[All quotes from the devotional “Our Father Cares” and KJV Bible.]
Just before having my devotional time for the day, I was thinking about how often I’ve refused to change my way of thinking purely because I didn’t want to, even when that way of thinking really didn’t make much sense to begin with (hey, I thought I knew everything when I was 20, okay?).
I also thought about how we refuse to change or refuse to do something even when we know better.
Why do we do that?
Immediately after I had those thoughts, I jumped into my devotional time for the day and wouldn’t you know it…
My devotional text (Hebrews 12) just so happened to reflect what I had just been thinking.
Coincidence? Perhaps. But highly unlikely.
So commenced this post.
In a culture where what we as the individual feels or thinks takes priority, it’s easy to go down a path of self-interest and self-preservation. We are in an era of #selfies and #selfcare, after all.
Okay so now I’m going to narrow it down to talking mainly about those of us choosing not to follow biblical principles or heeding God’s word because it goes against what we want or goes against our own ways and habits.
Phew let’s shake it out. I feel like my brain has already run a marathon.
So those of us who call ourselves Christians don’t want to think of ourselves as not being “doers of the Word.” Otherwise, why even call ourselves Christians, right?
But there are many of us who do just that.
We aren’t doers of the Word.
We don’t “relish the wholesome reproofs and earnest appeals” found in God’s word.
He refuse. We rationalize. We say God’s word evolves to fit our lifestyle (there’s that self-centeredness again.)
It’s easy to go that way. When we tell ourselves we don’t need to change, we try to find reasons to back that up.
But is that real obedience to God?
What says the Word? What does it actually say?
And when we see what it actually says, are we willing to trust God and follow it, no matter how contrary to our own desires it may be?
“The essence and flavor of all obedience is the outworking of a principle within—the love of righteousness, the love of the law of God.”
Do we have that love?
Do we seek to first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness?
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. KJV — Hebrews 12:11
When we decide to walk down a path God has revealed to us, it often feels like we’re swimming upstream…during an ice storm…in the dark.
Why can’t I just take that other, sunny-and warm-lazy-river-with-clear-blue-water route instead?
But it’s only after we’ve passed through the storm with our Captain that we begin to see the result of our endurance.
The endurance through chastening is what sharpens our character, is what tests our faith.
We must trust God and ask Him to guide and lead us as we change our habits, change our erroneous ways of thinking.
Our previous habits or ways of thinking don’t have to defile or define us forever.
We can trust in God’s grace and rely on that to carry us through.
We don’t have to be like Esau, who lost his right to his inheritance because he faced and uncomfortable situation and chose the easy way out (Genesis 25:31-34).
We have a royal, heavenly inheritance. Are we willing to lose it because one change of habit is too uncomfortable?
Who will we trust? Ourselves and our feelings? what other people tell us? Or will we trust what God has stated in His word and trust in the grace and power He provides for us?
Let us not be shaken, friends.
Let us rely on God’s word and rely on the power He provides for us to overcome.
Trust and obey.
“The essence of all righteousness is loyalty to our Redeemer, doing right because it is right.”
Doing right because it is right.
Yes, choosing what is right might be vastly different from what other people are choosing, and standing up for principle isn’t always popular and will cause people to turn their back on you (John 15:19).
Know that. Expect that. And then press forward…
Let us choose life, choose the blessing, choose obedience (Deuteronomy 30).
Trust and obey. Choose and live.