Thursday, February 28, 2008

Meditation on Obedience

"I sought the Lord, and He answered me"

I am always amazed at the reaction of God when I come to him, pleading for mercy, after I have spat in the face of His Son by disobedience. It seems a torturous position for a child of God to be in when obedience is the one thing he longs for and seems to be the one thing that evades him. Could it be that the definition of obedience, rather than obedience herself, has evaded him? Or does he continue as he is treating obedience as perfection, keeping every commandment of God? And if he fails in this endeavor, he is sent away with such a tumult of guilt that no amount of grace can mend the wounds wrought by this cycle of apostasy. 

I am beginning to think that obedience is not synonymous with perfection. And perhaps I am taking far too much liberty in these definitions as I am not a worthy candidate to handle such lofty things and declare my meditations as true. Yet, if not only for my sake, my mind must make sense of these subjects for me to live to God. Could it be that obedience is the understanding that the cohesiveness of both chastity and grace perpetuate a lifestyle that is both humility before God and joy in Him? What I mean to say is that I think obedience is similar to what Romans 4 speaks about as rest:

"Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness"

It is the cohesiveness of both grace and chastity! Our fallen state necessitates grace because of our sin and yet our renewed creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) causes a longing to obey whatever the Father may ask. Our hearts break when we disobey Him  (and rightfully so) but they should never become hopeless if we indeed see that His Spirit bears witness of our son-ship (Romans 8:16). 

God has been gracious to me this morning. He has caused me to remember it was Him who saved me out of sin and this world, and it is Him that will continue to do so: that while I yet fail, He ever intercedes for me. And this truth causes me with great joy to run to Christ, my reward :) 

Sunday, February 17, 2008

What is the Kingdom Like?

"He said therefore, 'What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.' And again he said, 'To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened.'" Luke 13:18-21

How happy it makes me to read these verses! I am so often burdened with the weight of missions and evangelism that I sometimes forget we serve a sovereign King who rules every moving branch, every bolt of lightning, and even every car crash, accident, or mishap. Yet, the striving is made no less! In the very next section of verses Jesus commands us to strive to enter by the narrow gate. So, there is rest in His sovereignty and at the same time a call for striving to enter the kingdom. Praise God there is both rest and motivation in his sovereignty and his weighty requirements. Light me aflame with obedient passion, Lord! 
This is my hope: that my striving would somehow aid the kingdom in this growth. That my small, miniscule life on Earth would make a large impact for His glory not so that I can boast but that He may receive glory. May my joy be His glory, His 'advancement', His light. Not money, not fame, not comfort. Oh, to count those as loss compared to knowing my much so that it wouldn't phase me to give everything I have, have ever had, and will ever have so that His name would be proclaimed throughout the Earth. Jesus, let it be so :)
Let freedom reign: the freedom that we have found in Christ! That my flesh is no longer my master, and that I am free to give up everything I have. I am free to sacrifice myself. I am free to obey. And I thank God that this type of obedience cannot bring pride, for if it did it would not be obedience:

"Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, 'Come at once and recline at table'? Will he not rather say to him, 'Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink'? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty' "