I was reading something the other day in which the writer was making the distinction between believing in God, versus believing God. That one small word, “in” seems to make quite a great deal in this comparison.
This author makes the point that, for most of us, believing that God exists when we read the Scriptures or as we contemplate the grandeur of His creation, should be a very easy exercise. I like it a lot when he goes so far as to say, “There is so much evidence for our Creator…that we must exert tremendous effort to deny what we know to be true about God.” And, of course, some people do go to these great lengths to support such a denial.
But for us…the body of Believers…what about believing God Himself. God makes many promises to us throughout Scripture. For example, He says He will save us, if we call on Him. (Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13); And that He will supply our needs as we are generous. ( II Cor. 9:10-11). We often, though, in the heat of some great distress, forget to believe what we know in our heart. We figuratively set our heart aside, and listen to our head, (chock full of facts, logic, and impossible hurdles.) As this author I was reading puts it: “We are tempted to walk by sight and not by faith.”
It seems to me that this belief… that God will do what He says He will…has aspects both of trust and also of obedience. In this context, trust looks like an aspect of faith to me. I personally believe I have a strong, valid faith. But as I thought more about it, it began to occur to me that there might be a need for obedience here, also. Not that God demands we believe that His promises are true, but that, maybe, just maybe, to be an obedient follower of our Lord, we should act like HE IS our Lord. If He says to trust Him, we should do so as t part of the working out of our faith, but also, because our Lord SAYS we should trust Him. In this context, trust appears to me to be more passive, whereas, obedience seems more active.
And…back to something I’ve said before in another blog entry, it’s maybe the difference between the appellation we give Him of “Savior” versus that of “Master”. I love the first title, but always struggle a bit with the second. But, if our Master says to us, “Trust My promises.”, we should do so in faith AND in obedience; Even when it’s hard, which it so often is…
By: Lee Pierce