Yesterday, as we continued our series, Into the Wild, the title of the day’s message was Radical Obedience. The message was based on Genesis 17, as God continued to ask Abraham to step out in obedience, in order to walk blamelessly before Him. As the story unfolds, three key points were conveyed.
1. Obedience isn’t a suggestion, it is an expectation. God Almighty expects us to live blamelessly in obedience to Him. We ought to obey because He is worthy. What He asks of us is not to restrain us, but rather to free us into what will be. (As He knows the ultimate outcome of all things.)
2. Obedience requires sacrifice. There is always a personal cost to do what God asks of us, yet His return, is far greater than any price we may initially invest. Abraham had to give up comfort and endure pain, yet He entered into a covenant that was sacred between he and God, that was to last for many generations to come. To be considered God’s chosen people, was well worth the temporary pain.
3. The outcome of obedience is a change in our hearts, not just in our actions. (see Hosea 6:6) When we obey for the sake of stuff instead of for our heart, it’s religion. When we obey to change our heart, it is relationship with our Redeemer.
(three points outlined by Pastor Matt Ramirez @ gcfw.org)
for the sake of our heart;
to honor our great God,
follow Him from the start.
Allow no sacrifice,
to steer our hearts away;
for whatever the cost,
will be worth it one day.
Our great, Almighty God,
alone worthy, indeed;
let us live without blame,
so His return we’ll see.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us into radical obedience unto You. Thank You that You do not just want part of us, but rather, You want all of us – heart, soul, strength and mind. Thank You that as we choose to sacrifice our own selfishness, the return in You, is far greater. Forgive us for our disobedience, or for obeying in hope of getting stuff. Help our hearts hold You in the proper place, so that our motivation is Your worthiness, and our desire to know and honor You. May we grow deeper roots in our relationship with You. Let us live and love as You love us, so that many may come to know the saving grace that You so generously give to all who call on Your Name. Be glorified through every act of obedience. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. – Psalm 67:1