Which Comes First—Faith or Obedience?

06829c0e-43e8-420d-b286-cb646a169812Which comes first, faith or obedience? If the Lord instructs me to quit my job and move to Uganda but my faith level is a one out of ten, should I do it anyway? What if I lived as though I had great faith and boldness even when I was full of doubt? Would genuine faith follow?

This is the chicken-and-the-egg dilemma of Christianity. “Which comes first?” is a valid question, but too often we ask it because we’re searching for an excuse for inactivity. We hear the directive of the Lord and then wait, year after year, for the faith that will give us the courage to obey. But if faith always precedes obedience, how do we explain Jesus’ expectation of immediate, unquestioning obedience from His disciples? When He rallied them, He left no time for them to conjure up the faith to leave everything behind and follow Him. And He expects the same immediate, unquestioning response from us.

Storm and sunset.Commit to obey God because you desire Him and because you know that the God-life necessitates obedience even when you’re quaking on the inside. To wait for the faith to obey when He asks you to do something risky is to put the cart before the horse. When we obey in spite of doubt, we’ll discover that the faith is suddenly there. A. W. Tozer taught that faith and obedience were two sides of the same coin. He said, “Truth … demands obedience before it will unveil its riches to the seeking soul.”

Today, if your faith is feeble, I challenge you to live this day as though you had great faith. Live as though you were completely confident that there’s nothing to fear and God is in control, and see what happens. Do this every day for three months and your life will never be the same.

Rom. 6:17: “Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey” (NLT).