I know, super weird title for a blog from a follower of Christ...I get it.
But now that I may have your attention, and my own for that matter, let me write about something that has been stirring in my heart over the last few months...obedience to Christ. Now I know when we hear the word obedience sometimes we can immediately begin to feel queezy or tense and fall into the mindset that following Jesus means keeping a list of do's and don'ts. I think obedience is one of those words that Christians need to re-claim. Obedience is something that is positive. Obedience means choosing to live life according to God's rhythm and design, while giving up our right and desire to do things our way.
Being a father of two, I'm learning more about obedience each and every day. When I ask my daughter to do something, I'm expecting that she will follow my direction completely. There are times when she decides that her own way is the best way, and conflict occurs as a result.
It's funny how this same sort of story plays out in our spiritual lives as well. We seek God's desire and will for our lives, and when He reveals it, we may or may not choose to be obedient to what God asks us to do. I think God respects a person who will follow Him completely, and someone who will also choose to disobey Him completely. What I think frustrates God in obedience is people who try to stradle the line between obedience and disobedience. You all know what I'm talking about. God spells out for us what He wants us to do, or where He wants us to go, and instead of following His lead, we try to negotiate with Him. Maybe we think that we can coerce God to lower His demands on us, or suggest a more amicable solution to our situation...amicable in our own minds at least.
Can you imagine if Jesus lived a life of this kind of half-obedience?? I can see it now...Jesus on the cross negotiating with God about who He was dying for. "Hey God, instead of dying for everyone who has lived, is living and will live, can I just maybe die for the people I know instead??" Crazy, right??
If this example seems so outlandish, why is it that this very same scenario seems to play itself out in our lives more often than we would like to admit? I can't answer this question for you, but I can answer it for me. Sometimes when God asks me to do something, I just really don't want to do it, and it's because I can't see where God is leading me. You see, for me, I want to know where I am going before I start to move...I like having my final destination revealed. But God doesn't often work like that at all. He doesn't neccessarily give us the entire roadmap to our journey, He may only give us the next point on the map or a direction that we need to head.
I'm learning to be content with not knowing where I'm going, and to simply enjoy each moment of each day as I learn to follow and be obedient to Christ more and more. I'm learning that obedience is done out of love, not duty...and when I engage my relationship with Jesus out of obligation, I'm cheapening His gift of love, mercy and grace for me.
And so today I'm soldiering on...marching ahead, not knowing where I'm going but learning to live in the moment.
How can we navigate through the uncertainty of conflict in relationships? Where do we start?
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