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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Serious Obedience

Matthew 7:21-23 (The Message) ".....What is required is serious obedience...doing what my Father wills. I can see it now - at the final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, "Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking. And do you know what I am going to say? .......You don't impress me one bit......"

Here's my thought: I understand the obedience factor - that God lays out the best plan for life in his word and we must be obedient in order to have the best life possible. My problem is that I like to be obedient in certain areas of my life, and at certain seasons of my life. Understanding God's word, studying God's word, reading God's word is not what counts - the measure of righteousness is in the doing. It is in the doing that I have the biggest struggle with my flesh. My rebellious nature is difficult to tame and bring into submission. I can immediately think of several areas where I am not walking in full obedience to God's word.

The other thought: How many "God-sponsored projects" have I been a part of in my lifetime? In retrospect, there is a lot of "stuff" in church that we did with good intentions that had very little to do with increasing our intimate walk with Christ. I am mulling over in my head how much "stuff" we do in American church - is that helping or hindering us in growing closer to Christ? There is certainly a balance to be found - ministry is important - I just have wondered some lately about how corrupted my view of Christianity and Church might be because of my culture and background. It seems that maybe we have made a really big production out of something that God designed with simplicity. Don't have all the right answers on this one, just beginning to roll it around in my head.

One last thought - I hope the term "serious obedience" is meant to reflect the desire of our heart to be sincere and humble in obedience, not lacking a sense of humor. I have no desire to return to legalism after being set free.

Unrelated - tonight the family is sitting down at the supper table, alone. My children are confused by this. Why did we not invite anyone to come over tonight? What a change of mind-set from a few years ago when people ate with us on rare and special occasions. I like the changes in our family's life - that our children have come to expect hospitality and are now confused when there are no people at our home.

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