Personal Devotions – Radical Obedience

The Lord is emphasizing radical obedience to me by speaking through a number of different sources.  One of my devotional emails I receive – Spiritual Fuel – spoke about the wise and foolish builders in Matthew 7:24-27, the same Scripture I used to base one of my recent Personal Devotions posts.  It really spoke to me as it also mentions firm foundations – and spoke to the fact that the storms will come to everyone.

You will notice that the storm comes both to those who do Jesus’ sayings and those who don’t do them. No one is exempt. Storms are most certainly headed your way. The only question is, will you survive?

Will your foundations be strong enough to sustain the winds and floods? Those who walk in radical obedience have made themselves ready for the storm, and they will overcome.

The author said something that struck me: “The closer you get to God, the more obedient you must be.”  He mentioned Moses being so close to God that absolute obedience was a necessity:

The issue for Moses was no longer simply, “Is this action right or wrong?” The issue was, “What is God’s command?” For example, when Moses was on the fiery mountain the command was, “Stay behind the cleft of the rock. Because if you come out from behind the protective rock and see My face, you’ll die. You’re so close to Me right now, Moses, that if you make a wrong move you’ll see My face and have a cardiac arrest on the spot.”

Now, is there anything wrong or sinful about stepping out from behind a wall of rock? No. But when you’re that close to God, it’s imperative you follow His instructions to the letter and stay where He’s putting you. It bears repeating: The closer you get to God, the more obedient you must be.

Powerful words.

Fast forward to today – more confirmatory words in my inbox:  a prophetic word from another source, Retha McPherson, which says, in part:

“I will send you where I want you to go. I will stop the things that are not according to My will, if you keep on surrendering to me every day!” That is the secret: Keep on surrendering everything into God’s hands.

“Stay faithful to Me. Keep on walking in radical obedience to Me. Stay loyal to Me. And above all – be happy in all I ask you to do, because it is not about you; but all about Me.” Stay in God’s Word, and live the Word of God!

There it is again – radical obedience.

Yet one more source from a different angle – my Daily Audio Bible podcast for yesterday mentioned the rich young ruler in Mark 10:13-31.  Brian, the narrator of the DAB podcast,  asked the question, “What is it in our lives that we are not willing to surrender to God? What are the things in our lives that we would have a very difficult time letting go of in pursuit of the Kingdom?”  I was challenged by my one of my best friends about that.  What was it that was hardest to let go of?

For me it was praying for others, it was ministry – even in this time of sabbatical I have found myself periodically praying for the needy around me.  I was challenged to stop frequenting a Christian chat room that I love to go into for a time; I found that the temptation to pray for others is strong there.  It was a hard decision for me.  I hate how it makes me feel – I miss my friends.  But God has to come first.

I struggled because I had made ministry an idol – I knew it for a while – and even knew that I should take a break from the chat room.  Brian said in his podcast yesterday, “These may be idols that we are even worshiping in our lives because the thing is, anything…anything that exalts itself above the lordship of Christ in our lives is an idol. That is not to say that anything that we have exalted above the lordship of Jesus in our lives right now currently is a bad thing…”  And he mentions a word my counselor uses all the time: alignment. He said,” ….what that means is we are not in proper alignment and Jesus invites us to put things into proper alignment and come and follow him.”

So Father, I come to follow you.  I choose to follow you.  I repent of my sins and put down my idols.  I cast them off – I only want one focus – you.  I don’t want to be distracted; I don’t want to be sad and walk away from you like the rich young ruler did.  You promised me that there was a price for the anointing – but that if I walk in radical obedience, it will all be according to your will. Do what you will. I accept your hand to get at your heart.  In Jesus’ name. AMEN

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5 Responses

  1. Wow. Ouch in a good way. I love the part about alignment and the closer we draw to God the more we have to listen and obey. There is alot here to think about and I am pretty sure this blog entry is going to change alot in how I go about my day. Thanks lovely as always I was blessed 🙂

  2. You’re welcome, my dear…

    Your entries bless me too!

  3. Wow also,
    You bring up some very good points. Being aligned is something I believe we need to do regularly to make sure our focus is in fact on God, and not on us worshiping the worship. Thank you brother, God be with you.
    JFT

    • Yeah…. ‘aligned’ is a word I’ve come to hear recently – like, A LOT – over the past couple months.

      Being aligned is something I believe we need to do regularly to make sure our focus is in fact on God, and not on us worshiping the worship.

      That’s definitely true… how much time do we spend worshiping the worship instead of worshiping God? Sobering thought.

  4. “Jesus invites us to put things into proper alignment and come and follow him.” It is true. Alignment is required in order to walk hand in hand with Jesus.

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