*I think this one is longer than the first, so, yeah lol God Bless*
The last part of getting with and sticking to his (God’s) program can really be broken down and summed up in one word OBEDIENCE. As a black man living in America that one word still sometimes causes my face to frown and the muscles in the back of my neck tighten. Obedience is something that you expect out of: a pet (mostly more from a dog than a cat), child, prisoner, servant, or slave, not from an intelligent free living, free thinking being. In popular culture it’s been said in so many different ways that a free and truly independent man/woman only has his or her will, passions, and desires as master and is only subject to them. As a Christian man I can not and will not agree.
A lot of people I know that are not Christians (and a few that claim to be) believe that in order to be a good Christian you have to: do A and not do B, not say A and always say B, Not even think about A or even care about B. If you do then you are going straight to hell. There are so many scriptures, (i mean really scripture after scripture) that says Jesus died so that we would not be hell bound in doing A, or saying B, or thinking C, but the most famous one that I can think of is 1 Corinthians 10:23
“All things are legitimate, permissible and we are free to do anything we please, BUT not all things are helpful (expedient, profitable and and wholesome) all things are legitimate, but not all things are constructive (to character) and edifying (to spiritual life)”
1Corithians 10:23 amp
I think of it like this; Under the law (the way of the old testament) those that believed in God were surrounded by an electrical fence, and that fence was the law (or the law of God) Trying to go out side of the electrical fence (the law of God) meant death (if not instant). If you have ever been around something that is electrical, and also very powerful; if you get to near to it you can hear the buzz of it and the hair on your arm or wherever might even stand up. This is how powerful the law is and was, just getting near to breaking the law you got that warring. The law/fence was not just a box that believers were stuck in. The law was and is there to protect the believers from what lay on the other side of the fence: Sin, Damnation, Temptation, Hell, and all that is in the world.
When Jesus came in he basically grabbed the fence and took in all the power of the fence into himself, died, came back to life and not only made the fence powerless to those that believed in him (he did not destroy the fence because the bible does say that he said,
“Do not think that I have come to do away with or undo the law or the Prophets; I have come not to do away with or undo but to complete and fulfill them”
Matthew 5:17 amp
) but became the gate to outside, not so that we could go out and sin but rather that WHEN those that believe got to close to the fence/law or managed to brake the fence/law there would be forgiveness and not just death. He basically said,
“So here’s the deal. If you believe in me you can not only get near the fence but you touch it and not get zapped and die. That does not mean party over at Sin’s house. That does however mean Hell is not the only club in town anymore. You no longer have to try and live inside of the fence without accidently touching it and ultimately dying because of that mistake. You can not only touch the fence but you can go outside. You can go out into the world although not be a part of it. What might be temptation for your brother may be noting for you. What might not even be a consideration for your father may be a life long burden for you; the point is you do not have to live in fear of the fence. You only have to have faith in me.”
How and what does all that have to do with Obedience and sticking to and with God’s plan?
When you decide to become a Christian, when you make the choice to become a follower of Christ the act of obedience becomes sacrificial, not only that but if becomes the type of sacrifice that God delights in.
When God asks A of you and you do A (especially when its something that you don't want to do and in my case something that make no sense at all and i completely DO NOT understand) you place your obedience on a spiritual altar. The sacrifice of your obedience becomes that sweet smelling thing that is pleasing to God because you did not have to obey, but you of your own free will chose to. When you obey God you are spiritually putting to death your pride for him just as Christ Jesus put to death his physical being for you.
Why should I OBEY God?
ALOT of people I know have this question in their hearts to it I say,
God won’t hurt you.
Being Obedient to Men you are subject to whatever whims and desires they may have weather they be good or bad. Obeying god is fantastically and fanatically different. God might ask of you something that you don't understand, or something that makes no logical sense AT ALL no matter how many ways you look at it (trust me I know lol ). God might even place you in a position that is completely outside of your comfort zone, but if you are obedient to God and have faith it will work out in your favor.
So what gets in the way of obeying God and ultimately sticking to the program?
Fear and Pride
Today I think that pride is one of the major things that gives the fence a little charge every now and then. Like I said in part 1 people not only let things and stuff identify and set their worth but they take pride and boast about it. Who has more to boast about,
Person A: Who only wears the newest Gucci, Prada, Betsy Johnson, or whatever and lives on a 40 room mansion on a private island
Person B: Who hung every sun, moon, and planet in the universe after setting the foundation for the universe then put the universe in its place and at one time measured ever drop of water in the sky, ocean, and everywhere in the palm of his hand.
Proverbs 16:5 says
“Everyone proud and arrogant in heart is disgusting, hateful (not hated) and exceedingly offensive to the Lord; be assured [I pledge it] they will not go unpunished”
Proverbs 16:5 amp
There are many more scriptures to this, but God DOES NOT like pride or people being prideful.
It gets in God’s Way.
In order to truly be obedient to God we have to get rid of our pride. Just as Christ put his flesh to death so must we put our own pride to death.
