1 God makes people perfect through their obedience, through their eating, drinking, and enjoying of God’s words, and through the suffering and refinement in their lives. Only through faith such as this can people’s dispositions change, and only then can they possess the true knowledge of God. Not being satisfied with living amid God’s grace, actively yearning and searching for the truth, and seeking to be gained by God—this is what it means to consciously obey God and this is precisely the kind of faith that He wants. People who do nothing more than enjoy God’s grace cannot be made perfect or changed; and their obedience, piety, love, and patience are all superficial. Those who only enjoy God’s grace cannot truly know God, and even when they do know God, their knowledge is superficial, and they say things like “God loves man,” or “God is compassionate toward man.” This does not represent the life of man, and does not show that people truly know God.
2 If, when God’s words refine them, or when His trials come upon them, people are unable to obey God—if, instead, they become doubtful, and fall down—then they are not in the least bit obedient. Within them, there are many rules and restrictions about faith in God; old experiences that are the result of many years of faith, or various doctrines based upon the Bible. Could people such as this obey God? These people are full of human things—how could they obey God? Their “obedience” is according to personal preference—would God want obedience like this? This is not obedience to God, but adherence to doctrine; it is self-satisfaction and self-appeasement. If you say that this is obedience to God, do you not blaspheme against Him? You are an Egyptian Pharaoh. You commit evil, and you expressly engage in the work of opposing God—is this how God wants you to serve? You’d best hasten to repent, and try to gain some self-awareness. Don’t interrupt or disturb but know your place. That way you would not be punished for opposing God!
Adapted from “In Your Faith in God You Should Obey God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh