Obedience is one of those words like “discipline.” Not popular either one of them, yet both separate the whining cry babies from the mature adults amongst us. For believers in Jesus Christ, obedience matures our faith and transforms us into the image of Christ (a work never completed during our lifetimes). In our humanity our flesh tugs at us to rebel or be tempted in directions other than the leading of the Holy Spirit. But by focusing on His incredible gift of grace, studying His holy Word, and submitting to the leading of the Holy Spirit we will end in a better place for sure. I have seen it in my own life and in the lives of others. His will is best. His timing is best. Why? Because He loves us and because He is God!
These thoughts came to me after reading an interview of Ravi Zacharias in the RZIM Summer 2015 newsletter and listening to a message by Pastor Paul Mowery of Harvest Fellowship in Leo, Indiana. At the close of his message on Romans 11, Pastor Paul encourages us to “be about worship,” praising His great name for having mercy on us as recipients of the Lord’s grace. We are not to dwell on what each of us may have done that draws attention to ourselves. We are to be about Him: worshipping our Father God.
Lately I am struggling with these themes. Many of my posts here have tried to pull something meaningful out of the challenges of a wretched illness. As the days wear on with the setbacks of late, I have found myself literally screaming out my anger at God with the wails that accompany the convulsive seizures. “Why do you hate me?” Oh yeah, it’s bad. Even my beloved Steve who has been at my side during a fair amount of this hell admits his anger at God. And we are convinced that this is an o.k. thing to do. It is not an o.k. place to stay, however. And it is certainly not an acceptable attitude to act upon.
You simply cannot be angry at someone whom you do not love dearly. Such is our dilemma. We both love the Lord, Jesus Christ, and are humbled, grateful for His mercies in each of our lives. We have so much goodness between us! We are grateful for so much! And in our humanity we are broken and don’t like the brokenness. Way down deep we are hurting and it is this hurt that fuels the anger. Admitting this will be the way out, the way back to fellowship, the discipline that will bring obedience, the song of worship yet to come . . .
7 So, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion,
during the time of testing in the wilderness, (Hebrews 3)
Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. 2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. (Hebrews 3)
6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1)
Today with the faith of a mustard seed (that I understand is rich in nutrients of which I am needing anyways!) I will choose to honor and worship the Lord, my King. He has built this frame in which I dwell and within it dwells the Holy Spirit. Broken or not, it is the vessel from which I will praise His name all of my days. I lay my angst on His mighty throne of grace, with great expectation of His promise to redeem it for His glory.
May He be glorified in all. My Jesus. My all in all. Worthy of our praise. Worthy is this Lamb of God! JJ