“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
A big part of faith is following Jesus. Those who have faith will obey His commands, and those who lack faith will not. If we really believe God’s Word and really believe Him to be the God and Master of all creation, as He says He is, then we will seek to do His will and keep His commandments.
Many times, our disobedience to God is really rooted in a lack of faith. When we disobey God, we in essence are saying, “I don’t trust God to have my best interest at heart. I think I can run my life better than He can.” Many people, for example, do not really trust God to provide for their needs. They argue that His commands like “Owe no man anything” (Rom. 13:8) or “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33) do not really work. They have never taken God at His word and watched Him work. Consequently, they disobey Him.
God doesn’t work on human terms. He works as He sees fit, knowing the final consequences of every action that we take or think of taking. He knows that, while certain things make sense in the short term, they have disastrous consequences in the long term. His ways seem to often be opposite of what the world thinks. That’s why He tells us, "…be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove [test and find out] what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
In 1 Corinthians 2:3-5, the Apostle Paul shares his method of preaching at Corinth: “And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
God’s wisdom is foolishness to the world. Trying to argue on the world’s terms is both worthless and dangerous. So is trying to follow the world’s wisdom. God doesn’t call us to have the world’s wisdom. In fact, He tells us, “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)
God wants us to believe His words without question. He knows that those who believe Him will follow Him, but those who don’t will not follow Him. Therefore, He does not give us a philosophically “wise” message. He doesn’t debate with the atheists. He tells us to seek for those who will take a leap of faith and trust Him.
God’s ways are often totally counter to the way the world thinks. He took an 80-year-old man who had been keeping sheep for 40 years and had a “slow tongue”, and had him lead several million Jews through the wilderness, across a sea with no boats or bridges, and gave them laws that made no sense until modern science showed God’s wisdom. He sent His Son as a little baby instead of the conqueror that the Jews would have recognized. He called a group of apostles, ranging from fishermen to a despised tax collector, and gave them the task of carrying on His work. His ways will not always make sense to the human mind.
I encourage you to think through what faith means to you. Do you hold back in some area, fearing to trust God?
“…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:1b-2a).
Originally published by “In the Days of Thy Youth”, P.O. Box 264, Richmond, IL 60071