Kingdom Leader: Obedience
We recently put down our dog of 12 years. (Paislie) was a hoot. Fun, high-energy, and she'd jump all over you -- guest or otherwise. Lick your face, chase a ball, and come back for 50 more rounds. Great with our kids.
The other side of her: We'd find her down the street in some neighbor's garage. She'd run away from you just for the fun of it and show up on your porch 20 minutes later. She'd eat just about anything in sight. She'd bark until she had attention.
As a result, I am currently scheduling dog trainings for any of you that are interested. Fees start at $150 per hour.
I think we have a large problem on our hands. It goes beyond "bringing the Bible back in schools" and being able to pray in public gatherings. Those are important matters that deserve another conversation.
The problem is obedience.
I am convinced that many of us professing Christian families have been heavily influenced by the naturalist and post-modern culture we live in. In other words, our Christian "success" comes by raising somewhat moral children that generally follow the philosophy of our culture: all that matters is caring deeply about what you do and being passionate about it. It doesn't matter what you do or why you do it. We navigate the tracks of life through feelings and passion.
My own life experience has shown that being free to just do what I want can have serious consequences. Maybe you can relate.
The teachings of Jesus are just as striking today as they were 2,000 years ago.
Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it.
You love me if you obey my commands.
Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord' and not do what I say?
There are many questions to answer with respect to obedience: How do I learn to obey Jesus? How do I help my child learn to obey Him? How does a school community help a child learn to obey Him? How do we avoid legalism while maintaining growth?
Let me suggest that we need to start with a vision of obedience to Christ.
In 1887, John H. Sammis penned it beautifully:
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, What a glory He sheds on our way! While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
We're learning to obey Him.
It's the best life available to anyone who will submit themselves to Him. It's not cumbersome or dogmatic. It's freedom, blessing, and joy found in obeying the One who is worthy to be followed.
I don't mean to oversimplify, but everything else -- including fulfilling my own personal freedom -- is just not that interesting.