Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Total Obedience

I'm really enjoying reading the Bible chronologically. I've enjoyed the way they've figured out when various people lived and died and moved the reference. Seeing that Noah's grandfather Methuselah died just before the flood, and realising Joseph was in Egypt when Isaac died made the emotions of the story stand out stronger. Obviously the cutting and pasting can make it feel a little disjointed but so far it's appreciated and made little things stand out to me much more. So not quite a month in and I've read Genesis, Job, various bits of Chronicles and other genealogies (takes the sting out of those too) and we're into Exodus. How are your Bible reading plans going?

Anyway at the end of each day's reading is a short thought for reflection. I've just been reading about Moses' angst in challenging Pharaoh and his stubborn heart to God (Exodus 4-8) and the thought ends with this, which struck me on all sorts of levels.
"If we are to be successful in this life, then we must regard this as a central truth: there are no detours around God's will, and anything short of total obedience in disobedience. 'For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight' (Eph 1:4)"
How often do I seek detours around His will? It would be easier for me not to preach the challenges of the Word, to gloss over sin, to hope for the best rather than pray on my knees. It would be easier for me to follow the pattern of this world than to consider the alternatives. So much easier, yet Jesus remains our great example who in His prayer said 'not my will but yours' and who taught us in our prayers to pray 'thy will be done'.

Holy and blameless eh? Can I be either of those things by following my own choices, making my own calls? The answer, as anyone who knows me can testify, is a resounding no. No I'm not holy or blameless. Faults can be found. Fortunately for me, my blamelessness depends on my standing in Christ and not my own merit. Fortunately for me, the cross and resurrection applied to my life turns me from unrighteous to righteous in His sight. Grace has gripped my life.

So as another day ends, I reflect on the things I've done well and the things I've done poorly and ask for forgiveness. Tomorrow Lord, let your will be done.


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