“The Command to Obedience is really a Call to Faith”

This is fresh off the Desiring God website, about obedience and faith.

Both of my hands are gently gripped on the shoulders of my toddler. As I try to square up our eyes, she squirms and looks away. I say with a Spirit-empowered tenderness, “Elizabeth, obey your daddy.”

She doesn’t get this yet, but I am really calling her to faith in Jesus.

It goes this way: I tell her to not grab random cups off the table and drink out of them because I want to protect her from pouring hot coffee on herself. When she grabs cups off the table then I discipline her. It is a necessity. My disciplining her is protecting her from burning her face. I want to protect her because I love her. I want to protect her because Jesus gave her to me as my daughter, and me to her as her daddy. “Elizabeth, obey your daddy. Do not grab cups off the table.”

I know when I protect my daughter that I am doing what Jesus has called me to do. Therefore, I am not only expressing my love for her, I am expressing Jesus’ love for her, too. My command for her to obey rests on this.

“Elizabeth, obey your daddy” is another way of saying “Elizabeth, trust that Jesus knows what’s best for you and that he has made me your daddy for your good.”

The fundamental issue in those eye-to-eye moments about cups on the table are not so much commands for her obedience, but calls for her faith.

This would have been a good supplement for my recent on post on the way you know you love God. The question I now have is, how does Christ’s command “feed my sheep” in response to our love to God, become synchronous with what he is saying, that call to obedience is really a call to faith.  Since our new life is lived out by faith, it would be congruous to say that the two statements can be placed in harmony with this statement.  God’s command to those who love Him, is to love those around him, by faith.  It is still a command to love, but we love in faith.  You know what I’m talking about, when on those days you just feel like burrowing into your apartment or house and turning on a youtube video of a crackling fire (for those of us who don’t have real fires), sipping on some seasonal cider, on those days you just don’t want to go out spend that much needed time with your friend.  He needs you, but you’re tired.  Know that when you volitionally switch gears from self-power to God-power by punching the clutch and hitting that faith gear, you will be cruising on the breath, the strength, the motivation, the courage, the enabling of the Holy Spirit, by whom anything can be done.  Your entire life, now that it is hidden with Christ, is by….faith!

And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

– Galatians 2:20

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