TITLE: The Discipline of Obedience
By Carol Welch
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Obedience – it is an ongoing struggle in the life of every Christian. Your goal is to deny your own personal will and allow Jesus to live his life through you. It is easy to say, maybe even easy to teach, but not so easy to actually practice in your daily life. Yet the Bible clearly tells us that this kind of obedience is central to the life of a Christian, and critical in your role as a teacher and writer. When you stand before others as a role model, writing spiritually inspired thoughts and ideas for others to consider, a great deal of personal responsibility sits squarely on your spiritual shoulders. It is essential that you align your life with that of Christ or you may find one day in eternity that souls have been lost on your account.
When we examine the life of Jesus Christ, we see that two things motivated everything that he did here on earth: his love for the Father, and his love for us. Because of that love, he was determined to be obedient, even if his obedience led him to his death. In Philippians 2:5-8 Paul says, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. “
The King of Kings willingly took on the role of a servant in order to win our souls and save us from an eternity in Hell. He humbled himself, took on the indignity of our corruptible human flesh, demonstrated for us the role and the life of a servant, and then gave his life’s blood as a ransom for our sin. In this role, he lived a perfect life of obedience to his Father’s will.
The obedience that Jesus demonstrates for us requires a profound faith in God’s eternal purpose. Faith is the foundation; and without it, our obedience is meaningless. We will never live a fervent and effective Christian life without a solid and active faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. You, as a writer, hold the responsibility of living the faith that you will be teaching and writing about.
Perhaps in your life at this moment, you find that having the knowledge and skill to write is satisfying and fulfilling. Perhaps you are thankful to God for filling your mind with the knowledge of his Word. I found myself in this exact place when I began writing this article, and God reminded me of the words of Solomon. “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity… For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2, 18)
My own personal knowledge is meaningless without the inspiration of the Spirit to guide me. My wisdom is foolishness when the Spirit does not guide me in its use. In my own power, I can only chase after the wind of inspiration, and what an incredible waste of energy if God is not blessing my effort.
With that thought, I had to stop and ask myself a painful question. I ask that same question to you: "Are you chasing after inspiration or are you humbly seated at the Throne of Grace, savoring the knowledge of God? Are you living for Christ, or are you allowing him to live his life through you?" For me, from that moment of realization, my prayer changed from “Teach me that I might teach others through my writing,” to “Teach me that you might teach others through my writing.”
Think about that for a minute and consider asking God to give you a sanctified understanding of Scripture and a teachable spirit as you prepare to write.
May God pour out his Spirit upon you.
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