Saturday, October 16, 2021

Fall In - Martin Wiles

So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. 1 Peter 1:14 NLT

I looked around. He sat like a good little boy.

Every morning, when the big hand of my old school clock moved to the six, my grandson said, “Pop, it’s on the six.” That meant it was time for me to walk him to his class. This particular morning, we observed our normal routine. I took him by his hand, and we made our way across the campus to his room.

The previous night, intense thunderstorms had moved through the area. They downed one tree and many limbs on campus. They even blew the chain-link fence around the playground from its poles. In a nearby town, lightning struck a historical Presbyterian church, burning it almost to the ground.

My grandson’s teacher lived next to the burned church. As I chatted with her about the details of the previous night, I took my eyes off my grandson. Neither I nor she needed to watch him. The assistant teacher was also in the classroom.

After finishing my conversation, I turned to leave. That’s when I noticed what my grandson had done. He had walked to his cubby hole, hung his bookbag, and then proceeded to a large rectangular rug where he found the square with his name and sat. He never said a word, other than to tell me goodbye.

On the first day of school, my grandson’s teachers had given their students instructions on what to do when they came into the room. He followed them, and fell in line.

Peter encouraged his listeners to live as God’s obedient children. They had tried the other way of living and discovered it didn’t work. But they, like everyone else, were tempted to return to their old way of living.

I haven’t always been as compliant as my grandson. I’m sure at his age, I listened, too. But not always. And not always for the right reason. Often, I listened because I had been taught to obey authority figures, even if I didn’t agree with the rule. That teaching bled over into my relationship with God. I obeyed the commands, but not always for the right reason. Why my grandson obeyed at this point, I don’t know. He probably didn’t either.

When it comes to obedience, I can obey because I want to, because it’s the right thing to do, or because I love and appreciate the person I’m obeying. If I obey only because someone has made a law or a rule, at some point I’ll probably question the rule and disobey. Rote obedience isn’t enough. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day did that, and He reprimanded them … telling them they weren’t doing as well as they thought.

Obedience must flow from love and appreciation. When we reach the point where we obey God’s commands because we love and appreciate Him, our obedience will be more consistent. His principles bring us hope now and give us hope for the future. And that’s enough to produce obedience.

Make sure you’re obeying God’s commands for the right reason.

Prayer: Father, move us to obey You simply because we love You. 

Tweetable: Have you fallen in line with God's will? 

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