Faith is obedience when you don’t understand it. In just the New Testament alone, there are 1,050 commands, and they’re all there for your benefit. God says things like, “Love your enemies” and “Forgive the people who hurt you.” That’s not easy! There are a lot of commands in the Bible that seem difficult, unreasonable, unrealistic, unachievable, or even impossible. But when God says things like, “You should save sex for marriage,” he’s not being mean. He says it because he knows best and knows what will make you happy more than you do.
Every time God tells you to do something, it’s a test of your faith. The question is this: Do you trust God, or do you trust your gut? Do you trust the Word, or do you trust the world?
We’re starting a new year, and these are important question to ask. How will we answer them in 2018? Will we trust God, or will we do what we think we should do, regardless of God’s direction? Will we trust the Word of God, or will we trust what the world says we should do?
As a kid, did your parents ever ask you to do something that seemed unreasonable? When you asked them, “Why should I do this?” they would say, “Because I said so!”
Looking back at some of the things your parents told you to do “because they said so,” was it the right thing? Yes. Can you see in hindsight now how they were wise? God will say the same thing the rest of your life, not just when you’re a kid. When you’re 80 years old, God is going to be saying, “I want you to do this.” And you’re going to go, “Why? That doesn’t make sense.” And God will say, “Because I said so.”
It is a test. Faith is believing when you don’t see it, but it’s also obeying when you don’t understand it. If you do not learn to obey, you’ll miss so many blessings in life that God has in store for you.
But if you learn to do what God tells you to do without question, even when it seems absurd and the exact opposite of your natural tendency, then you’re going to grow in faith, and you’re going to get blessed.
Let’s make responding in faith our focus for this New Year!
By Pastor Rick Warren