Chapter 26 – The Obedience of Faith

“By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed to go out.” Heb. 11: 8.

Beloved soul, you still say that you would fain believe, that it is your earnest and sincere desire to belong to the people of the Lord. You are nevertheless kept back, for what reason you yourself do not really know. Perhaps it is because it is not yet quite clear to you what you have to do when you believe. You do not yet understand the simplicity of faith, nor see that it is something which you can and must do without any even the least delay. Let us try to understand this by the example of the father of the faithful.

The Lord had said to Abraham: “Go thou out of thine own land to the country which I shall show thee.” In this calling of Abraham, we find a divine command and a divine promise. The command is, “Go thou out of thine land”: the promise is, “to a country which I shall show to cleave to the word: “The Lord will bring you thither.”

“But I have not received the promises,” you cry. My reply is, You have indeed received the promises. God is not so unrighteous as to say to anyone that he must go to heaven without the promise that He will bring him thither. He has given you Jesus to show you the country, and to lead you on the way thither. He does not say, “Repent ye,” without pointing to Jesus whom He ordained to give repentance. He does not say, “Abandon sin, and be saved,” without at the same time saying, “Jesus frees and saves from sin.” And it is only in the strength of this faith that you shall enter heaven. Therefore, soul, observe the calling of God: pray, understand that Jesus will do all for you: receive Him this day as the guide on the way given by God. However wretched you are, just simply believe that it is truth that God has given His Son Jesus also to you to save you. Be willing and acknowledge Him as your Savior. Rejoice in the thought: God has given Him to the sinner and thus also to me. And although you still feel nothing in yourself, grasp firmly this thought the whole day: carry it round with you in the midst of all your work and over it: It is certainly true, God has given Jesus also to me, to save me. This simple thought is faith. Hold fast by it, thank God for it: it will speedily send forth roots in you, and you shall rejoice in the assurance: Jesus is leading me to heaven. By this faith, you also, having been called, shall be obedient.