Obedience

So far, I have written messages about Faith, hope, charity, loss, judgment, blessings, leadership by example and forgiveness. Now it’s time to pull them all together and write about what nobody really wants to hear – obedience. Obedience requires Faith; it gives us hope; it makes us charitable; it brings us blessings; it comforts us during times of loss; it is an example to others and, through Grace, it brings forgiveness when we fall. We know God’s commandments and we read the Gospels. Why is it so hard to be and remain obedient?

Christ knew we, as humans, would have the propensity for sin so He came to wash our sins away and we could start anew. Is it then right to sin again and again and think that we can keep being cleansed? I would suggest you not attempt that path. Christ died so that if you would accept Him, you would have Salvation. Your eternal status, however, depends on how you live your life.(2 Tim 2:5)(1 Cor 9:24-27)(1 Peter 5:4)(Rev 2:10) There is a final judgment.  Don’t believe that?  (Read) (Rom 14:10-12)(James 1:12)(Matt 12:33-37)(2Cor 5:10) Why, then do we seem to always want to take the easy ways in life? Why must we endure hardship?

Life Principle 5, from InTouch Ministries, states: “God does not require us to understand His will, just obey it, even if it seems unreasonable”. They use the conquering of Jericho as an example.(Josh 6:1-20) It certainly seemed unreasonable to simply march around and around the city and blow trumpets without ever striking a weapon. But the Lord of Israel made it happen so. Consider David against Goliath.(1 Samuel 17:1-54) Consider Daniel in the lions’ den.(Daniel 6:1-24) Consider the 3 Hebrews, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego with king Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon(Daniel 3:1-30) and most especially Abraham and Isaac, possibly the greatest show of faith in God written in the Word.(Gen 22:1-19)

God will make himself known in your life if you will listen for Him and obey His will and follow His path. Sometimes the path is not easy.(Matt 7:13-14) But when you read the stories of David, Joshua, Joseph, Daniel and more, notice how much blessing God poured over His children when they stayed in His will for their lives. If you obey God, you will find the same amount of blessing in your life. It may not seem that way at first, but you will realize it, eventually; even if it is not until the final judgment. You might say “By then I’ll be dead”. Remember that this life is less than a drop of water in all the oceans of the earth compared to eternity.

God’s Best For Us

I have lived now for more than half of a century on this planet. I have broken all of the 11 commandments and yet I can tell you I have found peace and contentment in my life. It is the peace of God, the grace of His forgiveness and the contentment of knowing He will always take care of me as long as I live within His will for my life.

An example: I stayed in a concrete apartment building in Brandon the night that hurricane Irma ravaged southwestern and central Florida. I watched the storm track on my phone as the center literally passed right over my house. My wife and I knew our house may not be standing as we cautiously approached our street the next morning but we knew that whatever the outcome, we had peace about it because God was guiding us through those circumstances.

The foundation of my life now is summed up with two basic principles:

      1. Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him (InTouch Ministries Life Principle number 2)
      2. We know that God causes all things to work for the good to those who are called according to His purpose.(Rom 8:28)

With these principles in mind, we can be assured that as long as we stay in God’s word, meditate on it and obey it (Josh 1:8), we will be able to find peace in whatever circumstances we find ourselves facing. These are the life principles that allow us to accept the tragedies we see nearly every day and still find peace in our lives, if we stay in God’s path. We should obey God, accept His forgiveness, stay in His word so we know how to communicate with Him and leave everything else up to Him.

God’s Love for Us

God loves us and He wants us to love Him as well. But how can you love something and/or someone we have never seen? The Bible, God’s Word, tells us how. If we study “InTouch’s” Life Principle number one, it teaches the following: “Our intimacy with God – His highest priority for our lives – determines the impact for our lives”. God seeks fellowship with us which is why He created us the way He did (Gen 1:26). But to experience God’s best for us, we need to surrender to Him, completely. If you’re holding something back in your life from God, you are not getting His best for yourself. (Eccl 2:24-26), (Song 5:16)

Genesis 1:26 tells us God made man in His own image and then gave man rule over all things on the earth. In return, He wants our service and worship to be fruitful and effective. But often times we resist and move away from God’s will for or lives. Why? All too often it is out of greed and pride. Our world has become a world of instant gratification. We want what we want and we want it now. (Psalm 27:14) Also, pride makes many people feel like they can do better for themselves than God can. Still others believed that God is vengeful and if they give God control, He will do things that will make them miserable.

A friend once argued with me that God is not righteous.  His example depicted a young child suffering and dying from cancer.  I tried to show how this is, in some way, a blessing.  Well, I failed.  Recently a pastor friend taught me this philosophy:  “I have given eulogies for 90-year-olds as well as 4-year-olds.  Consider each life as only a single drop of water in all the oceans of the world, as compared to eternity”.

God does not make bad things happen – they happen mostly as consequences from sin. He will allow some bad things to happen and most often, good will come from it (Rom 8:28), but we need to remember two very important things:

          • God is omnipotent, in control
          • We have something call Free Choice

We can easily step out of God’s will by using this free choice, but there will be consequences.

So the next time you feel like God is punishing you, remember God loves us and has the best for us within His will. Then, ask yourself: Have I stepped out of God’s will for my life and are simply suffering consequences from my own choices? If you contemplate your situation and pray about it, the answer will become clear. (Matt 7:7)

God has given each and every one of us His greatest gift of all time (John 3:16). “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:3)