Thursday, December 18, 2014

#DailyProverbs: A Lifestyle of Obedience


John 14:15-21: "If you love me, you will obey my commandments. I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, who will stay with you for ever. He is the Spirit who reveals the truth about God. The world cannot receive him, because it cannot see him or know him. But you know him, because he remains with you and is in you. “When I go, you will not be left all alone; I will come back to you. In a little while the world will see me no more, but you will see me; and because I live, you also will live. When that day comes, you will know that I am in my Father and that you are in me, just as I am in you. “Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. My Father will love those who love me; I too will love them and reveal myself to them.”

According to this particular set of scriptures, we know that Jesus was preparing his team for his absence, and the upcoming set of difficulties. He specifically and blatantly tells us, we express love for Jesus by obeying His commands. To love Him wholeheartedly, we must develop a lifestyle of obedience. Let's look at four aspects of such a lifestyle.

1. Our trust in Jesus grows. This confidence comes from believing that the Lord is who Scripture says He is. And God's Word tells us that He is good—as well as faithful to keep His promises (2 Cor. 1:20). Psalm 86:15 calls Him merciful, gracious, loving, and slow to anger. His character remains unchanged by difficult or hard-to-understand circumstances (Heb. 13:8).

2. We develop a deepening ability to wait on the Lord/move when God says move. Delays can be hard in our I-want-it-now culture. But we must resist temptation and wait on Him instead of running ahead, or assuming that patient waiting is equal to "no." We must also be ready to move and act when God tells us to move or act. Waiting and acting are two sides of the same "coin of trust" on obeying God. If we trust God, we obey God - whether the answer is to wait or act.

3. We commit to obey God. Without such a resolve, we'll vacillate at decision time or allow fear to prevent us from choosing His way. When the answer really is "No," we must be willing to accept that and move on. And we must be willing to accept an answer of "Yes," even when we don't want to pick up, move or follow the cloud by day, and fire by night.

4. Our study of Scripture becomes consistent. The Bible reveals God's priorities, commands, and warnings. It acts as a light, illuminating His chosen path for us while revealing obstacles and dangers along the way (Ps.119:105). Without it, we are like a person who walks in the woods at night without a flashlight.

Becoming a Christian, and following the teachings set forth by Christ, doesn't mean that obedience to the Lord is automatic or that we are made into robots. It's a lifelong process of growing in our trust and patiently waiting on Him before we act, and acting on faith and trust when called upon to do so, even immediately. This requires a steadfast commitment to obey so that we can say no to ungodly choices, doubt and inaction and yes to God, love, trust, and the peace that comes from doing what God says.

#JustBeingMichael ツ

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