Can God Get Glory from My Life?
by Dominique Henderson
Obedience. Now there is an interesting word. Its root word obey can mean so many things. However, what do those things look like in the life of a believer? Specifically, myself for the sake of argument. I look at the issues and problem areas in my life that I struggle in and I can link them all back to a common denominator—obedience. For the life of any follower of Christ, there is a necessity to obey the will of God. An absence of this imperative leads to an unlit path down the highly complex road of life we must all travel. The key is that while this road is travelled you can have confidence that you are not by yourself (being led of yourself) but by God. Today, let us look at some biblical examples of persons who had opportunities to follow God’s will for their lives, their choices, and the consequences of those choices. I love the word of God because in all these examples there is something different about all of these individuals that apply to my situation. In these examples, we will see how normal emotions and feelings like insecurity and mistrust can lead to disobedience of God’s will. We can learn from these examples how to keep these emotions and feelings in check so that we can follow the will of God for our own life.
A particularly interesting story is the story of King Saul. Known as Israel’s first king, Saul was tall, good-looking and seemed to be a person that should be very confident in whom he was. (See 1 Samuel 9) Nevertheless, an emptiness and shallowness of character was present in him because Saul was a very insecure individual that sought the praise of men rather than the will of God. Even in being chosen by God to be king, we find him hiding from the call despite the honor that he must have felt. (See 1 Samuel 10:21-22) Moreover, because of this insecurity, he ends up disobeying God and offering a sacrifice that only the priest of God was supposed to do. (See 1 Samuel 13:7-14) He disobeys explicit commands from God through the prophet Samuel about what to do regarding the punishment of a race of people on whom God had passed judgment. (See 1 Samuel 15) His consequence for his repeated disobedience was the removal of his heirs from the throne of Israel. Unfortunately, instead of repenting he rebels—further disobedience. So why is his story important? Because I believe it exemplifies just how far disobedience can take you. Saul’s disobedience to God was rooted in his insecurity of what people thought about him. He had such pride in himself that he would rather please the people rather than obey God in his actions. This pattern of behavior led to fresh soil for the seeds of a rebellious heart and attitude towards God. And that was only the inner turmoil. On the outside, it led to a miserable life while on the throne of Israel. It led to competition with David (his God-ordained replacement) for the applause of the people. And finally, to a sad suicidal death which shamed his legacy.
In Moses’ case, disobedience happened much later in his career, but it highlights the importance of finishing well not just starting well. (See article Be Sure to Finish Well) After Moses’ courageous call from the burning bush to his rod-facilitated miracles wrought by the hand of God, he led a life full of frustration dealing with the attitudes of the Israelite people. This emotional bombardment eventually led to the tarnishing mark on his legacy—not entering the Promised Land. A severe consequence considering that he was called to deliver a people to something he never experienced himself. You may say that God takes disobedience seriously. I would agree. What was so important or significant about his act of disobedience? I do not think it is rocket science, it was a blatant act of disobedience to God’s explicit instructions to speak to the rock instead of striking it that caused him to miss walking into the Promised Land. (See Numbers 20:7-12) But what that says to me is that often our lack of trust in God’s way of provision causes us to lose the provision altogether. I will insert another example to explain my point. Just as Adam and Eve walked in the garden unashamed in their nakedness and experienced the bountifulness of God’s provision, they lost all of that when they disobeyed God’s command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (See Genesis 2:17) They were left to resort to providing for themselves by the sweat of the man’s brow. (See Genesis 3:17-19) These examples show us that trusting in ourselves instead of trusting in God is a type of disobedience that causes us not to experience the provision of God. It is harsh considering what you lose, but God does not categorize sin. God views all sin as just sin. We are the only ones that label sin. Think of it this way, for any of your children that disobey your command and receive a consequence for doing so you want them to understand the reason behind the consequence and not just focus on the severity of the consequence, right? I believe God does the same. Rather than focus on the severity of Moses' consequence, we should focus on what preceded the consequence--disobedience. God has so much more than we can think and imagine for us, why would we limit him by a lack of trust in what he can do by disobeying his perfect will? He wants us to obey him and not resort to our own methods to handle our problems. Despite how much frustration or how many distractions we experience (as in the case of Moses). Despite how much we may be impressed upon to think that God does not have our best interest in mind (as in the case of Adam and Eve.)
So what should I realize?
1) God is who he said he is. The scripture says, But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
2) God will do what he says he will do. The scripture says, God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
3) I am who God says I am. The scripture says, Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
4) I can do what God says I can do. The scripture says, I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
5) God’s word is alive and active in me, because Holy Spirit empowers and dwells in me to carry out God’s will each day of my life. The scripture says, For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:
Be blessed and obey the perfect will of God.
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