Thursday, 2 November 2006

Obedience or Independence

From Ostwald Chambers

If you love Me, keep My commandments —John 14:15

Our Lord never insists obedience. He stresses very definitely what we ought to do, but He never forces us to do it.
We have to obey Him out of a oneness of spirit with Him.

That is why whenever our Lord talked about discipleship, He prefaced it with an "If," meaning, "You do not need to do this unless you desire to do so." "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself . . ." ( Luke 9:23 ). In other words, "To be My disciple, let him give up his right to himself to Me."

Our Lord is not talking about our eternal position, but about our being of value to Him in this life here and now.

The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear. If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.

If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself. (Iriny: Isn't that true for all human relationships as well? )

Jesus Christ will not force me to obey Him, but I must. And as soon as I obey Him, I fulfill my spiritual destiny.

My personal life may be crowded with small, petty happenings, altogether insignificant. But if I obey Jesus Christ in the seemingly random circumstances of life, they become pinholes through which I see the face of God. Then, when I stand face to face with God, I will discover that through my obedience thousands were blessed. (Iriny: just like sowing seeds.... you'll never know which one will grow into a tree....)

When God’s redemption brings a human soul to the point of obedience, it always produces. If I obey Jesus Christ, the redemption of God will flow through me to the lives of others, because behind the deed of obedience is the reality of Almighty God.

How this spoke to me: I asked my pastor friend, V this question few days ago: "Do you obey because you love God ? If so, what if one doesn't love God? Or you do what God says, and then you discover the Love of God for you? "

He answered that it's not a dichotomy, i analysed and think too much. It's not always chicken and egg argument. It's not a clear cut. It's all part of the mosaic.

I would think that You love God, you obey Him, eventhough sometimes you have to make a delibrate decision to lay down your own agenda and follow Him. It's not always a gut feelings. The more you lay down and sacrifice ( debatable whether what you did was actually a sacrifice, since there is joy in doing so in the end) yourself, the more you discover the love of God for you, the more you will respond to God's love, the more you will obey Him.

It's like cultivating a habit. The first time you do it, you feel uncomfortable and unsure. The second time you do it, the resistance is less. When you persevere, it becomes your lifestyle.

Of course, to have a lifestyle of loving others as how God loves us is a whole lifelong process.

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