Friday, February 20, 2009

Obedience is better than worship

Four o'clock is just four o'clock whether you are in Madrid, Miami or Jamaica. And whenever the Lord wakes me up at that time and instructs me to write I need to be obedient and not argue. Which is what I did this just now, after a long flight across the Atlantic, yesterday and not much uninterrpted sleep during or after the journey. What's the message about. Obedience.

From Jesus Himself in a meditation I read this morning - God always prepares us if we listen carefully - by Tiegen. And which meditation I was led to read again as I woke up and began my devotions, and as I read I recalled my own deficiencies and was then compelled to write.


" Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord' and not do what I say". Luke 6:46

IN WORD It is a penetrating question . The Lord of all creation has put His finger on the inconsistency that invades all our hearts. There is always a discrepancy between what we say and what we really believe. For some of us it is a slight discrepancy; for orthers it is vast. For all of us, " Lord has not always meant what it should. God has a way of testing His Lordship in our lives..........

From Oswald Chambers whose words of wisdom included in the meditation at the side, is what really touched my heart and made me stop and think about this profound message from the Lord.

" The best measure of a spiritual life is not its ectasies but its obedience".

I thought about us Anglicans and Roman Catholics, and our shared focus on the joy of taking Holy Communion; " Here O Lord I see thee face to face....." wrote the hymnwriter inspired by this most precious act of worship. But how many of us are really obedient to Him whom provides such an ectasy. The same applies to the Pentecostals who revel and find great joy in " speaking in tongues"; or the Seventh Day Adventists who find great joy in being obedient and keeping the Sabbath; or the Baptists and whose rich history of involvment in the nation's history acting on the movement of the Holy Spirit and fiery sermons about social activism has greatly endeared them to many across the world; or the "Evangelicals" who are hungry for the souls of all mankind and place an emphasis on crusades and "seeking the lost". All rewarding and part of the mandate of being a Christian, but ultimately the question arises how obedient have we been to Him who call Lord.

My mind ran also on the many who are " God fearing", and " Christian minded", in our country who often acknowledge the Sovereignity of God and even the reality of the crucified Christ, quote the Bible frequently and like the American Presidents often say " God bless you". But who in the choices they make demonstate their unwillingness to be obedient to the One they call Lord.
So who is not guilty. Not me. Not you. So the Lord who is always preparing us if we would but listen carefully led me on more than one occasion to pray the last verse of a most wonderful and instructive hymn:

Hark my soul it is the Lord
Tis the saviour hear his word
Jesus speaks and speak to thee
Say poor sinner loves thou me........

Lord it is my chief complaint
That my love for you is weak and faint
But I love and adore
O for grace to ( trust and be obedient- my words) love thee more.

So whether we are in Madrid doing the Lord's work, or in Miami, or London, or Jamaica or wherever on God's planet, our goal is not the joys and ectasies and satisfaction of serving God or calling His name, but on being obedient. As He is the only One who really knows what He requires from those whom He has created. To be obedient to His Son Jesus. That's the only way the madness in Jamaica, or in Spain - already I have considered the reality of the Basque separatists - or in Iraq, or in North Korea - developing as we speak -or in Mexico or in London where they killed teenagers last night or......... Amen

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