Grace For The Journey
It seems the constant theme for my life these days is obedience. “It’s great to say that we are Christian but if we aren’t doing what Jesus told us to do then we aren’t who we say we are.” “Go ahead and say that you love Jesus but prove it in living his commands.” These are the sort of things I have been dealing with for the past month, in the Word, in meditation, in relationships, in work – Obey.
If we are willing to examine it, most of our problems come down to disobedience, whether on purpose or through ignorance. We cause ourselves a lot of grief by not knowing and obeying the instructions Jesus gave us. Most people I see quoting Scripture verses and passing on good thoughts to others know almost nothing about what Jesus taught. But obedience didn’t start with Jesus. It is something God has required of His people since the beginning.
He demanded it from Adam and Eve.
He demanded it from Noah.
He demanded it from Abraham.
He demanded it from Moses.
He demanded it from Israel.
In fact, He laid out all of His expectations to the people of Israel; He taught them His Law. He told them that they were free to go on their way, but if they chose to be His people then He would hold them accountable to the Law. Obedience was not optional and disobedience would be punished. Those are the simple facts.
It isn’t that God is being mean about this. If we want a proper, intimate and blessed relationship with Him, obedience must be a given. But this is not a reluctant obedience. It doesn’t work with reluctance because God is looking for a people who will chose to obey because they love Him. Jesus said it plainly, “If you love Me, you will keep My commands.” (John 14:15) And a little further on: “Whoever loves Me will keep My word.” (verse 23). No wiggle room there . . . Obey out of love.
Disobedience is a battle in us. It disturbs our peace. It causes problems. It makes us stumble. It keeps us dissatisfied, with an unfulfilled longing. But obedience allows for God’s blessings to flow:
The Bible says in Psalm 128:1-2, “Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.” That’s just a sample of the many Scriptures that lift-up the benefits of a right and obedient relationship with God. The simple truth is that God wants to flood our lives with His blessings, but no parent can bless disobedience.
Disobedience interrupts the flow of relationship,
Of growing together, of oneness.
Obedience creates an atmosphere
That allows this relationship to flourish.
If we want to walk in the ways of our God, trying to live by the Law will not help, because you can’t do it. That’s why Jesus had to die in our place. He had to fulfill the requirements of the Law. Instead, concentrate on developing a love for the Lord which will allow for intimacy. This love will provoke you to obey because you want to please the one you love not because you are trying to manipulate him with your actions. As the old chorus goes: “Trust and obey, because there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, then to trust and obey.”
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”