In my last post we sought to spend some time praying to grow in Christ-like humility and we found the path to true humility in this life is in obeying God.
Let’s hangout a bit more on this note of obedience.
For many the idea and even the word obedience puts a negative taste in people’s mouth. Our flesh doesn’t want to be subject to anyone else’s rules. While we might be able to swallow rules needed to keep society from spinning into chaos, we chaff at authority that seeks to interfere with our personal preferences.
Yet, If you’ve been a follower of Jesus for any time at all you know there’s a resounding call for us to obey Jesus. Not to just believe He is real, but to let him be the leader of our lives. Read his words:
“If you love me, you will obey my commandments.” (John 14:15 )
When we truly come to faith in Jesus we have a passionate desire to follow Jesus out of love for him and it’s good. Real good.
Over time however we can allow our sin nature to creep in and we can begin to finagle and rationalize our way out of obeying what Jesus has said. Sometimes to compensate for the reality of our disobedience we begin to point to all that we’re doing for God, all that we’ve given up for God, and maybe how we’ve been mistreated for God. We want him to take note of our sacrifice.
But, listen to the Prophet Samuel as he corrects King Saul when Saul tried to cover up his rebellion with sacrifices:
And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord ? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22 ESV)
There it is.”To obey is better than sacrifice.”
Here’s the truth: It matters little “all” we do or don’t do in sacrifice for God if we’re not obeying him. Much of what we “sacrifice” for God, he’s not even asked us to do. We end up adding our own stuff out of obligation, religious duty, to make up for our disobediance, maybe to please people…..the list goes on.
There are no needed additives or preservatives to Jesus’ commands. He just lovingly asks us to obey.
Spend some time laying your heart before God and asking him to point to what you’ve been adding that he’s not asked of you. Then take some time to hear his voice on what he’s commanded you to do that you’ve been putting off, avoiding, pushing back on or just plain ignoring.
Embrace what He’s saying. Commit to obey. Now act on that commitment out of love for Him.
Praying for you….and me.