Thursday, June 18, 2009

Visible Victory

Do you ever go through seasons when God seems to be working overtime on those touchy areas of your life?  You know the areas I'm talking about, the ones that don't scream for immediate attention.  Those areas that we limp along with day after day, week after week, year after year.  Perhaps it might be overspending the grocery budget or poor stewardship of your finances, or your resources or your body or maybe it's that barely tolerable relationship with your Mother-in-Law, or the time wasted on the internet or watching TV.  You get my gist.  

When I was thinking about this it raised the question,"Is the lack of active obedience-rebellion?"  I tend to see rebellion as defiance, shaking my fist at God, stomping my feet, standing my ground, refusing to budge...According to the on-line version of Merriam-Webster, rebellion is "opposition to one in authority or dominance."  

If I go through my life basically living out my own choices, being my own boss by making decisions to do what I want (within reason), am I not technically living in rebellion to God?  If I make my own choices, you know the quiet ones no one but God and I even notice, am I not living for myself rather than for God?

As I have taught about the concept of active obedience, it has raised a few questions and a few eyebrows.  What is the difference between obedience and active obedience?  What is the difference between respect and active respect?  What is the difference between kindness and active kindness?  Well, to me it is a matter of a conscious choice, a matter of visibility.  Active obedience is making the choice to obey, especially when you don't want to, when it's difficult.

If the Scriptures call me to respect my husband in Ephesians 5:33, "and let the wife see that she respects her husband" but my husband is not living in such a way as to make me WANT to be respectful, does it not require active respect so that I may be obedient to God?
Don't I have to choose to respect in spite of my feelings, or in spite of what I want?  Responding according to my feelings, my wants, is choosing to live as my own boss. 
If I am living as my own boss, I've just squeezed God out of the position as Lord of my life (or I have tried to).  "Bossing ourselves is a ticket to slavery." (Beth Moore - Breaking Free)

So I'm back to the question, "Is the lack of my active obedience rebellion?"  I believe it is, perhaps in it's more subtle form, almost imperceptible. Any time I am choosing to be my own boss rather than follow Jesus Christ as my Lord, then I am rebelling. Silently, perhaps, but still rebelling. 

Maybe, like me, you need to ask God the question, "What does active obedience look like in this area of my life?"  because we don't really know.  

1 Samuel 15:23, "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry." I don't know about you, but I don't want to be clumped with the rebellious, the witches, and the stubborn.  Let's choose to put on active obedience.  Let's live in visible victory!!!!


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