It seems to be everywhere for me this week. God is reminding me over and over that he wants his people (specifically me) to obey him. Here is my Life Journal entry from today (9/8/09):
I have told you today, but you still have not obeyed the LORD your God in all that he sent me to tell you. — Jeremiah 42:21
(Read the whole chapter here. It is really good.)
Sometimes even with all the information, people still choose to ignore, disobey, and walk away from God. These Israelites came to Jeremiah and asked him to pray to God and find out what they should do. God answers them and is very clear on what he wants them to do. He is graphic in describing the consequences if they disobey. He reiterates that bad things will happen if they disobey. And they still – after asking for his instruction – choose to flat-out disobey God. (And I’m gonna guess that when the predicted consequences come to pass, the people will find a way to accuse God of abandoning them!)
Obey God. Do what he says. He makes it clear what he wants from me. He tells me what will happen if I don’t. It is up to me to obey him.
God, thank you for being true and faithful. Your Word is clear in telling me how you want me to live. You are love and I want to obey you. Help me to obey fully and completely and always.
What keeps you from obeying God?
You know that distinctive sound of an object being thrust into a box fan? Kind of a really fast repetitive thud? Yeah – I had the pleasure of hearing that noise a few nights ago as my kids were playing upstairs. Followed by a gasp.
“What hit the fan?” was my immediate – and a little bit worried – question. Nathan sheepishly came down the stairs holding his hand. “What hit the fan?” I asked again.
“I think my finger got in there.”
“You think your finger got in there?”
How many times do we give God those kind of answers?
“I think some unloving words came out of my mouth.”
“I think my temper got lost.”
“I think my eyes looked at those pictures. Again.”
This Sunday I talked to the Renovate men about obedience. We looked at John 14.15 – “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” For followers of God, obedience is not an option. God is love and we want to obey him.
But Nathan’s experience with the fan teaches us another important lesson: When we disobey God, we hurt ourselves. Are you lying to your employer? Guess who gets fired when they find out. Looking at images or movies you shouldn’t be? Guess whose relationships are going to be destroyed. Putting control, pleasure, image, wealth…ahead of God? Guess whose life will be empty, lonely, and filled with fear.
Fortunately Nathan’s finger didn’t suffer any damage this time. But he certainly learned the lesson we have told him time and time again. Will you be wise enough to learn that lesson, too.
“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” — Jesus
Filed under Main, Ministry
It is so fun to see God move in people’s lives! This past weekend, I got to be a part of it firsthand. 71 men from Real Life left the city to encounter God in the mountains for 48 hours. And encounter God we did!
Here are a few pictures (great shots, Orlando!), but pictures only tell part of what happens when men make an intentional effort to turn off the noise of the world and tune into the forgiveness and freedom God is speaking into our hearts.
I know we spent most of our time in James, but I am reminded of Philippians 1 – “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 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.”
Guys, I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see God “carry on to completion” the 71 “good works” He began this weekend! And I can’t wait to see all of you again this Sunday!