Obedience to God is key to our faith
Pure obedience is born out of trust, and will only come when we trust God in every area of our lives, explains Alison Hill.
The gentle whisper from our Father’s loving heart
We serve a God who expects us to not only trust Him but to be obedient to His instructions. These instructions are not given from an overbearing Father but from a Father of love that wants the best for us.
His voice often comes as a gentle whisper: a whisper that is sometimes not heard amongst the business of our lives but one that requires a response. If we do not respond, we may find that our lives take a sudden turn along a path we did not intend to take, once again learning the hard way.
To experience greater peace we must pay attention to the voice of the Holy Spirit. It is a long journey for all believers to take, as we learn to be obedient to His voice. Many of you might say “Well I don’t find it that hard”, but it all depends on what you believe God has asked of you. Many believe that God only requires them to live a simple life of faith; doing their best to give into the lives of those they meet.
Laying down our lives
If you look at scripture you will find that God requires much more from our faith. He is looking for those who are prepared to lay down their lives, laying down all that hinders to follow His purpose for our lives. This path requires sacrifice; it also requires obedience.
Those around us can be dumbfounded at the choices we make because of the call of God on our lives. We find examples of these difficult paths taken by many believers throughout scripture. God requires extreme obedience in our faith to keep the vision He has placed within us.
In Isaiah 7 v9 we read “...If you do not stand firm in your faith you will not stand at all.”
This was spoken to the Israelites when the enemies of Israel surrounded them. God sent Isaiah to bring hope and encouragement. As we read this story we also see that in verse 8 God is telling the nation of Israel that within 65 years, Ephraim, (one of the twelve tribes of Israel) will be a shattered people. God was asking His people to stand firm for a very long time.
How long have we believed God for breakthroughs in our lives or the lives of others? We can get to a point of giving up as the years go by. But this giving up on God can lead to us to taking the matter into our own hands.
We only have to look at Abraham to see this. Even though He is called the father of Faith scripture reveals seasons in which Abraham failed to pass the test of faith. On two occasions Abraham lied regarding his wife Sarah, saying that she was his sister. The first time was to receive relief from famine and the second came as he was in fear for his life with Abimelek.
We do not read that God told him to go into Egypt to receive help, but we do read the outcome of this error. On both occasions Abraham gave his wife away to appease Pharaoh and Abimelek. (Genesis 12:11, Genesis 20:1) Both kings came under the judgement of God for their actions.
As we read each of these stories we will see that in times of great distress God requires us to rely on Him. Great distress in our lives can cause us to do things we would not normally do. We can make all sorts of excuses to explain why we took a wrong turn in our lives. However, those wrong turns can bring repercussions that cannot be reversed, as with Abraham. Thank God we serve a gracious God.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8 v28 NIV.
God strengthens us in our weaknesses
God works all of our mistakes and failings into His plan for our lives, but we cannot use this as an excuse for disobedience. God would much rather we lead lives aligned with His will for us and our families.
For those of you that have made mistakes, or have failed in some way, there is hope in God. There is a way through and a way out as God’s mercies abound in our lives.
For those of you that are lacking faith and teetering on the edge of making wrong choices, remember Isaiah 7 v9, and know that our lack of faith can cause us to fall into areas we will regret. God honours faith and is able to strengthen us in our weakness as we call out to Him.
Alison Hill has been involved in Christian ministry for twenty five years and attends her local church in Kings Lynn, Norfolk.
She runs Butterfly Ministries, offering Christian workshops to churches, conferences, small and large gatherings, bringing teaching that encourages growth in all areas of Christian life. She is also an author, now writing her third book.
She believes that Christianity is about walking with God daily and learning about His ways through His Word and hearing His voice.
The views carried here are those of the author, not of Network Norwich and Norfolk, and are intended to stimulate constructive debate between website users.