1999-05-11 - O: Obedience
The Holy Alphabet Series
Matthew 26:39 yet not as I will, but as Thou will.
"Obedience now, is a careful endeavour to give unfeigned obedience to all Gods commands, according to that measure of strength wherewith God doth enable us, Luke 16:14,15, 1 Pet. 4:2, 5:1, 1 John 3:3, 5:3." --Robert Port
The first rule of the order of St. Francis was implicit submission to the superior. Legend says that one day a monk proved insubmissive to the will of the superior and had to be subdued. A grave, deep enough to hold a man, was dug. The monk was put into it. The other monks began to shovel in the earth and the superior looked on, stern as death. When the earth reached the knees of the stubborn monk, the superior looked down, "Are you dead yet? Is your self-will dead? Do you yield?" There was no answer.
In the grave stood a man whose will was as iron. The burial continued, to the middle, to the shoulders, to the lips. The question was asked again, "Are you dead yet?" The monk was suffocating. Resistance was useless. The earth would soon cover him and he would be dead. His will was broken and he replied, "Yes, I am dead."
Well, Are you dead yet? Has your will, your stubborn, self-serving, unsanctified will been crucified with Christ? Do you know that, if you are a Christian, resistance is futile. Your will is going to be subdued, or it will be crushed. Can you say with Christ, "&hellp; not My will, but Thine be done?" (Luke 22:42)
Lets be clear, this is the toughest part of being a Christian. Many Christians wish to toss out the Moral Law of God and speak of the love of Jesus, or the freedom we have in Christ. We need both. We can't divorce obedience from love, or submission to the will of God from the freedom of being a follower of God. We must have both.
Being obedient to God means being Christlike. It is that tough, and ever elusive desire to be like Christ. What did Christ do? He emptied Himself, and made Himself nothing. (Philippians 2:5-11) If we are to be like Jesus or ask the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) question, we must be willing to obey and, in fact, really do what Jesus would have done.
I would like to repeat again what Port wrote above. It is worth reading again. Obedience is a "Careful endeavour". It is to aspire to follow "all Gods commands". This is the detail work of following Christ. It is no easy task, but it is the life call, and occupation of every follower of Christ.
"God commands nothing but what is beneficial. "O Israel, what doth the Lord require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, and to keep His statutes, which I command you this day, for your good?" To obey God, is not so much our duty as our privilege." Thomas Watson
"Judas heard all Christ's sermons." Thomas Goodwin
Soli Deo Gloria,
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