This month’s theme, Obedience, couldn’t come at a more timely, opportune moment in my life. I’m behind on my devotionals, lacking in daily prayer, and feeling like I’m on a roller coaster of emotions. When I think about what I’m feeling, it seems like my current lack of discipline in my obedience to Him connects directly to my negative emotions. It’s a vicious cycle of feeling unmotivated and knowing what you should do at the same time.
Is it possible to be so saddened and disheartened about life but at the same time know He is the true victor?
I guess this is where obedience comes into play. Reading God’s word and praying to Him even when you don’t feel like it. Even when you feel so lost, so tired of staying hopeful, so tired of feeling such sadness. My heart is hurting. I’m tired of being happy on the outside while I hurt on the inside. Yet obedience to motherhood calls me to continue to be a role model and encourage my children to live a life of service to Jesus. Obedience calls me to pray and believe that God has a plan. Obedience calls me to trust in Him – to leave all anxiety and pain at his feet. I know all of this, yet I still struggle. Obedience is what makes us commit even when we don’t feel like it. I’ve strayed. At the lowest times, I’ve lost my luster for life. But as the same time, I’m grateful in the knowledge that He is there waiting.
With recently celebrating Easter, I’ve thought about how obedient Jesus was – obedient to death. I can at least be obedient in daily living then…I pray to the Lord for the same attitude as Jesus. I often get myself out of my “funk” by focusing on bringing joy, or being Jesus, to others.
“In your life together, think the way Christ Jesus thought.”
Philippians 2:5 (ERV)
I often read this verse to remind myself to be unselfish and to focus on the ultimate goal of serving God well so I can fulfill my dream of enjoying salvation with Him. As I read on in scripture, I can clearly see that Jesus is a model of obedience.
Jesus was like God in every way, but he did not think that his being equal with God was something to use for his own benefit. Instead, he gave up everything, even His place with God in heaven. He accepted the role of a servant, appearing in human form. During his life as a man, he humbled himself by being fully obedient to God, even when that meant death on a cross. So God raised him up to the most important place and gave him the name that is greater than any other name. God did this so that every person will bow down to honor the name of Jesus. Everyone in heaven, on earth, and under the earth will bow. They will all confess, “Jesus Christ is Lord.” And this will bring glory to God the Father.
Philippians 2:6-11 (ERV)
Using Jesus as an example of what obedience looks like, I know that I am unable to display obedience all on my own. Philippians 2:13 lays out where I need to draw strength from…
My dear friends, you always obeyed what you were taught. Just as you obeyed when I was with you, it is even more important for you to obey now that I am not there. So you must continue to live in a way that gives meaning to your salvation. Do this with fear and respect for God. Yes, it is God working in you. He helps you want to do what pleases Him, and he gives you the power to do it.
Philippians 2: 12-13 (ERV)
Did you catch that?? “Yes, it is God who is working IN YOU.” He helps you want to do what pleases him, and gives you the power to do it. Continuing to look at Philippians for even greater insight, we read…
Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you will be blameless and pure, children of God without any fault. But you are living with evil people all around you, who have lost their sense of what is right. Among those people shine like lights in a dark world, and you offer them the teaching that gives life. So I can be proud of you when Christ comes again. You will show that my work was not wasted – that I ran in the race and won.”
Philippians 2:16 (ERV)
That last line hit me!!!! People often refer to life or work as the “rat race.” But I love thinking of life as more of a journey. Even if you do feel like it’s a race sometimes, let’s run with a purpose-driven focus! Make Christ Jesus proud when He comes again. How about we show that His work is not wasted? Let us be a light in this dark world by breathing in His teaching so that we can then share with others. I will let go of my complaints, worries, and fears and lay them at His feet. Grateful for His mercy and opportunity to start new each day, I will focus on being obedient in daily living again today.