What do the heroes of the faith have in common?

April 18, 2021 • Filed under:

We call them “giants” or “heroes” of the faith. In reading through the Bible so far this year, I have noticed they have something in common. 

Can you see the common thread?

Noah

Noah did everything just as God commanded him. (Genesis 6:22)

Noah did everything just as God commanded him. (Genesis 7:5)

Abraham

I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.” Genesis 25:4-5

Moses and Aaron

Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD commanded them. (Exodus 7:6)

Moses

Moses did everything just as the LORD commanded him. (Exodus 40:16)

Joshua

As the LORD commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua, and Joshua did it; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses. (Joshua 11:15)

David

If you do whatever I command you and walk in obedience to me and do what is right in my eyes by obeying my decrees and commands, as David my servant did, I will be with you. I will build you a dynasty as enduring as the one I built for David and will give Israel to you. 1Kings 11:38

See it?

  • did everything just as God commanded
  • did everything just as God commanded
  • obeyed me
  • did everything I required of him
  • did just as the LORD commanded them
  • did everything just as the LORD commanded him
  • he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded
  • walk in obedience to me
  • do what is right in my eyes by obeying my decrees and commands

What is the thread?

The lives of our heroes of the faith were marked by a consistent and long-term commitment to trust God in obedience.

I think I know what you are thinking.

  • Noah got drunk (Exodus 9:21-27)
  • Abraham lied about his wife being his sister (Genesis 20:1-16)
  • Moses murdered an Egyptian. He also did not obey God exactly at the rock in the wilderness of Zin concerning the waters of Meribah (Numbers 20:2-13)
  • Aaron helped created a golden calf for the people to worship when they tired of waiting for Moses (Exodus 32)
  • David committed adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11)

True, but notice the list is short!

None of these men’s lives were marked by practicing sin. Their lives were marked by obedience instead. The proof is in the brevity of the list.

In addition, each repented of their sin (turned from it) and changed their ways! Essentially, they “sinned no more.” If someone asked about my level of obedience, would the answer be that my life has been marked by long-term obedience? I hope so. I had a season of sin that ended 33 years ago, but I would hope no one would still be using that season of sin as a description for the life I have led.

Are we obeying?

I took an honest assessment of my level of obedience this week. If I want God to show up in and through me in a way that allows Him to use my greatly, I can’t obey halfway. For example, I can’t help my son with his homework without ever giving him my full attention. I can’t “wing it” at work and not prepare for my classes and meetings.

I also can’t obey in one area and not another. For example, I can’t be doing a lot of community service through my job but not be spending time with God any more. I can’t be honest in one relationship and keeping secrets in another.

Why is this self-assessment important?

I attended a conference this week and my favorite quote was: Satan will try to scare you into doing nothing. Christians are not allowed to do nothing. That is never an option. But we must also do everything God asks us to do.

This is what obedience looks like.

  • did everything just as God commanded
  • did everything just as God commanded
  • obeyed me
  • did everything I required of him
  • did just as the LORD commanded them
  • did everything just as the LORD commanded him
  • he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded
  • walk in obedience to me
  • do what is right in my eyes by obeying my decrees and commands

When God speaks this week, let’s obey it all, not some.

Picture Explanation: These are some slides from a conference I attended this week.

The woman pictured is one of the giants of the faith. Her name is Margee. I have known her since I was 22 and her life is marked by a consistent and long-term commitment to obey God in every area of her life. She has served on college campuses for decades and has had a huge influence for Jesus in the world of swimming. A cancer diagnosis became part of her story this week. Would you please say a prayer for her today? Thank you.

© 2021 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.

10 Comments

  • Ethel Romig says:

    And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as https://bible.com/bible/59/luk.10.27.ESV
    Yes definetely we need to be obedient! We need to ask ourselves why are we being obedient. Obedience comes from a heart that loves God with pure intentions. Just a question when we love God is it hard to be obedient? When I love me it is most difficult. When the Bible say’s the heart is wicked and who can understand it in Jer 19. Although, a Christian now for many years in my disobedience, I see the glaring things God will be working on to make me more like Him. The beautiful process of Sanctification as the Holy Sprit illuminates a new area of wretched behaviour to be changed and delivered from one day at a time. I am not advocating disobedience in any way we just need to be careful to reasons why we are obeying. Look at the Pharisee ‘s in Jesus’s day. Just sayin……..

    • Laurie says:

      Hello, friend. The challenge of blog posts is no topic can be addressed fully. Yes, we need to be careful why we are obeying. Absolutely! Thank you for pointing that out. Our obedience is to stem from the loving God and we can only do so in the power of the Holy Spirit, not in our own strength. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever” John 14:16-17 Please note I did not include Pharisees in the list, nor anyone like a Pharisee. I was specifically talking about the life of obedience for biblical “heroes” who did obey God for all the right reasons, because they loved Him.

      Noah was the only righteous man on earth before the flood. Moses died a friend of God. Aaron’s descendants were the priests. Joshua led the Israelites into Canaan and settled the 12 tribes. (Interestingly I cannot find a season of sin for this amazing leader.) David died being known as a man after God’s own heart. As for Abraham, all of us Christ followers are his descendants who number more than the stars in the sky.

      Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify. I would never want to be misunderstood.

      • Ethel Romig says:

        Your right Laurie! Definetely was not trying to take away from your encouragement for us to be obedient. I hope you know that. My greatest desire and I am sure yours is as well is to have a heart like David. I guess for myself , I was a human doing, doing many things for the wrong heart motives. SINCE that became so clear to me I just long for when my life is all said and done Jesus will say “well done”.

        • Laurie says:

          All is well. Motive wasn’t part of the post, but motive is KEY. I lived years of the Christian life on my own strength. Sometimes I knew it. Sometimes I didn’t. God graciously chases us in the inner workings of the heart so our motives are more pure with each passing year. I am so grateful.

          Yes, I want to have a heart like David’s as well. Onward we go.

  • Margee Curran says:

    Laurie! I want to walk in obedience,joy, surrender & humor as I journey with and towards Jesus. (Even in my cancer journey) You honor me so, friend! Thankyou for this timely blog post full of encouragement to set my affections on Jesus!

  • Tish Beall says:

    This post has made me know that I need to examine my heart. I want to love the Lord with a pure heart, and it is easy for me to deceive myself into thinking that I do, and not realize that I have let complacency sneak in and steal my joy and my focus from the Lord to myself. When I have a pure heart, obedience comes easily. My yoke feels light, like Jesus said it would.

    Margee, I am praying for you! I feel like I know you through Laurie, who loves you so much. Praying for your healing and for you to be so aware of God’s amazing love for you!

    • Laurie says:

      I, too, have been examining my heart all week. Is it divided, or not? It is being run by God the Spirit, or self effort? It’s the good fight, and I am in it with you.

  • Jewl says:

    Margee, I’m coming back on here to say I’m also praying for your full recovery! Blessings today.

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