Obey First…Know Later?

“If anyone chooses to do God’s will, then he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” John 7:17.

This is a very interesting verse. Jesus is basically saying, “You want to know if I am who I claim to be? Then obey God’s will, choose to obey in thought, word, and deed, and you’ll find out if I am who I claim to be.” But perhaps someone will say, “I don’t know God’s will.” I’d say read the Scriptures to find out the basics. Consult church history, tradition, and a wise community. We know that ultimately God desires us to love him and love others…not one or the other. So then our next task is to do that.

But perhaps we have a specific question about his will not addressed in Scripture like who should we marry or are we going to get married or what job should we take…such questions can take us right back around to what Jesus said in John 7:17 though not as a direct application. We can flesh this principle out from that verse: Obey God in what you know he wants you to do for today and then he will cast light on the next step, so that you know what to do next. The Lord doesn’t usually write down our future like he did on the wall for the Babylonian King Beltshazzar. He says, “Obey me first, trust me first, and I will reveal the next step.” Rarely does he reveal his plan without our obedience and trust. In the Christian life it seems to be Obey Then Know. It is the Christian Epistemology.

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