16 May Obedience Or Celebration: Choose One
One of the reasons why it is difficult for many to get sold out on God, is because deep inside our male psyche is a desire to be celebrated as one of our esteemed celebrities.
Years ago I had this question rise in my heart as I stayed in fellowship with the Lord during one of those times of “heart-to-heart” discussions. “Would you rather obey Me or be celebrated”. My answer was “I thought obedience will lead to being celebrated”. The answer came back to me,” Obedience will not necessarily lead to celebration, you will need to choose. If you choose obedience, you will leave your celebration in My hands”.
Obedience to God needs to be with the right motive.
The right motive should be love. Love for God, that is.
It should also be with the right focus-Christ should be the focus. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, denied the shame and is set on the right hand of the Father. He is our inspiration in obedience. It was sufficient to just obey God and please Him by our obedience. Remember that Eve was told that the fruit will make her wise. God simply said not to eat, eating will lead to death. God’s character was questioned; obedience became a hard thing as motives and focus were polluted as Satan suggested that God had other ulterior motives in mind. You will not be celebrated if you walk in obedience? Is that not a well established line of thinking from our un-renewed minds? We need to present our bodies a living sacrifice, not allow ourselves to be conformed to this world’s system of thinking, and then we can renew our minds so we can prove the will of God in our lives. An un-renewed mind is a sure tool in Satan’s line of allies.
Whenever we add other considerations, we can get easily distracted in our obedience to God. Think about everything we can obey God about and find out the trace of pride or selfishness that wars against our simple obedience. We should make up our minds to obey God because we love Him and we want to do it for His glory not ours. God is not against our being celebrated but if it becomes our focus or purpose, we shall be easily distracted from God’s will for our lives. It is true sometimes obedience has a tendency to make us look foolish in the eyes of the world, it is only temporary, and on the long run we shall find that obedience is our best bet in life. The way of the rebellious is hard. What seems right to men usually lead to destruction.
Many things are important in life. Some are very important. Having healthy relationships with the right people in your life is one of the most important things in life. This is because for there to be meaning in life, relationships must be defined, cultivated and maintained. It is known that when God wants to bless us, He usually sends someone into our lives. Unfortunately Satan does the same when he wants to carry out his assignment against us. Hurts are very painful when they come through the close loved ones. Real fulfilment also happens when we have healthy close relationships to share life with. There are various levels of closeness in relationships and each of them have their contribution that they make into our lives. When the Word says that we should comprehend with all saints what is the length, breath and height and to know the love of Christ which passes understanding etc. It sounds like we all have dimensions we can comprehend and it takes receiving the dimension that others have received to give us the full picture. The corporate expression of the Body of Christ is to show how each part plays a part for the whole to be healthy. Many things help define our roles in relationships but one thing that stands out in having healthy relationships is our thinking. Relational thinking is the thinking process that covers the various dimensions that make for healthy relationships. I call it the 4 track thinking process. I learnt it by observing my wife’s sensitivity to other people. The four dimensions are as follows: 1. What you want to do or say; 2. What the other person wants to do or say; 3. How what you want to do or say will affect what the other person wants to do or say; 4. What you will do or say having considered what the other person will be free to do or say, having the liberty to choose their words and actions.
- What you want to do or say; this is the only track that many have. Once they judge that whatever they want to do or say is good in view of their intentions, the action or words are good enough. They think, is it true? Is it necessary to say or do from their personal perspective? So they have their principles and their decision is deemed right in their own eyes
- What the other person may want to do or say; this calls for a stretch in our thinking process. Given certain boundaries, we should be able to draw the lines around what the other person may freely do or say. This sounds like speculative thinking
- The effect our actions or words will have on the other person. How will our words affect others? Will they hear with a right perspective or warped one? Will others feel edified or rejected? Will our words minister grace to the hearers? Can we be positive in the midst of negative things.
- What we shall eventually do or say having gone through the process enumerated here. Let us go ahead and be a blessing not return evil for evil according to God’s word.
Think on these things.