“Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. (Acts 26:19, HCSB)
Ever wonder what sets apart the great men and women of faith? I believe it is implied here: obedience.
Interestingly, the word used here can mean “to obey” or “to persuade.” The two ideas are tied tightly together: Paul obeyed the vision because he was convinced that it was Jesus speaking to him. So he got up and went to Damascus, then Jerusalem, then the rest of Judea (see v. 20).
Think about the great men and women and their obedience:
- Noah built an ark, convinced a flood was coming.
- Abraham left his home, convinced that God had more for him.
- Moses led the Israelites, convinced God would deliver from Pharaoh
- Mary said yes to God, convinced he would let her carry His Son
Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. For by it our ancestors were approved. (Hebrews 11:1-2, HCSB)
Faith is being convinced that God is leading and then doing what he says to do. I think you need both. Not just being convinced…you can sit in a pew at church convinced of God’s power and never see the kingdom expand. Likewise, you can do things out of guilt or legalism or religious ideals, but never see the power of God work through it.
We need both. As James would later say: “Faith without works is dead (James 2:17).” So let’s work on both!