"Submit to the authority of " seems to be the part of the definition that most of us fail in. I know I do.
For me when I read my bible, this word always jumps off the page as if it's the key to so much. I believe it is.
Reading in Jeremiah and Hebrews today. I'm just confounded by the Isrealites sometimes. How they saw the awesome miracles of God, but could yet turn their back on Him. TIME and TIME again! But then I start to think in terms of myself. Well...*looking down at my feet in shame* I'm just not much better sometimes. I guess I have been judgemental about the Israelites in the Old Testament. These scriptures struck a cord in me today.
Jer 7:22 NLT - When I led your ancestors out of Egypt, it was not burnt offerings and sacrifices I wanted from them.
Jer 7:23 NLT - This is what I told them: 'Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Do everything as I say, and all will be well!'
Jer 7:24 NLT - "But my people would not listen to me. They kept doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts. They went backward instead of forward.
Jer 7:25 NLT - From the day your ancestors left Egypt until now, I have continued to send my servants, the prophets--day in and day out.
Jer 7:26 NLT - But my people have not listened to me or even tried to hear. They have been stubborn and sinful--even worse than their ancestors.
Jer 7:27 NLT - "Tell them all this, but do not expect them to listen. Shout out your warnings, but do not expect them to respond.
Jer 7:28 NLT - Say to them, 'This is the nation whose people will not obey the LORD their God and who refuse to be taught. Truth has vanished from among them; it is no longer heard on their lips.
Jer 7:29 NLT - Shave your head in mourning, and weep alone on the mountains. For the LORD has rejected and forsaken this generation that has provoked his fury.'
Aren't we like that sometimes?? God gives us every opportunity to be obedient, yet we go on and do what we want to do, when we want to do it. Giving NO thought to consulting the Lord and what His will in our lives is! Yet we somehow convince ourselves that we are making a "sacrifice". Well guess what....it's not sacrifice that He wants the most!
1Samuel 15:22 NLT - But Samuel replied, "What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.
We should be making sacrifice because we are being obedient. Because we love the Lord and want to show Him our love through obedience and then the sacrifice. To me the sacrifice is what comes AFTER you are obedient. I for one do NOT want TRUTH to vanish from my life because of disobedience. TRUTH = JESUS
Jhn 14:6 NLT - Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
Lord give me eyes to see and ears to hear!! As I take in this *gulp* ominous 4 letter word, O-B-E-Y, I start thinking about the ways I'm disobedient. I pray for forgiveness, repenting of my disobedience. Praying for increased strength, increased faith, and wisdom. LOTS OF WISDOM!
He was showing me in His word, by His word, that obedience is showing Him love. His word truly sharper than any two edged sword. It is a powerful thing that gets deep into us.
No matter how much we try to hide behind our sacrifices, He knows our very heart. I KNOW without a doubt He sees the real me. The deep down me.
Hbr 4:12 NLT - For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
Hbr 4:13 NLT - Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.
Jesus learned obedience. Not that He was disobedient, but through walking as a man through suffering, He understood and was COMPLETELY submissive to the will of God.
Hbr 5:8 NLT - Even though Jesus was God's Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.
Did you notice the word COMPLETELY? Are we COMPLETELY submissive to the Lord's will in our lives or do we hold on that one thing? Are we being spiritually dull? Not hearing? Not obeying?
To move forward I think we have to look deep in ourselves. See ourselves the way God sees us. It's easy to blame Satan for the things that come up in life. We face spiritual warfare on a daily basis, but yet we can cause some of our own troubles by our lack of obedience. When I say "our" I mean "OUR". However not condemned, I am convicted. It's time to repent, shake it off, let the Lord mold and make me, for me to be an obedient servant. To love Him with all of my heart, all of my mind, and all of my soul. How much do you love Him? Enough to be COMPLETELY obedient?