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A Lesson in Obedience

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by Lt. John Van Cleef –

Have you ever noticed how, when God wants to get our attention on a matter, he speaks to us repetitively and, if we listen, clearly?

For example, I’ve been praying that God will reveal himself to me more fully, and that he will reveal himself to his church more fully. In order for that to happen, though, we must be willing to respond to God when he wants to reveal himself. Furthermore, our willingness must move beyond mental acknowledgment to physical activity, because God chooses to work through these mortal frames, and then only through those frames that will allow him to work.

In short, God revealing himself requires our attentiveness, willingness, obedience and action.

God taught me this lesson, but not through my obedience. Rather, he taught me this lesson through my disobedience.

I was in a meeting recently in which God wanted to reveal himself to the congregation–all he needed was a willing, obedient soul to heed his call. Rather than stepping forward and doing what he told me to do, I stood silently by my chair while the congregation sang the words, “Holy Spirit reveal thy power through me.” The result was a Christian gathering that lacked the distinctive mark of the Holy Spirit–his power, his punch, his healing and his grace.

The mark of my disobedience was, however, evident in the lunch that followed the meeting. Conversations around the table at which I sat were marked by hurt, strife, gossip and estrangement.

Speaking of the Christian’s need to respond in obedience to him, Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word; and my father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14:23, NASB)Did you catch that? Love results in obedience, and obedience results in the Trinity abiding with us. And where the Trinity abides, there is power, love and grace that enable simple people like you and me to step out, walk down the aisle, and do what God has asked us to do.

Dear friends, please learn from my lesson; and be that attentive, willing, obedient and active soul he wants you to be

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