Monday, February 4, 2008

Obedience - The Word for Today

Apparently, I was on to something last week with the obedience lesson I learned from God... Today He sent me this in an email devotion: (from Prime Time with God by Os Hillman)
Isn't He so good to patiently keep telling us stuff over and over until we get it.

"I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things" (Isa 45:7).

God will use pain in order to create a love relationship with His creation. This statement may challenge your theology. However, consider that God allowed Jesus to experience incredible pain in order to create an opportunity to have a relationship with His creation. Consider how Jesus created a relationship with Paul. He blinded him and used a crisis in his life in order to bring him into a relationship with him and use him for God's purposes. Consider how God recruited Jonah for the mission He had for him. This is not God's first choice for His creation. Romans 2:4 reveals that God's preference is to show mercy and kindness: "Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?" The problem is there are few people who respond to the goodness of God. God loves people more than He loves their comfort. He invests a great deal into mankind. He desires relationship with us and will go to great lengths to create such a relationship in order for us to receive the rewards and inheritance He has for us. I have observed this process in the scriptures in working with people through years of ministry. I have noticed three distinct stages. First, we live based on convenience. Our obedience is largely based on circumstances in our lives. We choose to obey based on the circumstances. The second stage is the crisis stage. God allows a crisis to come into our lives. We are motivated to obey God in order to get out of the pain of our situation. Many times God allows us to stay in this condition in order to demonstrate His love and faithfulness during our pain. Gradually, we discover something knew about God and often have a personal encounter with Him that changes us. Our very nature is affected by this God-encounter. This begins to move us into a third phase that is a relationship that is motivated now by love and devotion instead of pain. This is where God desires us to be. Another way of saying this is we are no longer seeking His hand. We are seeking Him. We want to know God personally. Obedience will not last when the motivation is only the removal of our pain. Obedience only lasts when the motivation is loving devotion. Where are you in your obedience and what is the primary motivation? If it isn't love, why not tell the Lord you love Him today and want to know Him for who He is and not for what He can do for you.

When we love Him... we will trust Him and obey His commands.
More to come later on First Time Obedience.


Heather said...

Amy, it sounds like our hearts are in tune with each other. Yes, I want to be at the point where obedience is not an issue of crisis or comfort, but of compelling love.

Celly B said...

Thank you for linking to Thirstin' for the Word Thursday! I was blessed by your post. I am trying to get to and stay in that third stage of obedience from loving devotion.
I also loved hearing you say that God will give us scripture over and over again until we get it. I have been practically hit over the head with 2 Thessalonians lately!
Hope to see you back at Thirstin' for the Word Thursdays; we'd be blessed by your posts!

ocean mommy said...

I get this particular e-mail devotion too. It was printed out this morning and I've read it SEVERAL times.

Carol said...

I'm trying to be in the third stage! But there are times when I revert back to one and two!

Kimberly said...

I am SO, SO glad He is longsuffering! He has to tell me the same old things so many times! Thank you for sharing this devotion and for being honest about where you are!
(And thank you for telling me the names of those books! I thought I had read about them on someone's blog! I will have to look for them!)
Hope you have a great week!
:) Kimberly

J said...

Amy,I'm so blessed by you and amazed how God works..I'm in depression over a sudden breakup in4yrs relationship..A friend sent me TGIF email devotional,I took a look..Everything is so in place!! I'm so amazed by His arrangement, though I really don't know what's He trying to say to me..
When I search for "Os Hillman",I found your blog and I'm so so blessed again..I do believe in God's signs and miracles,but what is He trying to say to me??

Rosheeda said...

I get this particular devotion as well. I love it. And it almost always confirms or convicts me. Especially when it comes to obedience. I'm learning to do it out of love,but sometimes I just find myself going COMPLETELY back. Because really. It's hard. But it's really rewarding once you get past the fear of it all...