“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.”
Here it is again, the two requirements of God’s blessings attributed to Abraham. It is the story of Abraham’s life and God’s blessings on Abraham. Why should we think it would work any differently today than it did then? The two things are so often paired with the rewards of God that you wonder how we could miss the implication. By faith, Abraham obeyed. Devils believe, but they don’t have faith. If they had faith, they would obey. Believing and belief that leads to obeying are not the same things.
Check the Book. See how many people you can find in God’s record that are blessed without action on their part. Even the chosen people of Israel died in the desert because they refused to act. How did they get in the desert in the first place? They crossed the red sea, immersed in a flood of water. Paul says they were baptized. The way from Egypt to Canaan was through baptism. Think of it as a journey from slavery to freedom. Think of it as a movement from sin to salvation. As long as their faith led them to obey, they were blessed. When obedience ended, so did the blessings.
Task for Today: Have you been baptized? If so, you have moved from Egypt to the promised land, from slavery to sin to freedom in Christ. If not, then you are stuck on the other side of faith. Not on the other side of belief but of faith. Faith requires that you obey. Many heard the gospel and believed it but did not obey it. Paul tells us that in Romans 10, where he outlines the process. Here is Paul’s outline: preaching, hearing, believing, obeying. Those who hear and believe but fail to obey do not receive the promise. What about you today? Are you believing and obeying?