Friday, August 14, 2009

Obeying and Doing Faith… (Hebrews 11:8-19) 140809

I read a very good book by my favorite author, John Ortberg. It is called If you want to walk on water, you’ve got to get out of the boat. This book is a life changing book for me. I have actually read it twice and each time it confirms and encourages me to step out of my ‘boat’. The main thrust of the book is that if you really want to experience the fullness of God’s purpose for our life, we’ve got to take a step of faith to get out of our comfort zone. It is not some kind of pop psychology or self-help motivational theology; the author never promise life out of the boat is without storm, but he assures us that Jesus is there and He is strong enough to pull us up if we get distracted and sink.

As I read and meditate on today’s scripture, it reminds me of my spiritual journey with God. I was called, just like Abraham (v8). I went in into full-time ministry, just like Abraham went to where he did not know where he was going (v8). I am not boasting about my faith in following God; just like Abraham, I have my doubts and discouragement and even depression. But I can see that God is faithful to help me to live by faith, even though I have no faith at times. I can also see that God is faithful in guiding me to move in faith as I simply obey.

To Abraham, faith is not about how bold and courageous he could be in trusting God. We know from the account in Genesis that Abraham lied and at times chicken out. But God remain faithful. To Abraham, faith is simply obeying and doing. When he was called, he obeyed and went (v8). When he was tested, he obeyed and sacrificed Isaac (v17).

Abraham obeyed and did what God led him to do. Faith is about obeying and doing. I think James’ understanding of faith in his epistle sums it up: Faith without deeds is dead (James 2:26). The converse is true: Deeds without faith is also dead (Abel 1:1)!

Faith has to be translated into action, by this I will know I have obeyed. Well, it is not going to be easy. It is not easy to step out of our comfort zone. It is not easy to step out of my ‘boat’. But if I want to experience the inheritance and promise from God, I’ve got to get out of my boat. Is God calling you to get out of your boat? Is God calling you to bless a colleague or classmate, and it is weird to do so? You’ve got take the first step; you may not know how God can use you to be a great channel of blessing to that colleague or classmate. Is God calling you to reconcile a relationship, which you are still hurting because of it? You’ve got to take the first step to give that person a call or a message; you never know how God is going to bring about healing through that.

I am going to step out of my boat soon; because I want to walk on water and experience intimacy with my Lord and see where He is leading me to. Do you have faith that God is calling and prompting you to something bigger?

Obey and do it!


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