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Though I did not hear the woman’s talk and can only go by my own initial thoughts on what the topic had brought up for me, the subject “radical obedience” when I first heard it made me think that sometimes God wants us to do something that is totally radical compared with how we normally live our lives, and that He expects us to obey even when His desire is in fact sometimes radical. It is certainly true sometimes God calls us to do something that is far more demanding. But now I see radical obedience in a totally different light, and this is how I see it.
ALL obedience to God is radical because our sin nature, our fleshly ways, our self-centered way of thinking and acting, and the ways, standards, and expectations of this society and of our world are in stark contrast to the ways of this world. We are either following God, or following the world. And when we try to do both, we are straddling a barbed wire fence and in desperate need of getting off the fence and landing on the right side. His side.
EVERYTHING God wants of us, from repenting of our sins and believing in Jesus as Lord, to loving the unlovable, to forgiving the unforgivable, to blessing the people who hate and hurt us, to giving to the ungrateful, to getting out of our comfort zones to help others, to sharing the Gospel with those who might persecute us, to giving when we would rather receive, to living by the Bible’s standards rather than the fleshly ways of this world, ALL of this, requires radical obedience. It is RADICAL to turn away from the world and to turn unto the living God. It is radical to believe in Jesus Christ when we can’t see Him. It is radical to leave our addictions behind. It is radical to give up climbing corporate ladders when God calls us to be missionaries. It is radical to stay in a difficult marriage when the temptation of adultery is screaming at us. It is radical to confess we have a porn addiction and ask for help. It is radical to not commit suicide no matter how hard our lives are and to make a complete surrender to the Lord.
It is radical to live our lives for God, and yet that is exactly what God calls us to do. To live for Him. It is radical for us to go against the selfish desires of our flesh, to turn away from a sin-ridden life, and to truly commit our lives to the Lord – in word, in deed, in action. For Him!
Are you living for Him? Is it time to get radical?
Rom 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Rom 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Rom 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Rom 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
Rom 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.