Obedience, Grace, and Country Music
Obey seems like a lofty word, doesn't it? Those of us who are married are called to "obey" our spouse. Children are called to "obey" their mothers and fathers. It seems so thumb-down, controlling. Obedience is greater than the rote memorization of the laws that define what's right. This freeing act is where we shed those defining laws and wrap ourselves in God's greater plans.
I am in the thick of Angie Smith's Bible study, Seamless. She is a fantastic teacher, and so down-to-earth. The women in this study are warriors, they are my heart sisters, and we are walking out our faith one misstep at a time owning God's grace through it all. I am so blessed by them. Today we discussed times we have had to choose obedience to God over concern for what others think of us, and I believe this is a heavy hand that many of us struggle to hold tightly.
Being obedient is often our greatest act of bravery. Later we will delve into the people of the Bible who did just that, but today we focus on our own obedience. What rests on our hearts? There are two roads of obedience, and they merge when we realize that we are no longer in the driver's seat.
The first road is the act of being obedient to the commands of our Father. Those can be found throughout the Word, but Ephesians 5 speaks on Living in the Light. More simply put, the "golden rule" has been spoken over us since childhood- Matthew 7:12 states: Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. Being obedient here means doing unto others WITHOUT expectations of them "doing" back to you. We are called to love others well, like God loves us. Obediently, I must love others. And obediently I must understand that I should expect nothing from that. This road is long. There are potholes and road blocks. We sit in traffic jams just to test us... You know the song- Life is a Highway (think Cars movie)? It is a highway, that is why we need the Word of God to fuel us.
We merge onto the second road. It's an extension of the first. We are constantly going to work on obediently living out God's commands, but what about His call? This is a sticky subject for some, but as we grow in relationship with the Holy Spirit, our obedience takes on a new hue. This road is really quiet- deafeningly silent in parts. Too often we turn up the radio in the uncomfortable confrontation of a quiet car. Don't do that. It's in the quiet where our heart's song is sung, where the voice of God penetrates, and where peace is found. There is peace in obedience. It's in that moment where Jesus takes the wheel (couldn't resist) and we no longer have to be in control of our path. Our God will steer us on His road, to His greater plan for us.
And we tie it up in a bow and live happily ever after... No, not quite. This act, this obedience, it takes bravery. It takes open palms. It takes surrender. And dear me, it takes grace. That's where that golden rule comes in. Let's extend the grace of God on our brothers and sisters, because goodness knows we all need grace ourselves!
Your Word is our fuel as we drive out this road of faith. We are so grateful for all the beauty that we find here, and we ask that you continue to steer us toward You. Open our palms in surrender, Lord, and help us to live out Your light. It is only by Your grace that we are able. Thank you.
In your precious son's name.