Mind the Lord

The Holman’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary defines biblical obedience as “hearing God’s Word and acting accordingly.” Biblical obedience to God means, simply, to hear, trust, submit and surrender to God and His Word.

When I first gave my heart to Christ, I didn’t understand what it meant to ‘hear’ God’s Word. I assumed that going to church services twice weekly was ‘hearing’ God’s Word. The first year I struggled in my relationship with Christ. There was a disconnect and I couldn’t figure out why others around me were in close relationship with Jesus but I wasn’t.

I began to boldly reach out and ask those Sisters and Brothers in Christ how they had gotten so close to the Lord. Each answer was daily study of the Scriptures and prayer. It wasn’t just reading them though, I had to study those passages and pray for the Lord to show me what He wanted me to do in response to what I was reading. Many of the commands to obey was easy, I knew not to steal and not to murder (Exodus 20).

The struggle to obey came when I read passages like, love and pray for your enemies (Matthew 5:44), or let no corrupt talk come out of your mouth but only what will build up others (Ephesians 4:29).

Even though I was saved by the blood of Jesus and He slayed my sin on the cross at Calvary, I still had to fight daily to be obedient and it was ONLY through studying His Word and praying over each of those passages that I began to see the power of “Minding the Lord”.

The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 that we are humans, but we do not wage war as humans do. We must use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We must destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We must capture rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

I have rebellious thoughts, how about you? In a moment, I catch myself reaching for worldly weapons instead of God’s mighty weapons. There is pride still left in me that I have to destroy every single day. But, I am quickly prompted to ‘mind the Lord’ and act accordingly to His commands. How about you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Struggle is REAL

The struggle is real.. The Apostle Paul knew a little about what it was like to struggle. He didn’t need a t-shirt or a bumper sticker to prove the point. In fact here in 2 Corinthians 11 we are given some insights to his struggle:

  • Five times the Jews gave him thirty-nine lashes
  • Three times he was beaten with rods
  • He was stoned once
  • Three times shipwrecked
  • Endured one night and a day adrift at sea
  • In danger of robbers, his own people, the Gentiles, in the city, in the wilderness, in the sea, in rivers, and danger of false brothers
  • In toil and hardship
  • Enduring sleepless nights
  • Many times he was hungry and thirsty
  • Cold and exposed to harsh elements
  • Pressured by anxiety for all the churches

To all my sisters out there.. that difficult relationship you’re in, those married couples you’re counseling, the exasperating child you’re trying to raise.. it’s all part of the struggle. When God told Joshua, “Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you..” God didn’t just hand Joshua the keys to the Promised Land and tell him to move on in. Joshua had to fight! Once the Israelites crossed the Jordan River, they knew there would not only be a physical fight but also a spiritual fight to face.

When the struggle is real in our lives, let us always remember what Paul closed with in 2 Corinthians 13:11-12:

Be joyful

Grow to maturity

Encourage each other

Live in harmony and peace

Greet each other with Christian love.

We can do that. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

 

Finding Strength in the Struggle,

Shana