Obedience: the believer’s “wow” factor

I love Spirit Wings‘ annual dance recital!  This year the theme was “Dealing with the Spirit of Compromise,” with 1 Samuel 15:22 as the scriptural reference.

As we entered the auditorium, the founding artistic director informally shared the recital’s theme and her strong belief that the Holy Spirit would meet with each attendee and pinpoint areas in which obedience was needed.

How right she was!  God used the music and movement to speak to hearts and bring to the surface pockets of compromise and disobedience. 

It should pierce us deeply to realize how lightly we take obeying God.  Well, maybe I should speak for myself:  How lightly I take obeying God.

What does it say about my relationship with God that I can continue doing what I want, even if it goes against His Word and His will, yet think I’m in good shape spiritually?

I remember one of my pastors getting excited about Eugene Peterson’s book, “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.”  I’ve not yet read the book (I plan to!), but the title always stuck with me.  Especially the words “long obedience.”

Ours is very often a culture of short-term, convenient, superficial obedience.  As another pastor put it, delayed obedience–or partial obedience–is no obedience at all.  Yet, I see myself falling for the bait of compromised, justified obedience.

Committing to doing the hard stuff when everything screams at me to do otherwise is difficult.  But I’m not in this alone.  

I serve a God who recognizes my sin and struggles and stretches a hand down through the heavens to guide me along His prescribed path.  He provides His Son, His Spirit, His Word, and His Church to make that “long obedience” doable.  And He supplies examples of the downside of disobedience

  • Curses, rather than blessings
  • a death-style of sin, rather than a lifestyle fashioned by His will; 
  • soul fragmentation, rather than the wholeness that is ours by default, if we claim it.

I believe God looks at His obedient kids and goes “Wow!” in delight at the choices we make to honor Him.  What about you?  How’s your “wow” factor today?

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