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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Submitting to obedience

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
2 John 1:6 (NIV)

According to whatChristiansknow.com,
How does one actively engage in the presence of God?
By becoming obedient. By lovingly, involuntarily walking in
obedience to His commands.
And finding joy therein.
The Biblical word for “obey” comes from the Greek “hupakou” which means to listen attentively; by implication to heed or conform to a command or authority. This word conveys the idea of actively following a command. There is no choice in the matter, it is to be done whether one agrees with it or not. Obedience is involuntary.

Submission is a choice, albeit not a simple one. Submission comes of recognizing the incontrovertible sovereignty of God, and acknowledging that His is The Way. Submission was not easy, but I have embraced it, and thrive therein. I spend my days in worshipful submission, and it is good.

But I wanted to go deeper. So, when our pastor called for a 7 day Daniel Fast in corporate consecration before Holy Week, I was in. I wanted to go deeper. I heeded the call to be obedient, and as I approach the final day, I declare this call a rich blessing.

I know this experience is different for me. Except for close friends and family, I didn’t discuss it. It wasn’t about impressing anybody, or letting anybody know, it was about heeding a call to obey. To be part of something larger than me. To truly be part of the Ecclesia, making of myself an offering, to see what might be learned.

I earnestly asked God to enlarge my territory. But faith is more than the ask. Faith is relational. So, what am I willing to render? I pledge my love, by way of walking in obedience. It was only a step, but bless God, I made it. As I approach the last day of this commitment, I am content. Not once did I consider wavering. Not once did I consider taking a shortcut. As I planned my menus and those for my family (I fasted alone), I prayerfully considered the bounty and provision that allowed me to choose and be creative. I ate things I hadn’t eaten in a very long time; and tried several things for the first time. Crafting my menus was an act of worshipful obedience. Shopping for and preparing food was a sacred act.  Would that I could carry this into the rest of my life.

What would you render? For what are you willing to submit to obedience? Is it in pursuit of a particular goal, the achievement of a singular dream? Or, is it simply a desire to go deeper? I wanted to go deeper. I was willing to submit to obedience to improve my relationship with The One. I walk away with a sense of accomplishment, and a desire to stay close; to move closer.

Just the other day, in checking in on the commitments I made for the year, I wrote this…
Lord, let me evolve to the place where I am not thinking about but actively engaging in Your Presence. Consistently. Once, I called it hiding, and promised that you’ll still be able to see me. Well, I’ve changed my mind. I’m moving. I’m moving into actively practicing the presence of God. And I’m staying….

How does one actively engage in the presence of God? By becoming obedient. By lovingly, involuntarily walking in obedience to His commands. And finding joy therein.

And so, may His Grace, Mercy, and Peace be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Son of the Father, in truth and love, Amen.
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