The Bible has something to say about all this. And had I paid attention to this scripture with which I am certainly familiar, I might have known where I was headed:
2Co 10:3 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
2Co 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
2Co 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”
What exactly does this mean in the context of obedience – and disobedience, for that matter. Put in very plain English, which is entirely necessary for people like me who can oh so swiftly drift off into the clouds of let’s-pretend-everything-will-be-fine-from-now-on, here it is. Once you choose to obey, be prepared for opportunities to follow of disobedience. What? Are you kidding me? Don’t I wish.
Just as the scripture warns, somebody out there – and if you know anything about Satan, you know who – is not as excited about our decisions to obey as we are. At all. Nor, for that matter, is the Lord so elated about the idea of us becoming complacent and failing to realize that life goes on. And as life goes on, opportunities present themselves. And so do tests. And trials. And tribulations. And good stuff. And bad stuff. And hard stuff. And easier stuff. Yes, life carries on.
So what do you suppose happened to me once I had thrown my graduation cap up into the pie-in-the-sky dream-on heavens? You guessed it. Back to reality. Real reality. Real life. With plenty of chances to burrow my way right back into a sorrowful hole of disobedience. Thankfully, however, I am merely teetering. And tottering. Sort of like I’m high-tailing it, or rather oh-so-slow-tailing it down one of those balance beams that the other kids in school always seemed so manage so efficiently, eloquently, excellently, well, you know the deal.
So then, which way will I fall? Will I go the way of the Lord? Or will I turn my head over my shoulders and watch Pharaoh on his first-class ticket on his personal super jet chasing after me to drive me back to Egypt? Seriously, did you know Pharaoh was hardly, barely, not-at-all pleased when the children of Israel were delivered from bondage in Egypt? Do you think he sat back on his big ole’ rear end and cried tears of remorse when they left? Heck no. He chased after them.
If you think for a single second like I did that choosing to obey comes without a high-speed chase from Satan himself, or even from our own flesh that doesn’t like the idea of giving up our rebellious ways, think again. Think long and hard. And then make a decision.
Another decision? Yep. A big one. Will I follow up my decision to obey with further acts of obedience? Will I revenge the disobedience that will try to rear its oh-so ugly head, or will I go nose dive into the very quicksand from whence I have come?
Stay tuned for more. Or, better yet, rather than staying focused on where I am headed, take a look at your own life. Where are you headed? We’re in this together, after all? Aren’t we? Aren’t we called to encourage one another? Now that I’ve given you a laugh or two, let me get serious – for a few moments anyway.
2Co 3:17 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
Freedom, I discovered is a choice. Jesus Christ paid the price when He died for our sins and rose again. Whether or not we receive this freedom is up to us. We get to decide whether or not we choose to obey the Lord’s commands. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of living my life in bondage. I want to be free. And if obedience is the price I have pay to receive what Jesus Christ died for me to have, so be it.
Dear God, all joking aside. Please give me the strength to obey. And please give those reading this the strength to obey also. We need you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.