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Faith Obeys, Without Knowing How – An Encouragement to Walk By Faith

But Samuel said, “How can I go? Saul will hear about it and kill me.” The LORD said, “Take a heifer with you and say,’I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.” Samuel did what the LORD said.1 Samuel 16:2-4a

God sent Samuel to annoint David king. He was removing Saul from power. It was a dangerous and scary assignment and it made no sense politically or practically. Speaking against the king could bring death, but not only that, Saul looked like a king. David was an unknown kid.

Samuel was naturally afraid. Wasn’t there some other way? Samuel surely must have thought.

God’s plan was made. He wouldn’t budge because of Samuel’s fear. God never leads by popular opinion, so Samuel obeyed.

That’s what faith does.

When Samuel obeyed God, EVEN THOUGH it didn’t make sense – in his mind – for him to do so, he was exhibiting his faith in God. Faith always moves without seeing or understanding. Faith is always prior to receiving the complete picture or having all the answers. Faith precedes victory.

Every time.

If we want to please God, we have to obey Him at the point it seems to make no sense to do so.

Years ago our family traveled to our nation’s capital on vacation. I have spent considerable time in the city, as a college intern and during my political and business days. It is one of my favorite places to visit. Our boys had never been. I told them this would not be an enjoyable trip – at least not for the first few days. At nine and twelve years of age, and not being musuem people, I knew they would be bored at first and I wanted to prepare them.

I was right.

I told them, however, if they would obey me they would be glad they had been by the time we finished the trip. When we left Washington, DC, both boys were sad to say goodbye to the city. They had fallen in love with it. The twelve year old even said he wanted to attend a college there. (He later changed his mind.)

This is the way it is sometimes in our Christian walk.

Obeying God, following Him, and carrying out His plan, especially when it contradicts our own, is not always the first thing we want to do. It won’t even seem to make sense at times.

It may seem impossible.
It will likely make us afraid.
It stretches us beyond our abilities.
It might be uncomfortable.
It requires more resources than appears available.

But, as we obey God, and He works His will through our obedience, God blesses us in ways we never expected, and we begin to experience what it means “all things work for good for those who love the Lord”. (Romans 8:28)

Samuel didn’t want to go find David, but he obeyed. And, guess what? God knew what He was doing.


And, God knows what He is doing in your life too!

You need only to trust and obey!

In what area of your life are you most having to walk by faith these days? 

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 10 Comments

  • jimpemberton says:

    Many things could be said about faith. The world would have us believe that faith is the belief in something for which we have no evidence. Interestingly, they have no evidential justification for the assertion of that definition – yet they would have us believe it. Indeed it would seem to be indicated by 1 Cor 5:7. However, that's not precisely what that passage is addressing. What it does address is the foundation for this article.

    We have evidence that the Bible is God's revelation of himself. We have evidence that it is authoritative. We also have the Holy Spirit who resonates the truth of the Scriptures within us and points out their veracity to us as we come to live by what they tell us. So we can point to the evidence in our own lives that what God promises us in the Scriptures is true.

    But there is a presupposition to applying the Scriptures that bears noting. That is, if we desire the things of this world, and believe that God will grant us these things, then we will expect him to fulfill these things. In many cases, this will happen. In many cases we will also be quite disappointed. But desiring the things of this world over and against desiring God is actually a lack of faith. If instead we desire God, then God will grant us all that we desire. However, he also promises that it will often be difficult.

