I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding… Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Ps.119:32, 34-35 NIV
“Be even more careful to put into action God’s saving work in your lives, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases Him.” Phil.2:12 NLT
…for it is God who works in you both to WILL and to do for His good pleasure. Phil. 2:13 NKJV
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you WILL, and it shall be done for you. … If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. Jn.15:7, 10-11 RSV
Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. Eph.3:20 NLT
I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God’s law, but I trust Christ to save me. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. As a result I can really know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead! Phil.3:9 NLT
…the LORD God Almighty, the LORD is his name! So now, come back to your God! Act on the principles of love and justice, and always live in confident dependence on your God. Hosea 12:5,6 NLT
Today you must listen to His voice. Don’t harden your hearts against Him…For the word of God is full of living power. Heb.3:15; 4:12
Ok, so that was a long string of verses. But they have spoken to me this morning. Sometimes I struggle, often I struggle, to make decisions. Opportunities come. I’m asked if I’d like to do this or that and I wonder, should I? For Jim this is straightforward. “Well, do you want to? If you don’t want to, don’t do it!” He has a strong faith in God’s ability to direct him in the path he should take. But I know me, and I know I’m disinclined to do anything new and untried. So I waffle. I hesitate to say NO thanks, not because I find it difficult, but because it is so very easy for me to slam doors of opportunity. So should I or shouldn’t I?
What is God calling me to do? When I’m tormented by doubt even this crucial question is a stickler. There is no formula for knowing in every situation what God is calling me to. But faith calls me to pause and ask, and then to say YES or NO based on God-confidence not fear. The God who calls me to His service knows me through and through. He resides in me and is well able to direct my heart according to His good pleasure. By trial and error I am learning this kind of faith.
I admire David’s grasp of the goodness of God’s laws (See: Psalm 119!). He found delight in knowing and doing God’s will. Not perfectly of course. Sometimes his flesh pounded so loudly in his ears he took no thought of God’s commands, and had to come the long and painful way around to listening…But the trajectory of his life was one of listening and obeying and finding JOY in God’s designs for him.
I am particularly grateful for the clarity of Paul’s letters in piecing together the connection between faith and obedience… He says, and I paraphrase: Work out this great salvation that God has accomplished in you. Act on it with reverent fear. For the God who saves you is at work in You. He will shape your will and energize your service as you feed on His Words…He will accomplish in you this salvation He has begun, through the process of your faithful service for His Kingdom’s sake.
My take away is that I am free to walk in confident obedience–not on eggshells of indecision paralyzed by the fear of missing an opportunity or making a poor decision. By faith I can give say Yea or Nay looking to God to make my way perfect, trusting that He sees and knows and works in me for His good pleasure. Trusting too that He will work in me and through me for His kingdom’s sake and His glory!
May He grant us all joyful obedience in doing what pleases Him! Thanks for sharing my morning’s ponderings ( :