Only the obedient believe. A concrete commandment has to be obeyed in order to come to believe. A first step of obedience has to be taken, so that faith does not become pious self-deception, cheap grace.
The first step is crucial. It is qualitatively different from all others that follow. The first step of obedience has to lead Peter away from his nets and out of the boat; it has to lead the young man away from his wealth. Faith is possible only in this new state of existence created by obedience.
As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea․for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, "Follow me and I will make you fish for people." And immediately they left their nets and followed him. Mark 1:16-18
Questions to Ponder
How do you understand the relationship between obedience and true faith?
How might a "first step of obedience" change your relationship to Jesus?
Why is the first step "qualitatively different from all others that follow"?
O come, let us worship and bow down,
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.
O that today you would listen to his voice! Psalm 95:6-7
Is there a moment when you took a "first step of obedience"? If so, write about it. What was it like? How did it change your life?
Do you need to take a "first step of obedience"? If so, any ideas or intuitions about what form that might take?
Pray that you, your family, and your spiritual friends would have the courage to be obedient to whatever God is calling you to.
Prayer for Today
Gracious God, grant me the wisdom to see what you need me to do and the courage to do it.
40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Copyright © 2007 Augsburg Books, imprint of Augsburg Fortress.