Just Do It

“His mother said to the servants, ‘Whatever he says to you, do it'” (John 2:5).
A group of about 20 campaigners were flying by charter airplanes into the back country of Guyana. The crew of the planes were weighing each passenger and his or her baggage in preparation for the flights. There was a maximum weight allowance for each small plane, and our group was well in excess. The pilot kept saying, “we must leave some baggage behind,” but no one seemed willing to take anything out of their packs. Finally someone said, “It is our safety that is at stake. If the plane is overloaded, it will crash. Just leave something behind!” In the face of this obvious and reasonable truth, things were finally abandoned and we got on with the flight.
There are times to discuss and even argue as to the meaning of a regulation or the reason why it is required. Some laws or rules are unjust or non-sensical. Some persons in authority are unqualified, and some that seek to rule don’t really have the right. Yet, there are also circumstances where such discussion is pointless or even counter-productive. There are times when we must simply do what we are told, without argument or dissent.
As an example, I understand that the point of much military “boot training” is to instill the discipline of unquestioning obedience to legitimate authority. A battlefield is no place to discuss whether or why one should carry out an order. Survival, let alone victory, often depends upon an instantaneous response. In such circumstances any hesitation or questioning may cause defeat.
Similarly, there are certain relationships in which unquestioning obedience is required. A novice employee does not debate instructions from the company president. A small child should not question his parents. And, above all, human beings are in no position to dispute the commandments of God.
“But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, ‘why have you made me like this?’ Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? (Romans 9:20,21).
Faith is more than simple belief that God exists. It is also unquestioning trust in God. Trust that he loves us. Trust that he is good, just, and powerful. Trust that his commands are righteous and that obedience will result in blessing. Such faith begins with the recognition of God’s eternal sovereignty and holiness. It is built also upon our need for him, and our desire to serve him. When those elements are in place, obedience is not a disagreeable burden, but rather a natural response. We do what he says, because of who he is who says it, and also because of who we are — his creatures whom he formed, and his children whom he loves.

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