12/15/10

Obey and Abide

Many of my friends, with whom I grew up, have forsaken all things related to God.  They may still claim to be Christians....maybe attend church once in a blue moon, but their lives are stark contrasts to everything that God has asked them to do.  They have forsaken His commandments and done what they wanted.  

I have to admit, sometimes I am overwhelmed with all the things that God has commanded me to do.  Usually it is in a particular character trait or attitude that He is trying to instill in me.  For example, forgiveness was the theme of last year.  After weeks, and then months of struggling to forgive, I gave up trying to do it on my own.  It was a very freeing event to have surrendered to God my inability to forgive on my own, and then see Him transform my heart so that I can honestly say I have forgiven that person.  Even though I did let God forgive through me, I still had to do my part.  I had to chose to think right things about that person.  I had to make myself forgive, and then the feelings came much later (still working on the feelings!)  I am still called to obey and although God does give me this power....there is still something for me to do.

So many commands by God can seem like a major burden!  Maybe that is why so many of my friends have drifted away....maybe that is why I seem to struggle so. 

So why do I continue obeying?  Why do I still strive to be holy....live a life that is God-honoring?  Because of the reward.  No, not the eternal reward (although I am looking forward to throwing my crown at the feet of Jesus).  It is the reward spoken about in John 15.


Murray put it this way:
"Obedience has reference to the positive keeping of the commandments of our Lord and the performance of His will in everything in which we know it. This is a possible degree of grace, and our Savior speaks here of the acceptance in Christ's strength of such obedience as we purpose in our heart. Faith in Christ as our Vine, in His enabling and sanctifying power, fits us for this obedience of faith and secures a life of abiding in His love....It is the wholehearted surrender in everything to do His will that gives access to a life in the abiding enjoyment of His love...Obey and abide. Gracious Lord, teach me this lesson, that it is only through knowing Your will that one can know Your heart, and only through doing that will one can abide in Your love. Lord, teach me that as worthless as is the doing in my own strength, so essential and absolutely indispensable is the doing of faith in Your strength, if I would abide in Your love."

I spoke in my last post about Abiding in God's Love...and the joy, peace, and comfort that comes in abiding in that love.  Here is the key: obedience.