There are numerous people in the world who claim to believe in God. However, only those who fully obey God’s word can be said to truly believe in God. We often see many people say they believe in God but deny Him by their actions. They insist on doing things their own way, saying, “Although God said so, I think it’s better to do it this way.”
‘I believe in God, but this time I will do it my own way and next time I’ll obey the will of God, if it suits me.’ This is not the thought of the person who puts his complete trust in God’s will, but of the one who defers entrusting himself to God’s will. It is an entrusting faith that pleases God, not a hesitating faith.
Since God has bought us with His precious blood shed on the cross, we are God’s. If we are God’s own, we must entrust everything to God. If one claims to do the will of God but denies it by his actions, he is the one who has a “hesitating faith”—who defers entrusting himself to God. If one entrusts his spirit completely to God, he is the person who has an “entrusting faith.” Now, let’s think about which faith we ought to have, through the teachings of the Bible.
This is what happened to a professional baseball team. A runner was on base, and the coach gave the batter a bunt sign. It was a very critical moment in the game because the team might win or lose the game by one point. But when the batter saw that the ball was sufficiently within his reach for him to be able to strike it with his bat, he hit a home run, instead of bunting. The team won the game and the audience gave the player a hero’s celebration. However, the coach looked rigid and grave. That evening, the coach told his friend how he felt.
“I was not pleased at all. What I wanted was a victory obtained through the unity of all our team members, not the victory won through a player’s personal ability or talent. Today I gave a tactical instruction to a player, but he disregarded it and acted at his discretion. This can’t be a true victory. As a coach, I didn’t take good care of the players. So, today’s victory is not a victory, but a defeat.”
It is the same with God. He does not want us to do things on our own terms, but to entrust our souls completely to Him and submit ourselves to His will.
They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good. Tit 1:16
Some defer their obedience to God’s will because it is contrary to their own. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good. We must not become like those foolish people. Some may think they will be able to bear more fruit if they do it their own way rather than do it according to God’s word. Certainly not! If we are bent only on bearing fruit, disregarding obedience, we may become self-complacent and indulge in the foolish thought that the things we do in our own way will produce better results than what God has told us to do.
Suppose that some have borne no fruit even though they fully obey God’s word and some are disobedient to God’s word but bear much fruit. To whom will God, who makes all things fruitful, give good fruit? Ultimately, it is the obedient people who will bear true fruit abundantly.
Even though God can do everything alone, He has given each of us a mission. It’s because He wants to know if we entrust ourselves fully to God’s will, with obedient faith. Let’s look at the example of Christ who followed God’s will, being obedient to death.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place . . . that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, . . . Php 2:5-12
Even though Christ was in very nature God, He submitted Himself to the will of God, becoming obedient to death, while He was in the flesh temporarily. So God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name. Through Jesus’ example of faith and obedience, God has shown us what kind of glory we will receive when we obey Him.
Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek. Heb 5:8-10
Obedience leads us to perfect faith. Still, many defer their obedience to God’s will, trusting their own abilities. How foolish they are! God manages things that are beyond human understanding. God knows me better than I know myself; He looks into my heart. The foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength (1 Co 1:25). How can God be compared with man?
The Bible tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling by always obeying God’s will. When we entrust everything to God, even though what we do now seems weak and foolish to men, it will lead us to all the blessings and eternal heavenly treasure in the end. To teach us this truth, Jesus, who is God Himself, came to this earth in the form of a man like one of us, and showed us an example of what kind of faith we should have when we come to God. He set the perfect example of obedience even in suffering, so He was made perfect and became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.
All circumstances become favorable when we have obedient faith and entrust our spirits completely to God and His will, following the example of Christ.
During the Jerusalem Preaching Festival, I got a phone call from a pastor of a Church in Korea, who told me that his Church had led 70 souls to God in only three days. When I asked how the Church bore so much fruit, he said that the Church members preached Jerusalem Mother as Father told them to do.
God has said that if we proclaim the glory of Jerusalem to the whole world, our lost brothers and sisters will fly along like clouds, like doves to their nests. Still, some might think from their own narrow viewpoint that if they preach the glory of Jerusalem, people will not understand it. This kind of thought causes a delay in the fulfillment of prophecy.
If God’s word has resounded, we should promptly take action just as soldiers respond to a trumpet call. In the book of Revelation, it is written that when God rides on a white horse and defeats His enemies, the armies of heaven follow Him, riding on white horses and dressed in clean and white linen (Rev 19:11-16). The army of heaven refers to the saints.
Suppose that the trumpet has sounded but the soldiers ignore it and do as they please. What will happen to them? If a soldier goes to sleep when the reveille is sounded or roams the barracks when the taps is sounded, he will not escape punishment. Likewise, if one still does not respond to the trumpet of prophecy, it is proof that he has a hesitating faith rather than an entrusting faith, deferring his obedience to God’s will rather than entrusting his spirit completely to God.
