Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Radical Obedience

Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."  Mark 3:34

Are you related to Jesus? He was clear about who he considered family; those who do God's will. Jesus was radically obedient to his father and if we claim Christ, we need to be as he was.

Is there something God's calling you to do? Maybe even something you think is "weird" or "small" or "pointless"?

If so, do it and don't delay.

I'm reading through the book of Ezekiel right now because I'm following a nudge. I now better understand the term "Woe is me!" This is one heavy book and I'm only on Chapter 7. Ezekiel was a priest who lived as a street preacher in Babylon for 22 years. He called the Israelites (God's own people and his fellow countrymen) to repentance and obedience.  When God commissioned him he said these words:

"Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their fathers have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says.' And whether they listen or fail to listen - for they are a rebellious house - they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious house. You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you."  Ezekiel 2:3-8

He called Ezekiel to do something seemingly random things, like laying on his side for 390 days and cooking small amounts of food over human poop (true story!) and Ezekiel completed his assignment, although he was allowed to use cow manure.

Rebels are celebrated and exalted in our culture, but God doesn't feel the same way. Notice his words to Ezekiel: Do not be like them! and Do what I tell you to do, even though you won't be successful.

As I wrote these words, I heard a popping noise and looked up to see a house across the canal engulfed in flames. I can only pray that it's empty and if it wasn't, that everyone got out in time.

All around us, people are dying without Jesus.

As God's children, we're required to be obedient to whatever work he's called us to do and to be a light in the darkness. He uses us to bring them back to him, even though some commands won't always be easy or make sense to us.

Don't delay, just do it!

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