We have made our way now to Chapter 3, with Article 1 focusing on “I believe”. There is a necessary precursor to this however in Paragraph 143 – when we say “I believe” it is by faith we do so, and by faith “man completely submits his intellect and his will to God.” To believe, to “have faith”, in God is at one and the same time to also submit to His Will. That can be a rather hard pill to swallow, particularly these days.
Paragraph 144 has a critical observation: the word “obey” comes from the Latin ob-audire, to “hear or listen to“. You might notice a distinct echo of the previous section we covered in the last post here – to know God requires that we listen to, or in many cases read the words given by, Him. We cannot properly obey that which (or whom) we do not know. Now we find ourselves forming a perfect triangle – to know God is to come to love Him, and to love and know Him is to come to obey His Word. Surrounded as we are by those who think they have a better plan than the one God has given, this willing obedience can be incredibly difficult.
Perhaps that’s where this comes back to what we saw in the previous section – to love Him is to spend time with His Word. The more time we do that, the more of an effect it will have on us and the more we will want to obey rather than feel obligated to do so. We may not have to travel to a distant land as did Abraham, nor bear the reaction to an unwed pregnancy of Mary, to experience in our time a final aspect of this knowing, loving, and obeying – trust. God knows better than we ever can what is best for us but it is only through knowing, loving, and obeying Him that we can come to trust that what we don’t now understand really is for our benefit. It all starts with His Word. I do believe it’s time for me to go read the Bible some more, how about you?