Obedience is caused by faith

spartan

I know people who have great faith that physical exercise and eating a certain way will benefit them. They schedule their days to include physical exercise and buy certain kinds of food.  But it doesn’t stop there, it overflows to others.  They talk about exercise and eating right trying to get others to join them.

If you really believe in something, you want others to benefit from it too.  That is just how it works.  Faith without works is dead (James 2:20).  Why?  Because faith naturally produces action.  That is it overflows in what we do.

This is also true in the spiritual realm.  If you believe the Bible is true you want to share its treasures with others.  When you read: GOD so loved the world that HE sent HIS only  begotten Son that whoever believes in HIM shall not perish but have eternal live… Whoever believes in HIM (JESUS) is not condemned but whoever does not believe is condemned already for he has (refused) not believed in the name of the GOD’s one and only SON (John 3:16, 18 NIV) you will tell others.  Why?  Because you believe GOD’s word and it excites you that you will not perish and scares you that some of those you care about will be condemned because they have not believed in JESUS. Your excitement and fears motivate you to testify.

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word (rhema- GOD speaking to our hearts) of Christ (Romans 10:17).

When we testify through our actions and words we are the porter who opens the door to the Shepherd (JESUS) and the sheep hear HIS (the Shepherd’s voice) and follow HIM (John 10:3).

They asked JESUS, “What must we do to work the works of GOD?” JESUS answered, and said to them, “This is the work of GOD that you believe in HIM whom HE has sent” (John 6:28,29).

It all starts with believing JESUS died for our sins, and accepting the gift of life (John 3:16).

Then, when we believe in JESUS, we are given the Holy Spirit to live within us, to help us, to comfort us, teach us, and to empower us by producing HIS fruit in our lives (John 7:38,39 John 14:26, Ephesians 1:13,14, Galatians 5:22-25).  HE even pours the love of GOD into us so it can flow to others (just like water flows through a water hose) (Romans 5:5).  When we use any of HIS fruit, or the spiritual gifts that HE gives to us, the Holy SPIRIT is using us as a means to reveal GOD’s nature to others.  One pastor told me, “God can use any old water hose.”  He is the living water (John 7:37-39).

Yes, GOD works within us to motivate us to want to do HIS will, and to empower us to do HIS will (Philippians 2:13).

That is why the Bible says: obedience that comes from faith (Romans 1:5 NIV).  Faith produces obedience.  It is a natural outflow of believing.  We believe, GOD motivates, we act in HIS power.

If I am not obedient, something is out of kilter.  My faith is not placed in what is should be.

swing

I have a porch swing, and I swing in it all the time.  I have perfect confidence that it will hold me up.  Well, one day several were swinging on my swing and crash- one side of the swing hit the porch.  The board, which had held up the swing, was over 70 years old and had given way.  My husband replaced the old board and we are back to swinging.  But it took a while, before one of the people on the swing that day, would get back on the swing.  Why?  She had no faith that it would hold her up.

Sometimes we get in situations and we don’t like what’s happening.  At those times, having someone say, “Trust the LORD,” can be down right irritating.  For we are trying to do that very thing.  But little accusing thoughts come to mind.  Those are the fiery darts of the evil one accusing us, GOD and HIS ways.

When having trouble in obeying GOD’s instructions, or doing what HE nudges me to do, I need to ask GOD to show me what lie of the enemy I am believing.  For it is a lie that keeps me from trusting HIS instructions.

Reading my Bible I read a phrase: “the obedience that comes from faith.” (Romans 1:5).

Thinking about that phrase as I walked this morning, with a diet Pepsi in one hand, the LORD reminded me of something.  I know that diet Pepsi is not good for me.  But I drink it.  I ignore the truth of the long lasting bad effects on me (some of its ingredients trigger 3 conditions that I have).  I choose to focus on the temporary pleasurable benefits it gives me.  It tastes good, satisfies and quenches my thirst, it’s a diuretic that keeps my swelling down.  I focus on the lie and I believe it.

God showed me this morning that I have more faith in the lie that Pepsi does me good, than in the truth that it is harming me.

The test is here.  Now that HE has shown me where I am placing my faith, what am I going to do with that knowledge?  Will I ignore what GOD has revealed to me, and keep drinking Pepsi?  Or will I step out in faith of something I cannot see and drink water?

Never before have I seen the struggle of a drug addict or a binge eater so clearly.

I am not saying drinking Pepsi is a sin… I am stating a principle of the Word of GOD that GOD helped me see more clearly through a practical issue in my personal life.

If we are not obeying GOD it is because we are believing a lie.

OK, go ahead and laugh at me and my Pepsi… but listen up: When we choose to do things the world’s way, looking at life through the world’s reasoning, we have more faith in the lie that disobedience does us good, than in the truth that GOD knows what HE is doing.

When we choose to disobey GOD’s word, or don’t do something we know GOD wants us to do, we are choosing a lie of our enemy.  For all human reasoning is from the Devil (I John 2:16 with 5:19.  When we do that, we get caught in snare of the evil one (2 Timothy 2:26) and are duped until GOD shows us the truth again, giving us another chance to believe HE knows the best way (2 Timothy 2:25,26).

Obedience comes from faith (Romans 1:5), for faith motivates us to act.  If we believe GOD knows what HE is doing, it motivates us to obey HIM.  If you have trouble in obeying something in the Word of GOD (like to forgive or be gentle to those who oppose) ask GOD what lie you are trusting in.   For GOD says if we lack wisdom, just to ask. But be sure you are willing to accept HIS answer, or HE won’t tell you a thing (James 1:5,6).

I got mad the other day.  The Holy SPIRIT reminded me (John 14:26) of the scripture to “put anger away”.  I had to choose.  I chose to put anger away but it came back so I had to put it away again.  Choosing to do right, doesn’t mean it will be easy.  But it is possible with the help of GOD (Hebrews 4:16).  Focusing on what GOD wants, instead of what you want sure helps!

Right now, where are you placing your faith?  Are you leaning on your own understanding?  Or are you trusting in the LORD and HIS ways with all your heart? (Proverbs 3:5-7). The choice is yours.

Looking unto JESUS, the Author and Perfecter of my faith,

Sharon

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