Wednesday, 21 October 2009

The key to obedience

Having written on Monday about our inability to be motivated to obey Jesus' teaching and instruction by the fact that it is in our own best interest I then read these words from Psalm 119.

'Teach me, LORD, the meaning of your statutes, and I will always keep them.
Help me understand your instruction, and I will obey it and follow it with all my heart.
Help me stay on the path of your commands, for I take pleasure in it.'

Now whether you call this providence or merely coincidence I certainly found it striking that here I see the Bible giving its answer to my query. In the last sentence of this section the person who wrote it acknowledges what I know to be true, and articulated on Monday, that despite the fact that I take pleasure in obeying God I still can't do it and need God to help me do it.

However, what really struck me in this section is the correlation between being taught and obedience. You see I know that God's ways are best. I believe it to be true and I have in some ways experienced it. I therefore think that my lack of obedience is down to something other than knowledge. It's easy to think that I don't need to be taught any more rather I just need to become better at doing what it says.
However, the Bible doesn't seem to recognise my distinction. The Bible's verdict is that if I am still not keeping God's commands, if I'm not obeying, if I'm not following him with all my heart then what I need is not some new supernatural feeling, it's not simply to try harder, it's not to find a stronger motivation. No what I need is for God to teach me. What I need is to understand God's ways better. I might think that I know and understand them but if I truly did then I would obey them.

No wonder when I distance myself from my Bible, from fellowship with other Christians, from studying with other Christians and from hearing people faithfully explain and apply the Bible my obedience suffers.

No comments:

Post a Comment