It has been well-stated that “If God built you a bridge even a mile ahead, it wouldn’t be a bridge of faith.” We walk by faith not by sight. God demands our willingness to obey without fully explaining His intentions.
Let’s examine a number of Biblical examples concering how faith must first be manifested before the blessing comes…..
1. After the disciples obeyed Jesus and rowed across Sea of Galilee, they saw Him walk on the water and calm the storm. “If Peter is going to walk on the water, he must walk; if he is going to swim, he must swim; but he cannot do both” (A. B. Simpson). Anyone thinking about drowning with Jesus on board is foolish. With God, walk on the water. Without Him, don’t cross the brook.
2. After Jacob obeyed and persevered, he obtained his Father’s blessing.
3. After the blind man at the beautiful gate obeyed God’s people and stood, he leaped and walked. I believe in an invisible God who does impossible things, who makes somebody’s out of nobodies, who creates something out of nothing and makes successes out of failures.
4. After the girl in Mark 14 anointed Jesus with her precious oil, Jesus honored her and said history would never forget her.
5. After the disciples obeyed Jesus and went where He said, they found and got the colt, as He had said they would. (Mark 11)
6. After Noah obeyed God, preached and built the ark, He and his entire family were saved.
7. After Jonah prayed and obeyed he was delivered out of the fish.
8. After the five wise virgins had properly prepared and brought enough oil, they met the Groom. (Matthew 25)
9. After Peter, James and John climbed the mountain, they saw Jesus transfigured before them (John 17). Note that “faith” is a verb and not a noun. You can’t have faith in faith. Faith demands an object.
10. After the disciples climbed the Mount of Olives, they saw Jesus ascend into heaven (Acts 1).
11. After Moses obeyed God and climbed Mount Sinai, he received God’s 10 commandments (Exodus 20).
12. After Moses climbed the mount, saw the burning bush, obeyed and took off his shoes, he had the honor of talking with God.
13. After Esther decided to put her life on the line for her people the Jewish people were victorious.
14. After Abraham stepped out in faith and obedience left Ur, and went were God directed Him did God give him awesome promises.
15. After David picked up the 5 smooth stones in faith, God guided the stone that killed Goliath.
16. After the Israelites followed Moses in faith into the waters edge did God open up the Red Sea. Ask God for the impossible and there’s no room for anything except God.
17. After Samson’s picked up the jawbone, he killed 1,000 Philistines
18. After Moses obeyed God, and threw down his staff, did he see it become a snake and eat up the snakes of the magicians.
19. After Moses obeyed God and crossed the Red Sea did he see his enemies dead upon the Red Sea shore.
20. After Daniel knew praying was forbidden did he pray, get thrown into the den…and saw the lions lose their appetites. It has been well-stated: Little faith says, God can but will He? Great faith says, God will, if I only ask Him. Perfect faith says, God has already done it!
21. After the three Hebrew children obeyed God’s law and refused to bow to the idol did God walk with them in the fire.
22. After Abraham obeyed God and was willing to sacrifice even his own son. Will you find the ram caught in the bushes to make your sacrifice? Many people today are attempting to receive the blessings of Abraham with the faith of Thomas.
23. After the woman reached out in faith to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment was she healed. The sinner says, “I must see it to believe it.” The saint says, “If I hadn’t believed it, I never would have seen it.”
24. After Peter obeyed Jesus and let down the net did he get the great catch of fish. Doubt is faith in reverse. Doubt is faith in the devil. Note the following acrostic:
25. After the disciples obeyed and began to distribute the boy’s lunch and feed everybody did they come back, and each with a basketful left over!
26. After Moses obeyed God and went to Pharaoh several times did Pharaoh finally let God’s people go.
27. After Joshua obeyed God for seven days did Jericho’s walls fall down. Faith is not having no doubts, it is trusting God in spite of doubts.
28. After Rahab hid the spies, in faith, her life was spared when Jericho was conquered.
29. After John had obeyed and served Jesus for several decades did he receive the Revelation on Patmos.
30. After Mary surrendered herself in faith and obedience did she give birth to baby Jesus.
31. After Jesus’ mother, Mary, obeyed Jesus and had the water pots filled did the water turn into wine. Fear causes you to talk to God about your mountains. Faith causes you to talk to your mountains about God. It’s not the faith of a mountain that moves a mustard seed, it’s the faith of a mustard seed that moves a mountain.
32. After the thief on the cross repented did Jesus promise him that he would be with Him in heaven that same day
33. After the 10 lepers came to Jesus in faith and obeyed His command to go to the priest, were they healed as they went (Luke 17).
34. After Samson repented was he able to pull down the heathen temple on top of his enemies.
35. After Paul and Silas had obeyed God, preached, got busted and sung their midnight songs in jail, did the prison doors open.
36. After Jesus obeyed the Father and endured the Cross, He was resurrected and glorified.
37. After Jesus said no to all of Satan’s temptations did the angels come and minister to Him.
38. After the Shulimite girl earnestly sought after young prince Solomon did she find him and find how much she was loved by him.
39. After the priests obeyed God’s Word and went to the Jordan river, it split so they could walk across.
40. After Zacchaeus climbed the tree to see Jesus did Jesus say, “Today I want to come to your home.”
41. After Abraham knew it was impossible for Sarah to have a baby, God made the baby possible.
42. After the centurion exercised faith in Jesus’ Word, his servant was healed (Matthew 8). Faith isn’t some kind of “money” with which you purchase things from God
43. After Apollos had obeyed God and began to preach did God send Aquila and Priscilla to teach him the Word of God more completely. Faith orders an oyster dinner, believing to pay for it with the pearl found in the oyster.
44. After Paul obeyed the vision of the man of Macedonia did he get to see miracles in Macedonia (Acts 16).
45. After Peter obeyed the angel and got up did the prison doors open. Faith is trusting God in the dark.
46. After Joseph obeyed God’s law and refused to be seduced by Potiphar’s wife did he become a prince in Egypt.
47. After the prodigal woke up in the pig pen and started home did he see the Father running to meet him
48. After the two servants obeyed and invested their Master’s money wisely did they hear Him say, “Well done you good and faithful servant.”
49. After the widow obeyed God’s laws of giving and put her two copper coins in the treasury did Jesus praise her faithfulness.
50. After Paul obeyed God, preached and gotten thrown in prison, did God give him the four Prison Epistles.
51. After the 120 were in one accord and praying in the upper room did the Holy Spirit come upon them.
52. After Naaman the Syrian obeyed the prophet and dipped seven times in the Jordan River was he healed.
53. After the mans friends tore up the roof to get the man to Jesus did they see the man healed by Jesus.
54. After you obey Jesus and pick up your Cross and follow Him can you be His disciple.
55. After Peter went up on the rooftop to pray he had the vision of the animals.
56. After John the Baptist’s father obeyed God and named his son John was he healed and could speak.
57. After the blind man obeyed and washed in the pool of Siloam was his sight restored (Jon 9:7).
58. After Saul the persecutor obeyed Jesus on the Damascus road, he became Paul the Apostle.
59. After the widow of Zarephath obeyed and fed Elijah was her oil and grain multiplied (I Kings 17).
Obedience is essential: not optional.
Spiritual maturity is in direct proportion to one’s obedience to the Holy Spirit’s voice.
God expects obedience: not a debate.
Trust and obey.
Faith alone doesn’t appropriate the promises: faith plus obedience will.