To some, pride is that sin outside of the fence, for others its not even worth mentioning. One practical way to become less prideful is to do something for someone else (that is not a family member or a friend or co-worker that you like) that only benefits them and not you in any way, AND NOT TELL ANYONE ABOUT IT. A selfless act that is only seen and known about by you, the person you helped, and God. It may seem like nothing but it opens a door. (And what a wonderful door)
The other thing that gets in the way of people obeying God is Fear. (I really will limit and restrict myself here because Fear I could go on and on about but I wont, Here LOL)
I know some women whom have told me that they would never obey any man because of the fear that they will be treated just as badly as they had been by a certain man before. I also know some men that run from relationship to relationship (or person to person) because of the fear that if anyone gets to close, gets to deep inside of his heart and past his walls then they would be in a position to hurt him like those others did before, so they out of fear run, or do not even let the word relationship pass their mouths let alone grow into something all out of fear.
GOD WON’T HURT YOU!!!
I really cant say anything practical about this except that you have to have faith and trust that in time you will see God not only loves you but is in love with you, so much so that he gave you a choice of doing the same thing instead of making you do so. God is so much in love with you that he laid down his life for you so that when you laid down yours you could live again. God may correct you but he WILL NOT HURT YOU!
Martin Luther said in Freedom of A Christian
“So when the soul firmly trusts God’s promises, it regards him as truthful and righteous. Nothing more excellent than this can be ascribed to God. The very highest worship of God is this that we ascribe to him truthfulness, righteousness, and whatever else should be ascribed to one who is trusted. When this is done, the soul consents to his will. Then it hallows his name and allows itself to be treated according to God’s good pleasure for clinging to God’s it does not doubt that he who is true, just , and wise will do, dispose, and provide ALL THINGS WELL.”
Martin Luther, Freedom of A Christian
If you truly trust someone you have faith in them to do and be a certain way. If you go on vacation and you leave someone to housesit you have trust in and have faith that they above all others will not steal from you. You have so much trust and faith in the belief that this person would not steal from you that you charge them with the task of protecting your home from those that you think might steal. What God asks is for you to let him be in charge of and the protector of your life because he already gave his for you.
Even with that said some still walk in fear, even when it means stepping outside of God’s plan and doing your own thing. The thing there is God took the power away from the fence and in its place gave all that trust in and have faith in him, freedom and forgiveness. Even when we know the plan that God has for us and we step out of it and walk or act in fear because of the grace of God we have forgiveness.
If we look back at Joseph at one point after Herod had died and the Angel of the lord plainly told Joseph to go back home the bible says that Joseph had fear in his heart because Herod’s son was ruling the land so he went to Nazareth instead. (Matthew 2:22-23)
When God showed this to me I was really struck at how through the midst of it all God still is god. To really get the point of how afraid Joseph was the Greek word that was used for the type of fear that Joseph had was phobeo which in this context translates out to exceedingly fearful. Phobeo draws it root from another Greek word Phobos which means (to be put in fear); alarm or fright: - be afraid, + exceedingly, fear, terror. That root word Phabos is also the root of a modern English word we over use today Phobia.
Maybe this is just me but I would think by now after angels coming down from heaven telling me A, B, and the other I would know that God has my back and I would not care who was ruling what but that is me. The point is that even when you know god, and know god for a fact, and still disobey there is forgiveness. Moreover when we decide to follow our own plan and do what we want to do God’s will is still working. God’s ultimate plan is still working and will not fail. In fact (this is something to really consider) your disobedience was known even before the first sun, moon, or planet was placed in the universe and it still does not mess up God’s plans.
When we step off the path and get outside of his light
Not only does God know HE KNEW.
God Knew what you were going to do even before the situation came around for to do what you did. The thing is God gave you the free will, the choice to do the thing that you did, to make the choice that you made. I hope that whomever reads this and they don't get anything that I'm saying or disagree with everything please get this,
GOD MADE MAN
MAN MADE ROBOTS
With all that said we can reason that God knew Joseph would not take Mary and Jesus home but to Nazareth, and not only did God know this but it was part of the plan.
Nothing you say or don't say
Nothing you do or don't do
Nothing that has ever happen, is happening, or ever will happen catches God by surprise.
Nothing you say or don't say
Nothing you do or don't do
Nothing that has ever happen, is happening, or ever will happen will mess up God’s plans.
We might make choices that causes us to step outside of God’s light or choices that go against God’s will, but God’s plan is still in effect. We can take comfort in the factual knowledge that God’s plan, God’s program is always in effect. Even when we disobey (or don't understand at all lol), even when we walk in fear; God’s plan is still working, still under way.
Get with and stick to God’s Program.
I think that… I know that for a fact (because I thought it at one time) sometimes some people think that God sees their life and all their troubles and turmoil and says,
“Wow, that rough, It must suck to be you, oh well.”
or worse is silent.
What’s really happening is that God is saying,
“I see the things happening in your life. I know what you are going through and I know it hurts because it hurts me just as much if not more than you, but I ask you. What are you going to do about it? Are you going to continue to get into situations and then seek me when you need to get out of them or will you just seek me.”
Get out of gods way, get with his program, and stick with and to the program.
©Christopher F. Brown 2009