OBEDIENCE – Each door opens to a deeper life!
Whenever you open a door that you have never seen before you never know what’s behind it!
Reminds me of a newspaper story I read - about a burglar who stalked the neighborhood watching for homes left unguarded by people leaving for vacation. He watched as a family loaded their suitcases into their car and departed. He waited until dark and approached the front door and rang the bell. There was no answer. The burglar neatly picked the lock and let himself in. He called into the darkness, `Is anybody home?' He was stunned when he heard a voice in reply, `I see you, and Jesus sees you.' Terrified, the burglar called out, `Who's there?' Again the voice came back, `I see you and Jesus sees you.' The burglar switched on his flashlight and aimed it in the direction of the voice. He was instantly relieved when his light revealed a caged parrot reciting the refrain, `I see you, and Jesus see you.' The burglar laughed out loud and switched on the lights. Then he saw it. Beneath the parrot's cage was a huge Doberman pinscher. Then the parrot said, `Attack, Jesus, attack!!!'"
What’s important is to know that when we open a door we have the confidence that where we are going is better for us and will take us to where we want to be! This is what obedience guarantees. We may not know exactly where it leads us, but we can count on the fact that it will be where our heart desires! We saw that the first door that is opened is the Door of Repentance. Let’s look at two other doors:
Obedience opens the Door of Blessing
Deuteronomy 11:26–28 “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today; 28 and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known.
Jesus – the only person that expressed unconditional love in history – makes it clear that – although we are unconditionally accepted when it comes to relationship, yet, when it comes to fellowship, that is based on how we live moment to moment!
John 15:7–11 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9 “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
Obedience is also the Door of Purity
We want to be Pure, but to live this way is not only a desire; it is an action of life! When we choose to be obedient we will experience our life becoming Pure!
Deuteronomy 13:4–5 “You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. 5 “But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against the Lord your God who brought you from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from among you.
We are commanded to make a choice:
1 Thessalonians 5:22 abstain from every form of evil.
2 Timothy 2:16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness,
1 John 2:15–17 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
1 Peter 1:22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,
This is the most significant insight I have ever heard on the subject of motivation. It is almost "unheard of". It comes from a card picked up at a medical clinic by a member of the Skyline Wesleyan church:
"We hear it almost every day. I just can't get myself motivated to lose weight, test my blood sugar, etc., and we hear an equal number of sighs from diabetes educators who can't get their patients motivated to do the right things for their diabetes and for their health. And we have news for you: Motivation is not going to strike you like lightning, and motivation is not something that someone else (nurse, doctor, family member) can bestow or force upon you. The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it. Exercise, lose weight, test your blood sugar, or whatever. Do it without motivation. And then guess what. After you start doing the thing, that's when the motivation comes and makes it easy for you to keep on doing it. Motivation is like love and happiness. It's a by-product. When you actively are engaged in doing something it sneaks up on you, and zaps you when you least expect it. Or as Harvard psychologist Jerome Broomer says, `You are most likely to act your way into feeling, than to feel yourself into action.' So act! Whatever it is that you know you should do, do it."
Meditation Questions: Do you make excuses for your sin? Why? Do you think God owes you anything? What? Do you desire His blessing? What do you need to do to see that happen? Salvation is by grace alone, is Blessing also? Explain. What does it mean to you to Pure? Explain. Can you be pure without being obedient? Explain.