When God Tested my Obedience
4 June 2019 | By Anne Mathew
Remember the story of Abraham in the book of Genesis? We all know the way God tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his beloved son, whom God gave him in his old age. And Abraham obeyed with no qualms. Looking back at his past, Abraham was obedient when God initially asked him to leave his father’s country. So, I believe faith and obedience are interlinked. In fact the Bible says, Faith without action is dead (James 2:14-26). You can’t obey God without absolute faith in Him and without faith it is impossible to please Him.
I recollected a teaching I was listening to recently and I was so overwhelmed that I was ready to do anything for God. The previous night, an acquaintance, asked me if I can give her something to use for a while. Now that was very personal to me and I normally do not share anything that is ‘personal to me’; it is strictly restricted to myself. I was not afraid to tell this openly when people asked. If at all, I have to give, I would rather give it to them to keep, instead of letting someone use it and I reuse the same. So naturally, I was in double mind about what to say to this person as I clearly did not want to give the thing that I so loved.
A few minutes later, in my ‘wow’ time with God, I heard God asking me to give what the person asked for and let her keep it. At first in my excitement I was rejoicing over God speaking to me and that He had made my day. On the other hand I was a bit embarrassed at the thought of telling the person, ‘it’s ok, I don’t want it, you can keep it’, with generosity and love. It was difficult; however, I knew I had to obey God’s word.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says ( James 1:22)
Nothing is greater than obeying Jesus.
The next day I was ready to offer the little thing to the person, however she did not show up. When I met her later, she said she no longer required it and thanked me for offering it.
Was I being tested by God?
Yes, I experienced the beauty of humbling oneself and foregoing something I think is dear to me.
He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not (Deuteronomy 8:2)
In the past, I had plainly chosen to ignore God and instead listened to my logic and explanation. It is easier to say God I give you my all then to really practice it. It is safe to say, it’s definitely 100% worth it to obey God. Because nothing in this world can compare to His love.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24)
The greatest example of obedience is Abraham, he plainly obeyed God because he believed God is greater than anything and it was counted as righteousness to Him. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, but me, I was just asked to give up trivial things.
Obedience in faith pleases God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, (Hebrews 11:6)
If Abraham had not obeyed God, his reference in the Bible would have ended there. The Bible is not a book that only talks about glorious people. God raised Saul who disobeyed Him later and God had to use David. Similarly, Solomon, the greatest and wisest king did not obey God and turned into idol worship. Judas, the betrayer started big but ended small. Saul, the person who persecuted the followers of Jesus, became the mighty Paul who is one of the greatest new testament heroes. And I truly admire these heroes in the Bible like Daniel and his friends, Job and the many disciples of Jesus who gave up their lives for God.
So, it all sums up to one thing, obedience comes through faith and without faith we cannot please God. This is faith in action.
Has God been telling you to turn off that TV or put down that phone? Has he been asking you to move forward or step back? Has He been nudging you to sit with Him through your busy day?
Today put your faith in action by consciously being obedient to God’s word.