God has always required obedience to His commandments from man. In the Old Covenant, the Israelites were given commandments to obey. But they discovered that they could not keep God's laws perfectly. Under the New Covenant, God promises to write His laws in our hearts and minds so that we will not only obey Him but LOVE to obey Him. "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances."(Ezek. 36:27) It is only through obeying His commandments that we can have fellowship with God. Obedience however is something that many believers have not understood. Most believers have so misunderstood `grace' that they consider obedience to be an Old Covenant requirement. God's commandments, as a result, are considered to be a heavy burden. This is a Satanic deception. It is the result of an ignorance of God's love. All of God's commandments are for our good and are meant to set us free. They all originate in the heart of a God Who loves us perfectly. Moses says (concerning God giving His laws to Israel at Sinai), "At God's right hand there was a fiery law for His people - indeed (this proves that) He loves His people" (Deut.33:2,3 - margin). The fact that God gives us His laws is a proof of His intense love for us. Some of God's commandments may require self-denial on our part. But in the long run we will discover that they are for our very best. A father doesn't give commands to his children to burden them or harm them - but only to help them. This is how we need to see the commands that God gives us too. To have faith is to believe in a God Who is perfect in Love. When we have such faith, we will delight to do God's commandments, at any cost. Herein lies the reason for so much of our defeat. The Devil has convinced many of us that God's commandments are either unnecessary, or a burden. If we do'nt understand why God calls us to do something, that only proves our own immaturity. One day, when we are a little more mature, we WILL understand. When little children are compelled to go to school, they don't understand why their parents won't allow them to stay at home and play. They may think their parents are being very hard towards them. But it is out of love for the children that the parents compel them to get an education. Like those little children, we too don't often understand God's ways. But if we believed in His love, we would obey all His Word and submit to all His dealings, without any question. Consider the matter of suffering. Why does a God of love allow us to go through suffering? That's because suffering is a part of the syllabus in our spiritual education. It is through suffering that God leads us on to maturity. If you have not had much opportunity to suffer, you certainly could not have learnt much in life that has any spiritual value. Perhaps you grumbled and complained so much the last time you had a little suffering, that God has allowed you to go your own way now. That is sad, when God puts you on the shelf like that. I'd rather go through suffering every day of my life than be set aside by God on a shelf. It is foolish to compare ourselves with others, when God leads us through the pathway of suffering. That would be like your children wondering why they have to go to school when the children in the slums can play in the mud all day. All of God's dealings with us are in perfect love. He wants us to be happy - not with the superficial, frothy happiness of the world, but with that deep, everlasting happiness that comes through holiness of life. And there is just no way to be holy except through suffering. "He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness."(Heb.12:10). Jesus was the happiest man that ever walked this earth. Yet He was the One Who suffered the most. His happiness came out of doing the will of His Father - not by having an easy way through life. He knew His Father as perfect Love and so He joyfully submitted to all that the Father sent His way. That was the secret of His whole life.
Yes, we can be so shortsighted and see the circumstances around us without understanding the spirit of it. When we know the true reason and the right spirit that we should be in, we will understand that God is guiding us into paths of His righteousness and that the devil will do all he can to stop us from walking that path.
May we learn to submit God more and more.
Thanks for sharing, Sister Tina
From Hwa Silverpen
This is something that I try to remember: God is my good and loving Father, even when I'm walking on a "path" which may be dark and difficult. His way, even if I don't understand it, is best and therefore while it may harm my body, it will NOT harm me as long as I keep my hand tightly clasped in His and don't try zipping off on my own.
We must understand that God is God, whether in the sunshine or in the storm. He is God and He loves and cares for us... whether we see Him or not.
I always like to think of the time the disciples were out in the boat in the storm. Surely they thought about the time when Jesus had stilled the storm and were agonizing over the fact that He was not in the boat with them. What we often fail to realize is Jesus was the one who sent them out to meet the storm in the first place! Surely He knew when he sent them out in their boat what would happen.
In the midst of the storm, they could not see Him prepare to leave the shore, they did not see Him start out across the water walking towards them. But... oh Tina! HE saw them! He knew exactly where they were even if they didn't know exactly where He was. Though they could not at the moment see, hear or feel Him, He was there with them in the storm and they were safe all the time. When the time was right, they saw Him and He delivered them.
How I love this story for it reminds me that no matter how dark and stormy it is, Jesus is out there in that storm whether are see Him or not and...He is Lord over the storm.
Good blog. You are right. We have rules to follow for our own good. Where are these rules written? - in the Bible of of course. Studying the Bible is then fundamental to being a Christian. Not reading it would be like a small child who sticks his fingers in his ears every time mom or dad begin to instruct him. Keep blogging.
God showed us, when doing the Spiritual Training (Relationship) series, that "the wounding of our heart, mind or body" is an act of intimacy between God and His beloved child. When we look at the relationship of the Father and the Son we see this - as Jesus learned obedience through suffering. He was really being trained to endure the cross.
And we, as the Bride Of Christ, have a special intimacy with God through what we endure. There is much to be said concerning this.
If that is our outlook then we have an exceptional joy in our lives. If our trials are all about intimacy with God, then what of the blessings!
LOVE is the key for God is LOVE. Anything done solely out of LOVE is no longer work but pleasure. While going about and doing the good works God has called us to do we are not working for earnings but freely giving of ourselves and our services out of our love of God and others. It is a sacrifice coming from and through LOVE. If we are seeking a return then it is no longer a sacrifice but an investment. God tells us not to expect a return: "Freely you have received, freely give." Most think money when they consider this. However, in script, it is speaking of good works.
LOVE is always the answer for God is LOVE.
Good blog sister.