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Faith and Obedience

To Watchers, Workers, and Warriors:

Our sovereign God reigns in the heavens and will one day reign here on earth!

I have had something on my mind lately. It has to do with Jesus’ question to Philip found in John 6. “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat,” Jesus asks? “But this He said to test him for He Himself knew what He would do” (John 6:5). God’s tests are never easy. They are impossible! With 5,000 men to feed, besides women and children and no apparent bread or human source, I can understand Philip’s response. He went to his reason and his calculator! The command of Jesus was reduced to a calculator and a very astute businessman!

Jesus’ challenge to Philip to faith and obedience is a challenge to us all. Where do we place our faith when Christ gives us a clear command? What is our response? Do we run to Him with a humble and faith-filled heart? Do we know that He is capable of accomplishing through us when we go about it in His way and in His time what He has specifically commanded us to do? When the boat was sinking, Jesus asked them, “Where is your faith?” They had it, but had misplaced it to a natural reasoned approach to the situation: If Jesus is sleeping, our faith in ourselves and in our circumstances is hopeless!

I have been challenged again lately by the simplicity and breadth of Jesus’ commands. For instance, as I review His commissioning of the disciples, I am as struck by what He told them not to do as I am aroused to humility and staggering helplessness by what He commanded them to do. He commanded them to preach the Gospel, heal the sick, and cast out devils. And if that was not enough, He added, raise the dead—no small task for a rough-hewn group of chosen men and “rookies” in the ministry! The limitations to their ministry, I believe, had something to do with their dependence upon Christ for all their life’s needs as well as for the ministry and its results! May we, as His people, when the challenges to obedience of faith is presented to us, not rely upon the reason and the rationale to meet impossible tasks.

Sometimes, what may not be accomplished, may not have been His specific and living Word to us. To venture “by faith” beyond His specific Word for us, is to walk on the floating and empty bubble of contrived failure and frustration. To follow behind His Word is to sink into the morass of mediocrity, slumbering spiritual sluggishness, and lukewarm love. “Lord, give us the will and the discernment to know the difference and grace to believe and obey!”

May the same Lord over us all bless you out of Zion. May He direct your hearts into the love of God and faith in His Word. May you all be filled with the fruits of righteousness, filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, and walk in the passionate love of God and full obedience to His Word. God is faithful! Jesus is Lord! Maranatha!

Secured in the Anchor of the soul,

Reuben & Carmen Sequeira
Isaiah 35
Hebrews 6:19,20