DAILY DISCIPLINE #16
By Colleen Donahue
"Obey my voice and I will be your God...." Jeremiah 7:23
From the very beginning, God's love for men and women was shown in creating us with free wills. He could have made us like little robots that would automatically choose to love and follow Him, but that wouldn't have been a real love. Real love demands a choice. God isn't looking for blind followers, but for men and women who really love Him and are willing to show that love by obeying Him. That's the pivot point of the scale: obedience. We either obey or we don't, and whatever we choose reaps its own set of consequences and clearly shows our Father whether we love Him or not.
For me, learning to hear God's voice and acting on it has come the hard way. I'd like to share with you an incident in my "Hall of Shame" that made a life-long impression on me.
About 3 years after graduating from college I felt the Lord putting it on my heart to contact a friend of my college roommate that I also had acquaintance with. Becky had a vague interest in God but had never acknowledged Jesus as her Saviour and certainly was not living her life for the God that made her and loved her. Although I strongly felt that I should contact her and talk with her about the direction she was choosing for her life, I also reasoned that 3 years had passed and it would be inappropriate.
I continued to be bothered about her but still made no move to obey that inner prompting. A week passed and I hadn't done a thing. The Lord then brought her to me. In fact, I practically ran her over with my bicycle one evening going home. I was startled to see her and she was quite happy to see me, so we started to talk. Here was my chance to tell her about Jesus and His concern for her life but 15 minutes passed in trivia and we went on our way.
I was troubled upon leaving her but once again reasoned my way around what God was asking of me. I made no effort to recontact her. Another week passed and I decided to go to the university swimming pool one evening. Who should be there but Becky! She immediately commented on what a coincidence it was to run into each other twice after 3 years! I knew better -- God was arranging it all. We enjoyed a nice evening but still, I didn't get to the point. My conscience was killing me and so at our parting, I asked her if she'd like to come to church with me next Sunday and then have lunch afterward. She readily accepted and I felt much better. I reasoned that our pastor could explain about a relationship with Jesus much better than I could. Then, I could gently ease into a discussion with her over lunch.
Sunday came and I picked Becky up for our service. The sermon was great but much to my dismay, Becky told me she hadn't been able to concentrate. She had so many other things on her mind! Lunch was agony because she wanted to talk about everything else but God. Once again I reasoned I would ask her out at a better time.
The very next day -- Monday evening -- I received a phone call from Becky's mother. Becky had been killed that afternoon in a car accident. Her mom was calling a list of friends that she kept by the phone - my name was on the top.
Obedience is not an option if we have committed our lives to Jesus and wish to express our love to Him. It's the pivot point between life and death. I'm not proud of this story but it's my hope in telling it that we'll see that .....
Obedience is Crucial
Day 1- How are we to obey God?
Deuteronomy 26:16 / 2 Chronicles 31:21 / 2 Chronicles 34:31
Day 2 -What should our response be when we are asked to do something by the Lord or someone else in authority over us?
Matthew 4:19-20 / Matthew 9:9
Day 3 -How is obedience linked with success?
Joshua 1:8 / 2 Chronicles 24:20
Day 4 -If we "almost obey" God, will that count with Him?
1 Samuel 15:18-26
Day 5- What is an important criterion for entering God's kingdom?
Matthew 7:21 / Hebrews 5:9
Day 6 -What was God's promise to Israel if they obeyed Him?
Exodus 19:5/ Deuteronomy 5:29 / Isaiah 1:19
Day 7 - What was the result of disobedience for the Israelites?
Deuteronomy 28: 15-68 / Isaiah 1: 20
The following stories are examples of disobedience from the Bible. Write down the consequences as you read.
Day 8 -Adam & Eve
Day 9 -Lot's wife
Genesis 19:15-17, 26
Day 10- Moses
Day 11 -Saul
I Samuel 13:13-14
Note: It may seem a small thing to us but Moses was told to "speak" to the rock -- not strike it twice in anger. God was still gracious to give them water from the rock but that disobedience came with a great price to Moses.
Day 12 -Jonah
Day 13 -How is Noah an example of true obedience?
Day 14 -How was Christ an example of obedience?
Day 15- What was the result of Christ's obedience?
Day 16- What does God promise us if we obey Him?
I Kings 3:14 / Job 36:11 / Zechariah 3:7 / James 1:25 / I John 3:22
Day 17- What is a direct result of obeying Christ's commands?
Day 18- How did Christ learn obedience?
Day 19- How is our obedience the foundation of our character?
Matthew 7:24 / Luke 6:47-49
Day 20- What is the penalty for disobedience?
I Samuel 12:15 / Ephesians 5:6 / 2 Thessalonians 1:8 / Hebrews 2:1-3
Day 21- Is obedience essential to membership in God's family?
Day 22- Obedience is the key to spiritual knowledge.
Day 23- How do we enter into divine fellowship with Jesus and His Father and the Holy Spirit?
Day 24- Will God ever ask us to do something contrary to what might seem right?
Day 25 Even though we have skill and ability in a certain area, the Lord may require us to do something exactly His way.
Day 26- How do we know God's command?
Numbers 9:23 / Joshua 11:15 / 2 Kings 18:6
Day 27- How else?
Luke 2:39 / Acts 26:19
Note: The most common way God speaks to us is through His Word. That's what Mary and Joseph were doing when they went up to Jerusalem to fulfill the law. Occasionally, as God did with Paul, He will allow us to see or hear him in a more unusual way such as the vision that Paul saw. But this is by far not the most common way that God speaks with us.
Day 28- Sometimes God will ask for our obedience, even if we have been doing the exact thing He is asking without results.
Luke 5:5-6 / John 21:5-6
Day 29- Outward obedience is a step forward but there's an even deeper level that God wants to bring us to.
2 Corinthians 10:5b
Note: When our thinking aligns with God's thinking then it's natural to want to obey from the heart as well as the head.
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