    That leads us to the point of this article. God doesn't typically give us some revelation outside the Bible aimed at letting us know specifically what we should do. The Scriptures are sufficient. So we are are to apply the general principles in the Scriptures to our particular situation as faithfully as possible. We are to think for ourselves in each situation as we practice obeying what God has given us. So we can set a goal and develop a strategy for accomplishing that goal. Sometimes the only apparent strategy to us is declared off limits by Scripture. The goal can be honorable, but there is no apparent way to achieve that goal. So we must obey God according to his Scriptures and pray that he makes a way for us to accomplish the goal without being disobedient to him. Perhaps the goal is honorable, but it's not what God wants for us right now. God will prevent that goal from being accomplished. Perhaps God wants to demonstrate his power among us by accomplishing that goal for us in a way that we had not considered. But to disobey God in the pursuit of a noble goal is a demonstration of a lack of faith on our part. God may yet allow for the goal to be accomplished, but our sin, even our lack of faith, will eventually catch up to us and God will judge righteously.

  • Alex says:

    Ha! Examples of faith always make me smile and often laugh. Not because it's funny, but because faith explores and expects beyond our reasoning 🙂 . I've often said that Faith is not spelled: FAITH. Rather, is mostly spelled as: RISK :-). Faith is a risky and act of obedience that produces amazing results. Just today I posted an article on my blog post ( that talks about the 7 levels to complete a project. These are levels and not steps. This post I think compliments your article here because we must all obey God's instructions even when things don't make much sense and we don't understand.

    Feeling under pressure to complete the building of our house, with only three weeks left to "move-in date" I still didn't have the interior walls covered. Yet God let me know to finish it – one board at a time. That instruction drove me crazy for a while, but I'm glad I obeyed – we moved in just in time and everything worked out as He said – imagine that! 🙂

    Thanks Ron, for another great post!

  • Jeff says:

    Hi Ron. Thanks for sharing this. God has used it big time to re-establish my true North as our family heads into month 51 of this God led journey. I left a job and a false identity back in March of 2008 and have stood on the precipice of marital, familial, and financial ruin. I have witnessed 1st hand directly God's amazing intervention, grace, mercy, faithfulness, and love in these areas all within the last 5 years, with outcomes that have to be heard to be believed! Your post reminded me that God is indeed in this as it defies popular opinion and conventional wisdom/thinking. It's so easy to forget the AMAZING things that God has revealed and shown us when we are consumed with the "what-ifs" in life. As temporal beings that rely primarily on our senses and ability to reason, we are called to walk by faith, NOT by sight (2 Cor 5:7). Thanks for the timely reminder during a day that the enemy's lies were becoming more real as I've been conditioning myself recently to listen and believe his deception. Eternally grateful in an Ephesians 3:20-21 way!!!!!!!!!!

    • ronedmondson says:

      The enemy loves to distract us from God's vision for our life. God bless you.

  • Jon says:

    Thanx for this post and the one yesterday on "waiting for daddy". They were both just what I needed. I've been a little down recently. I see myself as trying each and every day to be the man, the husband, the father, etc., that God wants me to be. I see myself trying to walk as closely to the path that God has laid out for me as I possibly can; something that I did a really bad job of for years and years. I see myself trying so hard each day to be the example to my wife of a Godly spouse; to be the example of an Ephesians 5 husband; to be an example to her of how one spouse treats another, unconditionally. I see myself, everyday, trying to trust in Him and patiently wait for Him to work in my marriage.

    And I can clearly see His hand in so many areas of my life. I could account to you over the last few weeks and probably months, the times He has turned things that could have been very stressful and difficult to deal with in to things that were almost no big deal. But my marriage still seems like such a wasteland and what I really feel each day in that world is that I am a fool for loving her so much and trying so hard. I sit faithfully waiting for Him to come into her heart and soften it, but that seems like such a long shot. I've really felt discouraged and tired. But these two posts have reminded me that I really just have to have faith; to trust in His provision and His timing and His plan, even though I haven't a clue what that is.

  • Melissa says:

    I'm walking by faith In the financial area….I've stumbled through the gravel path, but now I've entered the paved road. There will be construction zones ahead with slow traffic (tight budget restrictions), but know God is leading our path, keeping that FAITH….always! I'm also learning to look at the tiny successes along the side of the road, God is smiling….reminding me to always… through it all… believe!