Today we’re wrapping up our 3-part series on The Key to Your Life
If you missed part one and two, catch these two links:
Obedience is Difficult, Hellacious, Exacting, and Hard. We can’t deny it. We would be fools to even try.
But Obedience is also Liberating! Fulfilling. Life-giving. Refreshing. Rejuvenating. Restorative. Reviving.
Why? Because when we’re determined to make obedience a deliberate daily decision, we discover our relationship with Jesus Christ deepens and we become more like Him.
But let’s not stop there!
Obedience is also
- How we seek and find God.
- How we chase after His heart and abide in His presence.
- How we discover our purpose and calling.
- How we learn to produce quality fruit and live victoriously.
- How we find healing and let our scars shine to reflect God’s glory.
- How we get back on track when we’ve gone off the rails.
- How we become radiant Christians who draws others to us because of our relationship with Jesus.
Even so, obedience is difficult, hellacious, exacting, and hard because the consequences of disobedience are real, painful, and often life long.
If we aren’t engaged in prayer and God’s Word every day and actively learning and applying all His principles and precepts, our moral character and integrity will decay. You can count on it!Tweet
Okay, ready for some GOOD NEWS?
Thanks to the shed blood of Jesus, for those who love Him and follow Him, the consequences are not eternal!
*cue the happy dance
Want some more GOOD NEWS?
God didn’t leave us alone to figure this out on all by ourselves! Praise HIM!
He gave us His Word
- To teach and guide us.
- To give us joy and instruct us how to live life abundantly.
- To fortify our moral character and integrity.
AND He gave us His Spirit!
- To help us understand what we are reading.
- To reveal it’s Vibrant Relevance to our everyday lives.
- To apply what we’re learning to the dailiness of living.
If we aren’t engaged in prayer and God’s Word every day and actively learning and applying all His principles and precepts, our moral character and integrity will decay. You can count on it! Like our muscles, our moral character and integrity are in constant flux. They’re either getting stronger or atrophying. Fortifying or eroding. So, the more we pray and read and study God’s Word, the more we learn; and the more we learn and apply, the stronger we get. And along the way we discover:
- Those who fill Scripture’s pages were real flesh and blood people.
- Though time, culture, technology, and political winds change—people don’t.
- Threads of our story interlace with theirs.
- What it means to live a life of obedience, how to do it, and why it’s important.
- How to get back on track when we lose our way and go off the rails.
How did God ensure this?
By making the Bible a very real book.
The Bible is able to offer encouragement, instruction, and direction because the Holy Spirit didn’t sugar-coat any of the lives of those who fill its pages! How awesome is that?!Tweet
For example: In 1 & 2 Samuel we’re invited to experience everything from Hophni and Phinehas’s blatant blasphemy to Saul taking care of business in a cave. From Hanna’s tear filled surrender to Michal’s harpy-like bitterness. From David and his men ready to spill blood in a hangry rage, to David’s moral erosion and restoration.
Through these accounts and many others, the Bible is able to offer encouragement, instruction, and direction because the Holy Spirit didn’t sugar-coat any of the lives of those who fill its pages! How awesome is that? Instead, He beckons us to see them in their glory and their depravity. He allows us to experience their seasons of faith as well as their moments of doubt. And in the process He helps us understand:
- Their sin is no greater than ours (and vice-versa)
- The grace and forgiveness offered to them are available to us.
- When we sin, God still loves us and wants to use us. (let that rest on you a minute)
- Even when we mess up big, we’re invited to confess, turn from our sin, receive His forgiveness, AND continue chasing after God’s heart!
My sweet friend, the only difference between the sin of those in Scripture and ours, is theirs is recorded, preserved for all eternity for us to read, study, and learn from.
This is the case with those chronicled in 1 & 2 Samuel.
For instance: David’s sin with Bathsheba wasn’t an all-of-a-sudden, out-of-nowhere event. David’s moral character was cracked and had been steadily dissolving over 20 years due to his refusal to control his sexual impulses. (No, he wasn’t a sex-crazed pervert. He was living according to cultural customs at the time in collecting a harem rather than obeying God’s Laws for His kings.) Unaware his eroding integrity made him weak and vulnerable, David stayed home from leading his troops into battle, indulged in a season of self-imposed leisure, went out onto the terrace, became overwhelmed by his unbridled lust, and had a complete moral collapse.
Those next few hours of intense pleasure lead to a series of horrific, flesh-inspired choices that culminated into 20 years of intense devastation. David was shattered. Broken. And later died a broken man with a broken heart. Yes, David confessed his sin and was forgiven, but he still had to endure the consequences of his sin. (Oh, there’s so much to learn through his experiences.)
See, as we study Scripture, we have an incredible opportunity to learn from the stories of those who fill it’s pages. To keep their sin in perspective and use the events surrounding them and their choices to examine our lives, to identify our weaknesses, to determine where we need to fortify our moral character, and to determine to make a deliberate daily decision to walk in obedience.
And we start by asking some very important questions:
- Where are the cracks in my moral character?
- How do I prevent the dissolution of my moral character and avoid a moral collapse?
- When I sin, how do I get back on track?
- How can I let God use my scars to bless, heal, and encourage others?
And, Beloved, that all starts with obedience…The Key to Your Life.
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