Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring except for me. Actually it is quite a few days before Christmas as I start to write this and it may be weeks after before I finish. I have many things on my mind. It has been many months since I have tried to put thoughts down on virtual paper. So I will try to be concise and clear, though please forgive me if I fail. Much of this I write to myself in an attempt to clear the cob-webbed jumble from my cognitive attic.
Obedience is a crucial thing in our lives, from little ones we are taught to obey our parents and elders. If we don’t obey or listen to Mom or Dad then we suffer a consequence for our excursion to the dark side. If we don’t obey the speed limit we can end up with a ticket or worse lose our life or take someone else’s. As Christians we are instructed to obey God. Yet I find myself distracted and swept away to something else. I tend to lose my focus and then have a hard time regaining it again. Sometimes I think I am afflicted with spiritual A.D.D.
Obey means to hear actively, do you hear God? There is an action to the word or concept of obedience. Do you take the time to listen? What if God is speaking to you and you aren’t listening? What have you missed? Is it like the proverbial tree falling in the forest making noise question? Another question I have had for a long time. What if God is speaking and I’m trying to listen but not hearing?
Where does the desire to listen the come from? It originates from the seed of love which has germinated in our spiritual hearts toward God. It is part of the package that comes with total surrender to Christ’s gift of love toward us. And the time spent with him one on one, day by day, year upon year. Adam and Eve had a personal relationship with God when they were in the Garden of Eden. They walked and talked with God as they strolled through the garden enjoying the different scents and floral perfumes which danced and floated through that heavenly air. God was in the house. They were focused on their benefactor and nothing else until they were distracted and quit listening.
It seems we repeat the same mistake on a daily basis. We replaced the closeness and walks from the Garden of Eden for something much worse. We have allowed the things around us to set the stage in our lives and predicate what will be given our attention.
Who told you were naked?
We have allowed the things of this world to rob us of our walks and closeness. Our focus is constantly assailed by things so innocent “it’s ok to take a bite of the fruit you won’t die” and some so complacent.
We fight this with discipline.
DISCIPLINE is taking the reins and controlling the runaway carriage. I am in control I will do what has to be done. It is Re-ESTABLISHING OUR FOCUS. We take the first step and rely on the Holy Spirit to bolster and help us succeed. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
PRIORITIES are the ladder of order which is strung together via primacy and by DISCIPLINE.
The discipline is exercised to set priorities and the time is set aside to listen. The more time spent listening, praying, the clearer we hear the voice of the shepherd. In the silence we strengthen and hone our recognition of the Shepherds voice. But it becomes more than that, it is something that we should be practicing as an active listening, searching for what God is saying even in the noise of the day.
I will end this for now .
2 Peter 5-9 using The Message translation
So don't lose a minute in building on what you've been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet; no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can't see what's right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.
Peace be to you,