Obedience and Faith


I've learned a whole lot about obedience from my parents. My mom was a strong Korean woman--a tiger mom--who was an authority figure in my life. My father was a man of few words, and his actions spoke louder than words. So, what few words he said were weighty and powerful.

I also learned about obedience through the Scripture. The Bible is filled with precepts, laws, commands, examples, and instructions that teach about obeying God. But, obeying God requires faith, or what J.P. Moreland calls "confidence," in God. Some say that faith is a gift from God, and I believe that. But, faith can be learned as well.

Allow me to explain the concept of faith, confidence, or trust through the following example. When I drive, I am so thankful that there are lines separating cars moving in opposite directions. And, I trust those lines because they don't move or change. So, as long as I stay within the lines, and as long as other drivers also do the same, I have "confidence" that I can get from Point A to Point B without getting into an accident. So, you see, the type of confidence and trust in something or someone can be attained through consistent application of rules or laws.

It's the same with God. First, He gives us guidelines to follow. Second, His guidelines don't change--indeed, He Himself does not change. Third, we need to trust God or be willing to follow His guidelines. Fourth, over time, we can be confident that God's guidelines are there to protect us, bless us, and give us abudant life. Thus, even when life doesn't make sense, we can reflect on God's faithfulness, His promises, His fatherly heart, and continue to trust Him. We can place our faith in the immovable and unchanging God.

Life is unpredictable. It is a road replete with twisting forks. You and I cannot predict what will happen in the future. But, it can be managed by following God's rules, laws, and guidelines. In other words, we must be willing to obey, hear, and trust His guidance, leadership, and nudging.

We need both faith (confidence in God) and obedience to make it through life. Risks and dangers will always be present in the journey. And, since the Maker has designed life to be full or risks that will further increase our faith and obedience in Him, well, we better embrace not only life's "ups" but "downs" as well.