This month, our meditation has been excerpted from the book entitled, Bound to be Free, compiled by staff of Open Doors. In the following quotation from Enrique Palacio, pseudonym for a Cuban pastor under persecution, there is fodder for reflection and perhaps application:
The work of faith is to hear the voice of God in the midst of many different disturbing voices.
It is to obey the voice of God even if it seems contradictory to circumstances.
It is to do the will of God even though you are doing it alone, with no other believers around you.
It is to persevere regardless of opposition and discouragement.
It is to accept the divine judgment without asking about its justice.
It is to proclaim the message of salvation even when nobody wants to listen.
It is . . . total obedience despite the circumstances.
Can it be done?
Yes, because He who calls is faithful--He will do it.
A moment of introspection: A work of faith--how would we define such a thing? Would we say that it is: hearing God's voice? obeying God's voice? doing God's will? persevering? accepting divine judgment without question? proclaiming the good news? Would we accept a definition that describes a work of faith as total obedience? In John 15:10, Christ said, "If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in His love." He understood the meaning of faith, the value of faith, and what it means to put that faith to work. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the church at Philippi, wrote, "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, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose." (Philippians 2:12-13, emphasis added) There is a common understanding between Paul and Rev. Palacio; both understand that total obedience is possible, as God will do it--for He works in us to will and to act according to His good purpose. We say we have faith, and that means we, too, know the power of God at work within us. Let us then obey, as Christ Himself has asked us to do.