Answering The Call To Faith: Choose To Do The Right Thing
Therefore gird up your minds, be sober, set your hope fully upon the grace that is coming to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
Life is full of choices.
Every day we choose what to wear when we step outside. We choose what to eat—we choose when to eat.
Every day we choose to get up in the morning. We choose when to go to bed at night.
Making choices is the fundamental reality of daily living. Most choices—what to wear, what to eat, when to eat, when to rise, when to lay down—are easy and of little consequence beyond the day.
Other choices are more important: where shall we work? Where shall we live? What car shall we drive?
For younger men and women, there are choices around school and education. There are choices about career. There are choices about marriage and family.
Such choices are considerably more important, and carry significant consequences beyond the day. Such choices at once circumscribe and enlarge our futures.
Surely the most important choice of all is the choice between right and wrong, between good and evil. How we choose when confronted with that choice between right and wrong not only charts the future we shall have for ourselves, but ultimately defines for the whole world who we are, and what manner of person we shall be.
When the Apostle Peter wrote to “the exiles of the Dispersion”, he reminded them that they had chosen to follow the teachings of Jesus. He articulated the sublime truth that the life of faith is itself a choice. Answering the call to faith is always a choice—as it must be, or faith itself can have no meaning.
What does it mean to answer that call to faith?
It can mean many things, but invariably among those meanings is the reality that we choose to embrace that which is right, and also that we choose to reject that which is wrong. We choose to follow God’s Law, and to accept God’s Mercy and God’s Forgiveness for those moments when we stumble and fall short of God’s Law.
Why must we choose to follow God’s Law when we answer the call of faith?
We must because that is what faith is. When we answer the call of faith, we choose to follow God. We choose to accept God’s Authority over us. We must adhere to what God commands because to do otherwise is to rebel against God. We cannot put our faith in God, we cannot put our trust in God, and then arrogate our own ideas, our own desires, our own ambitions above that which God decrees for us. That is not faith.
Faith in God is submission to God. Faith in God is obedience to God. Being faith, it cannot be anything else but this. We choose faith, and thus we choose submission and we choose obedience.
Each day, we choose faith—or we do not. Each day, we choose to follow God’s Law—or we stumble and fall short of God’s Law, having chosen something other than faith, and something less than God’s Law.
Because we do stumble, because we do fall short, we are every day confronted with another reality of what it means to answer the call to faith: The choice to answer that call is a choice we make not just one day, one time, but every day, and in all times. We choose to answer the call to faith every time we choose that which is righteous and hard over that which is tempting and easy. We choose to answer the call to faith every time we choose to follow God’s Law rather than turning our backs on it.
We choose not to answer the call to faith every time we yield to temptation, and every time we reject that which is righteous. We choose not to answer the call to faith every time we choose to turn our backs on God’s Law.
Yet because we are called to faith, the call itself remains, just as God remains. Thus we may stumble, and we may fall short, but, thanks to God’s Mercy and to God’s Forgiveness, we can pick ourselves up and choose to answer the call anew. We can fail to choose to do the right thing today, and still choose to do the right thing tomorrow. We can wander off the path of righteousness today and still find that path again tomorrow, trusting that God will accept us back when we return to that path despite having wandered away for a time.
Thus we know that the essence of answering that call to faith is simply this: choose to do the right thing. Choose to do that which is righteous and hard and for that moment you have answered the call to faith. No matter what happens in the moments after, for that one moment and in that one choice you have answered the call to faith.
God calls us to faith. To answer that call in each moment we need only make a simple choice. We need only choose to do the right thing.
Thanks for reading Peter's Proverbs! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.