Friday, January 11, 2008

What My Obedience to God Costs Other People

I've often struggled with obedience to the Lord...until I paid the price of disobedience. I still have my moments of struggle, but in the end, the thought of the pain I will cause the Lord and myself, far outweighs the temporary pleasure of whatever else I might choose. I've learned the hard way that it's always better to choose obedience than to fight a losing battle with your Maker! (Isaiah 45)

But, I've never really considered how my obedience to God might affect others. Today's My Utmost for His Highest gave me pause. I've seen how my DISobedience has affected others in the past. But, I've rarely considered the cost of my obedience on others. I've had opportunity to do that recently and it weighed heavily on my heart. I chose to be obedient (although I begged that I not have to be!) even though I knew it would cause some pain for some other people. But, maybe that's ok. There have been times in my past where I chose obedience and stopped protecting someone from the discipline God was trying to give. That's a good thing. It's up to us to be obedient and let God do His work in and through us.


They laid hold upon one Simon ... and on him they laid the cross. Luke 23:2

If we obey God it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the sting comes in. If we are in love with ourLord, obedience does not cost us anything, it is a delight, but it costs those who do not love Him a good deal. If we obey God it will mean that other people's plans are upset, and they will gibe us with it - "You call this Christianity?" We can prevent the suffering; bu tif we are going to obey God, we must not prevent it, we must let the cost be paid.

Our human pride entrenches itself on this point, and we say - I will never accept anything from anyone. We shall have to, or disobey God.We have no right to expect to be in any other relation than our LordHimself was in (see Luke 8:2-3).

Stagnation in spiritual life comes when we say we will bear the wholething ourselves. We cannot. We are so involved in the universal purposes of God that immediately we obey God, others are affected. Are we going to remain loyal in our obedience to God and go throughthe humiliation of refusing to be independent, or are we going to take the other line and say - I will not cost other people suffering? We can disobey God if we choose, and it will bring immediate reliefto the situation, but we shall be a grief to our Lord. Whereas if we obey God, He will look after those who have been pressed into the consequences of our obedience. We have simply to obey and to leave all consequences with Him.

Beware of the inclination to dictate to God as to what you will allowto happen if you obey Him.

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