Friday, October 30, 2009

A New Trick - Obedience Training

Sit, roll over, fetch - it's a lot to remember for a dog with a brain the size of a golf ball. Just think what dogs would be like if they were as smart as - well you.

The Christians that read my blogs are like the rest of the church, diverse. My readership embodies everything from Charismatics to Catholics, and lots in between. There are those that have some training and those that don't. If it was an intellectual game, some would win, and some would lose. Thank God it's not.

The good news is the Good News. The Gospel is fit for each one of us, and the trick is contained in one word: obedience.

There are a bajillion people running around asking WWJD? He'd be obedient - perfectly obedient. He would have cleaned his room when asked and as a reward, I guess He'd get to use the family donkey. He would have given His tithe, been honest on his time-papyrus at the carpentry shop, and given up His favorite hitching post in downtown to a crippled man - well, if He didn't heal him and send him off praising God.

Jesus said, "I do what I see the Father doing." How about you?

In America it is very easy to get caught up in the lifestyle. Think about it. In the time of Jesus, they didn't have toilet paper, cell phones or malls. There were no cars, no electric heat, or grocery stores. That is a lot of life to manage with manual tasks. Yet, Jesus never sinned, and was always obedient in spite of the hard work just living life was. Leave it to us to have a flat tire in the rain, a power outage or some other inconvenience. God forbid the Internet goes down or we lose our cell phone. Don't those things make you annoyed? I confess, they can make me crazy some days.

And for those of you that get your political panties in a bundle, Jesus lived under some ruthless people - like the ones that crucified Him. And He didn't sin.

Keeping up with life in America and some other places leaves the average Christian little time for church services, reading the word, meaningful fellowship or prayer. All worthwhile activities.

Lots of Christians talk about balance - but as usual - the word is not in the Bible. How can you be obedient to a principal that is not biblical? We talk about priorities and one can make an exigetic case for them. Here they are if you don't have them memorized.

- God
- Spouse
- Family
- Work
- Ministry
- Free Time

God, however; is looking for obedience, not legalism or conformity to a set of values.

Have you ever noticed how helpful a kid is a couple days before their birthday? When there is the promise of a reward, it is a lot easier to be obedient -- but God wants us to be obedient unto death, not unto rewards.

And when God speaks - unless He says in a week - do it now. Delayed obedience is also disobedience.

Think about it. God's balance for your life could be serving Him full-time and not punching the clock. It could be dropping everything and doing a family mission. It could be working 4 "10's" so that you have time with your family, or to volunteer somewhere.

Can you see Him, what's He doing?

In my last blog I talked about the difference between the soul and the spirit. Hearing God is essential to being obedient! If we can't see what the Father is doing, then how the heck are we going to do it? This is why WWJD is a basically for folks that want to put a label on good. But Jesus didn't come to make bad people good, He came to make dead people live. He is not looking for people to do the "right" thing or the "good" thing. He is looking for folks to do His thing!

Jesus said that He came to bring life, and bring it abundantly. Is life full of blessings? It should be. But as Americans we can easily get into the mind-set that a house, a spouse, a 401k, two cars and 2.3 kids is the blessing goal. When we reach it, we'll be blessed.

The reality is that some times the "American Dream" can be the very thing that keeps us from doing the will of God.

We can't always trust our emotions, we need to trust God as He sends messages to our spirit. The truth is that we can't even trust the word of God apart from the Holy Spirit that teaches us. That is why it is essential to hear His voice!

I challenge you to say "You know what God, I need to hear your voice, I need to do your will, and I need your word to be alive. Not so I am smart about Bible stuff, but so that I can know you and see what you are doing. I'd like to be obedient, whatever the cost. Amen"

This little prayer might just be the breakthrough you are looking for -- releasing gifting, ministries, and causing us to learn a new trick or two. Even a dog can fetch.

1 comment:

photogr said...

I think we all should practice at least once "voluntary poverty". It is quite humbling.

Serving the Lord full time is a wonderful dream. Not many get to do that.

Thinking back over the years I wasted much of my life chasing the all mighty dollar, I wonder what I could have accomplished should I have followed the righteous path instead with the same passion.

Now here I sit with a burning passion to serve God and serve I do the best I can when I can.

However,when most dream of reitrement to sit around and do whatever, I have felt a renewal to to serve diligently full time but the age issue has put a stumbling block in this old guys way.

Even the churches feel the older generation should sit in the pews and praise God only. It is time for them to rest.

It is up to the younger generation now to pick up the cross and carry on in service to the Lord. So many yet still to be saved and not enough evangelist.

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