Skipping the Middle Part
“Learning to trust is one of life's most difficult tasks.” —Isaac Watts
Jesus loves the Father and lived His entire earthly life fully dependent on the Spirit who dwelt within Him—and He calls us to do the same. Our love for God should lead to dependency on God. That dependency leads naturally to obedience.
But we tend to skip that second part. We tend to say, “I love God, thus I must obey!” “I want to please God, so I will obey Him.” We skip the middle part—the dependency, the faith, the trust—and try to do it in our own strength in order to please God rather than by faith in God.
Check out Noah in Hebrews 11:7:
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
How do we know this guy had faith? We see Noah’s faith because he built a boat. Likewise, our faith leads to action as Christ lives His life through us. The Christian life is not lived on the couch flicking through the channels with a spiritual remote. Christian faith leads to action in the power of Christ through us as we trust in Him.
James put it to us this way:
But someone will say,” You have faith, I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds (2:18).
The bottom line is this: Our identity in Christ is not determined by our deeds. Our identity in Christ is displayed by our deeds.
True faith will display itself!
Dear God, I love You! Break the independent desires of my flesh. Give me the wisdom and faith to depend on You with increasing trust. Then, God, I ask that You would enable me to follow You in joyful obedience into any work that You have prepared for me to do.
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