quite a bit over the last few months: has my obedience supplanted my faith?
Faith and obedience
Let me explain where this question grew from. It came from a place where faith and obedience unexpectedly came into conflict. It came from a place where I found it easier to obey than to act faithfully.
To have faith is to believe in those things hoped for and promised. To have faith is to know, intimately, that what God says is absolute truth. But to know what God says inherently means you are listening to him. You must know what promises God has spoken to claim them.
If serving God and becoming a missionary is your wish, know this: you will, one day, likely find yourself in a place where it is easier to be doing than it is to be listening. It is not uncommon for God’s laborers to starve on his word while they toil in the field. Those that wish to serve Christ must die to themselves first, not only to their own wants but also to their own works.
Faith in Christ
So where does this leave us? Does it invalidate our original questions? No, it absolutely does not. It informs them. It shapes them. It clarifies them.
We still need to be asking: “What does faith in Christ look like?” We must not stop asking: “What does it mean to live obediently to Christ?”
What it does mean is this: before we ask those questions we must abide. We must sit and listen. We must earnestly seek Him with our whole heart. And we must seek him first.
Before we ask about faith, before we ask about obedience, before we do anything, we must abide.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33
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