God waits for our obedience to be complete (2 Co 10:6). The essence of faith is obedience. He who is obedient to God’s word can entrust his spirit completely to God, and the person who can entrust himself totally to God is able to witness a wonderful miracle. God makes all creatures bow their knees to those who obey. Isn’t it worthwhile to follow God wherever He goes?
Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 . . . And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth . . . They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless. Rev 14:1-5
The most remarkable characteristic of the 144,000 is that they follow the Lamb wherever He goes. In other words, they think God’s thoughts and do His will. The foolish people who defer obeying God’s will or refuse to follow His will cannot share the same gracious faith as the 144,000.
They follow the Lamb wherever He goes. This shows that they don’t care about what place they are led to, whether favorable or unfavorable. They are willing to walk every road, whether it is level or rough, muddy or dry. The road may cause us some physical or mental suffering. However, when we understand the love of God who came to this sinful earth and suffered all kinds of insults and ridicule to save our souls, we will be willing to entrust ourselves completely to God.
Obedience is not blind submission. It is the obedience that can be practiced only by those who entrust their souls 100% to God, correctly understanding His will. With a correct understanding of the Spirit and the Bride, we should entrust our souls fully to Them and willingly follow Them wherever They lead us. God selects those who follow the Lamb wherever He goes, and saves them.
All the forefathers of faith in the Bible were willing to obey God’s will. Among them, Abraham showed the most perfect obedience, which a man could hardly practice.
Some time later God tested Abraham . . . Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about . . . He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” . . . “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. Ge 22:1-13
Abraham’s obedience was put to the test. The test was to sacrifice his only beloved son Isaac as a burnt offering, whom he had begotten at the age of one hundred years. In this situation, most people would beg God earnestly, saying complainingly, “If you had not given me a son, I would not have been distressed like this. Now, you are telling me, a father, to do this terrible thing to my son? How?” “If you withdraw your command just this once, I will do whatever you tell me.” This comes from a hesitating faith. If one defers doing the will of God, he is detestable and disobedient and unable to escape destruction.
When Abraham was told to sacrifice his only son, he got up early in the morning and did as God had told him in obedience without hesitation. He did so because he absolutely believed that God would give blessings to him who obeyed His will. So, he took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac; when he was about to slay his son as a burnt offering on Mount Moria, God called out to him, “Abraham, Abraham! Since you did not even spare your own son Isaac, what would I spare for you?” God repaid Abraham for his obedience by blessing him. As he had such great faith that he was able to entrust everything to God, He called him the “father of faith” and blessed him in everything he did.
Abraham was greatly blessed as a result of his obedience. When God called him to leave his home, he didn’t think about his own circumstances; he went out, not knowing where he was going. He didn’t hesitate at all when he was called by God. Since it was God who told him, he simply obeyed–for no other reason than because God called him.
God’s saints ought to have the same kind of faith that Abraham had. God’s blessing passes away while we are hesitating to do His will.
It is better for us to obey though lacking in ability than to disobey though doing things well. Lucifer, son of the dawn, attempted to take the throne of God in heaven since he was full of wisdom and perfect in beauty, didn’t he? He who does things in his own way cannot obtain God-pleasing results even though he accomplishes what he does.
People may think that God will be pleased if they obtain a lot of things and offer them up to God even though they disobey Him. So did Saul. However, the Bible says that God is more pleased with obedience than with thousands of rams.
Samuel said, “Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? . . . And he sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; make war on them until you have wiped them out.’ Why did you not obey the LORD? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the LORD?” “But I did obey the LORD,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the LORD assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God at Gilgal.” But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.” 1 Sa 15:17-23
When Saul became king, he was small in his own eyes and obeyed God. However, after he rose to power, he became proud and even ignored God’s word; when God told him to exterminate the Amalek tribe completely, including its livestock, he thought to himself that it was senseless to destroy the good things, and he spared the best of the animals, killing only those with defects such as scab.
As Saul didn’t obey God’s words fully, he made excuses for his disobedience, putting the blame on the people and saying he spared the best animals to sacrifice to God. He had a hesitating faith, trying to align God’s will with his own. Abraham could have made more excuses than Saul. He might continually try to persuade God, saying that his son was unclean or had a cold and he was not suitable for a burnt offering right away. However, Abraham showed his faith through obedience by entrusting everything to God.
Finally, God’s spirit left Saul. After he lost everything as a result of his disobedience, he begged to be forgiven, but it was too late. God didn’t want such a disobedient king, even though he had so much talent and great ability to rule over a country. From the moment a person begins to disobey, he doesn’t need God anymore. That’s why God leaves him.
Children always need their mothers. Likewise, our spirits should always want God and need Him, entrusting everything to Him. So the Bible says, “To obey is better than sacrifice.”
Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us. Looking back on the history of faith, we should renew our hearts and minds to have a true faith. All my loving brothers and sisters in Zion! Let us obey God’s holy will with an entrusting faith rather than a hesitating faith, so that we can hold on to the crown of life, given by God, until the end.