Steve Ridenour Ministries

Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone." Mark 16:15

Obedient Faith

One of the most powerful qualities of being a Christian is the faith that we have.  After all, it is by faith that we are Christians.  We have faith that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins.  It is by faith that we believe Jesus was raised from His grave, and now reigns in Heaven with God.

As Christians we are subject to obedient faith.  Throughout the Bible there are examples of people faithfully being obedient, as there are examples of people being disobedient.  For those people of the past, as well as people of today, being faithfully obedient was rewarded with blessings (divine favor; heavenly reward) from our Lord.  Being disobedient resulted in loss of blessings and even curses (condemnation or judgment).

Let's look at the meaning of obedient faith.  The definition of obedient is to be submissive to authority; comply with orders; fulfill one's responsibility.  In this study the authority we are to be submissive to, is God.  The orders that we are to comply with are from God.  Our responsibility is to God.  The defined meaning of faith is reliance; loyalty; or complete trust in God.  Consequently, the combined meaning of obedient faith is; submissive to complete trust in God, or to fulfill one's responsibility to put complete trust in God.

In 586 B.C.  the armies of Babylon had destroyed the temple in Jerusalem, and God wanted His Temple to be rebuilt.  As was God's will the people showed obedient faith, and began rebuilding His temple, but eventually became more concerned with their own needs than with doing God's will, and as a result they suffered.  Then Haggai spoke calling the people back to God's values.  Haggai 1:3-6 3So the Lord sent this message through the prophet Haggai: 4“Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins?  5This is what the Lord Almighty says: Consider how things are going for you!  6You have planted much but harvested little.  You have food to eat, but not enough to fill you up.  You have wine to drink, but not enough to satisfy your thirst.  You have clothing to wear, but not enough to keep you warm.  Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!  Here the people put God in a place other than first in their lives.  God's temple was lying in ruins.  He told them to rebuild His temple, but they chose to serve themselves first.  They were disobedient to God's will.  Because of their disobedience they were not receiving blessings.  They were never satisfied.

Once again God spoke through the prophet Haggai and called the people to resume rebuilding His temple.  Haggai 1:7-10 7This is what the Lord Almighty says: Consider how things are going for you!  8Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house.  Then I will take pleasure in it and be honored, says the Lord.  Here God points out the curses and why the people were cursed.  9You hoped for rich harvests, but they were poor.  And when you brought your harvest home, I blew it away.  Why?  Because my house lies in ruins, says the Lord Almighty, while you are all busy building your own fine houses.  10That is why the heavens have withheld the dew and the earth has withheld its crops.

The people re-laid the foundation of the temple.  Once again they were obedient to God's will, and immediately God's blessings were upon them.  Haggai 2:18-19 18On this eighteenth day of December-the day when the foundation of the Lord's Temple was laid-carefully consider this: 19I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn, before you have harvested your grain and before the grapevine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have produced their crops.  From this day onward I will bless you.” God did not wait until the outcome of their labors testified to their change of heart to bless the people for their obedience, He blessed them on the day when the foundation was laid.  The people had obedient faith, to fulfill one's responsibility to put complete trust in God, and they received God's blessings, His divine favor.  Previously, as the result of their disobedience, they reaped only ten measures of grain where they expected twenty, and twenty vessels of wine when they expected fifty; they had experienced blasting (heavy wind damage), mildew, and hail.  But now all this would be changed, and the harvest would be plenty.

Let's look at another example of obedient faith.  We are to comply with the command to give God his portion.  God's portion is to be the best of what we have.  Proverbs 3:9 3Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything.  The people of Malachi's day (as well as people of today) refused to obey God's command to give a tithe of their income to His Temple.  Malachi 3:8-9 8“Should people cheat God?  Yet you have cheated me!  “But you ask, 'what do you mean?  When did we ever cheat you?'” You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me.  9You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me.  They probably feared losing what they had worked so hard to get, but with this attitude, they misjudged God.  Luke 6:38 38“If you give, you will receive.” God promises great blessings to His people, but we must do our part.  Malachi 3:10 10Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple.  If you do,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will open the windows of heaven for you.  I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in!  Try it!  Let me prove it to you!  We must show obedient faith and give from the plenty that God has given to us.  As a result of this obedience we will receive the blessings that God has promised to us.

Many people give God their leftovers.  If they can afford to donate anything after their bills are paid, they do so.  Although they may be sincere and contribute willingly, they are not obeying what god says.  They do not have obedient faith.

Giving to God helps us to conquer greed, helps us to properly manage God's resources, and opens us up to receive God's special blessings.  

Proverbs 11:24-25 24It is possible to give freely and become more wealthy, but those who are stingy will lose everything.  25The generous prosper and are satisfied; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.  Theses two verses present a paradox.  We become richer by being generous.  The world says to hold on to as much as possible, but God blesses those who give freely of their possessions, time, and energy.  God blesses those that have obedient faith.  When we give, God supplies us with more so that we can give more.  When we learn to be submissive to complete trust in God, when we can be obediently faithful, we begin to receive the blessings, the divine favor, the heavenly rewards that God wants to give to us, His children.

Take time to go to God and ask Him for His wisdom, and understanding so that you may begin to develop obedient faith.  You will find that as you continue living with obedient faith, you will experience the blessings that only God can give.  Be blessed in Jesus name.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189.  All rights reserved.  

Copyright 2002 - 2010 Steven R. Ridenour