Friday, June 22, 2007

If God Says

Does God ever "call" His children to not obey one of His commands, like missions, bearing children, telling the truth, etc? Can we say with a straight face that, "I am not called to missions" or "God does not want me to have children" or "If I am protecting my family I can lie"?

Every day I disobey, many times willingly, commands I know God has clearly given to those who follow Christ. I decide to be grumpy. I decide to be impatient. I am proud, selfish and unforgiving. Then there are times when we, I, disobey God's commands because I am not fully mature yet, not knowing it is sin.

Yet, once I am confronted with my sin, then I am responsible to obey or not. None of use are perfect, meaning without sin, but we press on and on and on for the prize:

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained."
Philippians 3:12-16

There are things in Scripture that are so clear and still many of us ponder, "What is God's will?" He has laid most of it out clearly: believe in His Son, do not lie, do not commit adultery, go make disciples, look after orphans and widows, do not be conformed to this world, do not get drunk with wine, be fruitful, do not divorce, etc. etc.

So what is our problem with just obeying? Are we ignorant to what God has said? Are we purposefully disobeying? Are we immature in our faith?

I think, depending on the person, the answer can be yes to all of the above questions. Still, disobedience is disobedience. Praise God for mercy and grace. He knows our weaknesses, excuses, stubborness and humanity. If there is any good in us it is Him.

These verses convict and comfort me at the same time:

Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.
John 14:21

We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.
I John 2:3

This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome...
I John 5:3

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
2 Peter 1:3

2 comments:

Spanish Morning said...

Good thoughts. My only question is what about fulfilled then put-on-hold obedience...such as having two kids and then stopping for a while. Being fruitful has been obeyed, but is putting it on hold for a few years disobedience or wisdom? Hmm...

Jaclyn said...

I think being a never-ending baby factory is not exactly what "being fruitful" means. :-P (What about the barren woman?) All things need to be balanced with wisdom and discernment. You and Matt have both. You have obeyed the command to be fruitful. You love your children because you wanted them and not because it was a duty. Everyone watching you sees that. :-)

Just the same, I do not think that people who have children just because they "have" to are obeying wholeheartedly.

It is all about the attitude to me. Obedience is not obedience unless it is done quickly (depending on the task), quietly, cheerfully and completely. That's the Q's and C's my parents drilled into us kids. So if I read my Bible because I have to I might be outwardly obeying but doing it only out of duty. In the same way I could be involved in missions without the heart for people.

I have been pondering this a lot lately. I want to be consistent and teachable. I want to accept others when I disagree with what they are doing. I want to follow hard after Jesus no matter what He asks me to do.

I cannot wait to chat with you because I have a ton more than this to share. :-)

I love you!