Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Whose Your Boss

"Then the angel of the Lord ordered Gad to tell David to go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jesusite. So David went up in obedience to the word that Gad had spoken in the name of the Lord" (I Chron. 21:18-19). Have you ever thought "Boy it would be great if there was some sort of instruction manual for life." Well the good new is there is, its called the Bible. Imagine if you bought a new car and while reading the owner's manual you objected to the statement "Never put anything other than unleaded fuel in the car's gas tank." Suppose you said 'They are so narrow minded and restrictive. Water is much cheaper, I have an endless supply, and I will use it." You would damage the car because you refused to believe the manual. Likewise, to disregard the Bible and to live outside of God's will is detrimental to our well-being. It is to live diametrically opposite to the way we were designed. David was commanded to build an altar and he did what he was told to do. Even when God's revealed will runs counter to our intuition it is the right way to live. Obedience pays huge dividends. Response is unavoidable, we may ignore, resist or reject God's initiatives and requirements, or we may respond in positive obedience. Despite appearances to the contrary, God's commands are not burdensome (I John 5:3). Disobedience to God always produces more pain than obedience to God. If God is really a loving God, then the things He asks of us are best for us. God being sovereign, He and He alone can arrange our life circumstances to bring about what is best for us. Jesus told His disciples that their obedience to Him was the clearest demonstration of their love for Him. If you love me, you will obey what I command...if anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. (John 14:15, 23-24). Have you ever regretted an act of obedience to God? How about an act of disobedience? We all know that disobedience leads to a life of regret. The more we know about God, the more we can trust Him. The more we trust Him, the more we love Him. The more we love Him, the more we will obey Him. The more we obey Him, the more we will learn about the trustworthiness of God. I make every choice in my life on right thinking, wrong thinking or emotions. Only the first option will result in good choices. Do we really want God, or do we just want his blessings? If we seek God only for the good things He can give to us, we will miss out on the relationship He invites us into.However if we seek His face we have access to whatever is in His hand. There are times we will find ourselves backed into a corner. That's when it's crisis time: "Obey God and lose the deal," "Obey God and kill the chance for a promotion." For Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego it was, "Obey God and lose your life." At that level obedience has to be based on what is real. To these three men the furnace was real, the threat on their life was real, the choice they faced was real. But what is really important is their God is real. The question was "Who gave the order?" They must answer to a higher Sovereign. We, like these men of old, must daily choose who we will obey. David was given the order to build and he obeyed. We grow spiritually in the realm of obedience. What if God froze your heart where it is today? What would you be like for the rest of your life? Are you where you want to be in the area of obedience? Who are you obeying? Give some thought to these questions, it could change your life. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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