When obedience wanes…

SEAGULL and MOON

It is a life of obedience that testifies not only to the world but to ourselves that we are God’s children.

Sometimes we need to go back to the beginning, picking ourselves up and dusting ourselves off and starting over. We slipped up, maybe a smidgen, maybe a few thousand miles worth. But wrong is wrong and once we are rightly convicted we choose to humble ourselves, crawl to the Cross, and allow Him — the One who loves us in our good, our bad and everything else that we are in between and then some! — to love us back to obedient love that bends the knee to God and pushes past self to serve another.

I have been missing my Michael’s writing on Longings End, so today I visited his archived essays, which are all quite insightful, brimming with biblical truth.

And today’s lesson is on…

Obedience

It is only when we obey God’s laws that we can be quite sure that we really know him.  The man who claims to know God but does not obey his laws is not only a liar but lives in self-delusion.  But the more a man obeys God’s laws the more truly and fully does he show his love for him.  Obedience is the test of whether we really live “in God” or not.  The life of a man who professes to be living in him must live as Christ lived.  (1 John 2:3-6  J. B. Phillips translation)

I have often found the words of the Bible to be utterly direct and strong as if clad in steel with the ability to break down some of our favorite hiding places.  The words of the Bible penetrate and pierce, just as God says they will.  When digested by hungry souls, God’s word, empowered by His Spirit, goes right to work; convicting us of sin, encouraging us in faithfulness, training us in righteousness, exhorting us onto ever greater love, and examining our present claims of faith and love for God.

The words of the apostle John throughout his first letter slice their way more deeply into our vision of ourselves as children of God than perhaps anyplace else I know of in the Bible.  He uses firm clear language and leaves no vagaries  behind with which we might shelter ourselves against the awfulness of God.

John makes the point that an individual is not a Christian merely by saying it is so but because Christ, living within him or her is expressed through a life of obedience! 

A better proof of our sonship is this: that we, even to our own amazement, live lives not according to our own personal desires but His.  Jesus shed His blood on our behalf to bring us back to God.  There was no other means by which we could have achieved reconciliation with the Father.

His promises to the believer include the sharing of His very life with us.  Oh, the joy that fills a soul which sees our absolute

To finish reading Michael’s essay, please click here.

~sheila

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6 thoughts on “When obedience wanes…

  1. Dear Sheila
    For a long time I mistakenly thought this to mean that to show God we love Him, we had to obey Him. That brought fear and terror to my heart for deep down I believed Him to be an exact slave master that expected me to behave perfectly to show Him my love. The God I had in mind was not a lovable fellow. What a joy when He revealed to my heart that once we truly experience His love and forgiveness for ourselves, obedience to Him, and not the expectations of others about Him, becomes as natural as breathing! Who in their right minds would want to be disobedient to Love! Thanks to Michael, dear friend.
    Blessings XX
    Mia

    • “The God I had in mind was not a lovable fellow.” – I think this conclusion more common than we might be willing to recognize, Mia. And I wonder if the reason behind it has more to do with what we have been taught by others as opposed to what God himself teaches us.

      Thank you for your visits and thoughtful comments, Mia!

  2. This reminds me of Mary Bonner’s post I read today about intending to do something versus actually doing it. Our “best intentions” aren’t necessarily obedience; obedience requires our doing it. Thanks for reminding us.

    • Ay, we mustn’t be content with our good intentions alone. As you point out, we must translate these good intentions into the world around us through actions–something that requires a lot more effort!