“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10,11).
THE VERY ESSENCE OF FAITH IS TO “TRUST AND OBEY.” If a certain course of action seems wise to us and looks like it might lead to satisfactory results, it doesn’t take much faith to follow that course. But when we can’t see how a particular thing is going to turn out, or if we have a hunch that it might turn out disastrously, it takes faith to trust the person who formulated the plan and simply carry out the instructions that have been given to us.
We can only imagine what faith it took for Abraham to “trust and obey” when God said to leave his home in Ur (not to mention the things that God later commanded him to do). But faith was indeed the key. “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8).
Today, many of us try to be people of faith, but our faith often fails us. What God says can seem so contrary to common sense that we balk at obeying Him. So when someone points out to us, “This is what God says,” we tend to respond, “But what if . . . ?”
Even in worldly affairs, however, we shouldn’t always decide our course of action pragmatically, based on what we think will work. Our definition of what will “work” is often flawed, and in any case, we can’t see far enough ahead to know what the outcome of any decision will be. So we need to base our decisions on proven principles rather than predictions of particular outcomes.
In spiritual matters, we can take it for granted that God’s way will always work, that is, it will always accomplish the purpose that He had in mind, whether that purpose is clear to us or not. “[My word] shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” So the question is not what will happen, but what our principles should be. And that’s just what God has given us in the Scriptures: a treasure chest of valid, time-tested, true-north principles.
“If one can be certain that his principles are right, he need not worry about the consequences” (Robert Elliott Speer).