Obedience Before Peace

by Lee Buford on December 7, 2011

All of us are notorious for “putting the cart before the horse” at different times. It’s part of human nature. When it comes to faith and obedience to God, however, it’s crucial that we get it right.

John Owen said we ought to “see in the meantime that your faith brings forth obedience, and God in due time will cause it to bring forth peace.”

We tend to get this backwards. In times of trouble or despair we seek instantaneous relief and peace. We pray fervently for God to lift our burden, to give us some kind of relief. Now.

But as Owen so aptly notes, our faith must first be exhibited in our obedience, trusting that God will do the work of bringing about the peace at whatever point He so wills. Our reliance on His sovereignty, His will, and His good purposes will sustain whatever discomfort we may encounter in the interim. We praise Him in the valleys, we seek to renew our minds daily through His Word, and we give Him all the glory knowing that He is good and faithful. Always!

Genuine faith on our part reminds us that His faithfulness, grace, and mercy will always lead to our ultimate peace and joy…not a “touchy, feely” emotional peace that we often get confused with “happiness”, but rather the peace that comes as a result of abiding in Him. Whether we see it right now or not, our faith reminds us that only in Him can we experience the peace we’re so desperately seeking.

Forge ahead in obedience, trusting in God’s sovereignty and faithfulness for the resulting peace. Believe it when you can’t see it. Trust in the dark what He’s shown you in the light. That is, after all, what genuine faith does.



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