Heb 11:1 Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. (AMP)
There is a faith and a trust that exceeds personal human possibilities. There is a faith in a God that says he is so good that his countenance towards me is always manifest love. There is a faith that says God is so secure in His own self that the stuff of my effort (good or bad) is chaff. The problem with many of us is we don’t see that kind of God. We see a behavior-monitoring school teacher with a ruler ready to correct bad behavior.
There are those that believe obedience is something that moves God. That kind of thinking makes God seem small and angry and unstable. My God, as seen in Jesus, is everything but an unstable task master. He is confident in who He is. He is confident in His plan. He is more than capable. He is the source of all beauty and love and goodness. He is not disturbed in any way by my misbehavior. Instead he waits patiently for my selfish temper tantrum to end and my coming home.
Luke 15:20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. (ESV)
The story Jesus tells about the prodigal son reveals Abba’s heart towards us. The father never waivers in His love. He even enabled the rebel child by giving him his inheritance. His only desire was relationship with his son(s). He just wanted to love and be loved. This is our Father in heaven. This is our groom Jesus. This is our companion Holy Spirit.
Obedience doesn’t move God. That is an old covenant concept and is a shadow of the intended plan. Remember the law was given to show that a law covenant for mankind doesn’t work. God made us in such a way that we must be dependent on Him. We are broken, selfish, and prone to bad decisions apart from Him. The law promotes independence. The law covenant brings blessings and curses for performance. God says it isn’t possible for us to follow the law. The law was a negative contrast to the intended plan.
Just like the prodigal son’s father, God gave us law to enable our failure as independent, self-centered, fallen Adams. The Prodigal son’s father gave him his inheritance just like God gave us the law, it is what we wanted. Just like both sons in the prodigal story we have missed the immovable truth, God just wants us. He doesn’t want our obedience or dead works or religion. He wants a relationship with us. He wants an intimate, married union with us. He made us for that. To continue in our own effort is worthless.
The “obedience” born out of self-effort is what God calls dirty rags. That is a kind way of saying “used feminine products.” We must stop trying to win his approval and instead accept his approval. We must stop working for His blessing but instead abide in Him. Obedience, true obedience that pleases God is a fruit of relationship. It is a co-laboring moment. It is being like Jesus, not as a product of moral ethics but in actionable surrender to His goodness. It is seeing how good God is and partnering with Him.
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out]. (AMP)
His pleasure is in our believing in His goodness. Our hope is found in Him. Our hope is realized in His goodness. Our hope is completely free from the shame of sin. Our hope isn’t a wish but a guarantee.
Rom 5:1 Therefore, since we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). 2 Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God’s favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God. (AMP)
Rom 5:5 Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us. (AMP)
It looks like this: You see someone in pain physically or emotionally, you are moved with compassion because you “feel” like Jesus feels. You have no judgment in your heart for the person because you see like Jesus sees. You have no man-made solution from your knowledge base but have available all solutions in His power. Now you move in faith. This is the faith that says” God is good and His promises are trustworthy.” You engage with the person in love. You aren’t trying to solve the problem in human wisdom but you are bringing the “dynamis” power of the creator, the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit.
God knows their story. He uses us to connect the dots. In one encounter, maybe even just a brief exchange, the love of God is revealed and released. You didn’t move, react, and perform out of religious obligation. You didn’t work or obey to move God. You moved because you are in Christ and He is in you and you are in the Father and are one with the Holy Spirit. You expect a miracle. You expect a love encounter, a revelation of the goodness of God. Your obedience is natural. You are Jesus to this person.
You didn’t move God but you moved with Him. Your blessing is their blessing. Your blessing is being like Jesus. Your blessing is being a child of God. Your confidence is in Him because you are in Him. Your confidence is in your identity. Your obedience is nothing more than a fruit of a beautiful, peaceful, resting relationship in the arms of the source of love. Now that is moving!