A young girl wanted to be a soccer player. She trained for this every day. One day she had an accident and injured her legs. The ambulance took her to the hospital, and she had surgery. After the surgery, the doctor spoke with her and explained that the surgery was successful and she was going to be able to walk soon.
However, that news did not make her happy. To walk was not enough for her, she wanted to know if she would be able to play soccer again. The doctor fixed his gaze on her and said: “If you want to play soccer again, you must follow a very rigorous therapy. The exercises will be difficult and painful; you will get tired and frustrated, but if you persevere, you will be able to play soccer again.” She answered: “I will do it, my only desire is to be a soccer player, I will do it.”
After a year and a half of therapy she was able to kick the ball again. She was very happy. She went to the doctor and thanked him: “You saved me; I am very grateful.” The doctor fixed his eyes on her again and said: “I did not save you, you saved yourself. My instructions would not have been effective if you had not decided to believe in me and obey my instructions. So actually, you saved yourself.” Faith and obedience to the doctor is what saved her.
This story invites us to think about our faith and obedience to God. To save our soul is definitely more important than saving our legs or fulfilling a desire to be a soccer player. However, do we have faith and obedience in God’s instructions of how to save our soul? Jesus taught very clearly what we should do if we want to save our soul.
We who believe in Jesus would not say that what Jesus taught is not enough to go to heaven. Rather what we say is that we believe that He taught us the way to go to heaven. However, if we do not follow that way, if we do not obey His instructions, could we really say that we believe in Jesus and His teachings?
Faith without obedience is not real faith, it is a “false” faith. How can we say that we believe in Jesus if we do not follow Him and His teachings? Someone could say: the problem is not that we do not believe but rather that to follow Him and keep His commandments is hard, difficult, painful, etc. It is true that it is hard, just as it was hard, difficult, painful for the girl to follow the doctor’s instructions in the above story. However, if we really want something we try our best to get it no matter how difficult it is. The more we want something, the more we try to get it.
In addition, following Jesus is not just a desire, like playing soccer, but rather is something very important. Our future depends on it, since we are talking about our future in eternity. Also, if we follow Jesus, we have the assurance that He will always help us with His grace which is much more than just instructions to follow.