Friday, March 22, 2013

Saying Yes to God

Early this morning I read the last section of Nehemiah*.  We find some harsh words there describing even harsher Old Testament spiritual disciplines.  Nehemiah the priest takes severe and even violent action against men who will not obey strict religious rules.  It all makes me so THANKFUL FOR JESUS who makes so many changes on our behalf.  We don't live by the "law" (i.e. religious rules) any more.**

I did discern an enduring principal under what Nehemiah is about, however, and, like I did yesterday, I'm just going to lay it out here without any specific Biblical study to back it up.  Feel free to come at me with your critique if you think I'm off base on this.

What I heard the Lord saying to me this morning was that He honestly doesn't want us to be slaves to our feelings.  God wants us to be able to say "yes" to Him even when He requires changes in our lives that come against our emotional well being.  God wants us to trust him even when what He is telling us to do creates great emotional pain and inconvenience.  He wants to set us free from being captive to things that make us feel good and secure in this world.  He looks for us to treat His Word as Holy and Worthy of being obeyed.  He wants us to accept what He says as if it were coming from God.

When we obey God in terms of the spiritual disciplines He is leading us into, the reward will be a closer and even more life-giving relationship with Him and more freedom in regard to the feelings that hold us captive and the requirements of others.  As we obey our Lord in what He is telling us to release and renounce, as we are willing to say "yes" to Him when it is hard, we will receive a blessing that is above any earthly blessing--His own deep and forever presence that will never fail.

I'm sure there is more to be said about this and I'm not sure that is at all clear, but I just wanted to get a bit of this down before I say goodnight.  And that I will do right now.


* I'm reading the Moravian Daily Texts with a 6:30 a.m. prayer group.  See the end of my previous Praying These Days post.

** At some point it would be good for me to do some writing about the changes Jesus made, but that's not what God was impressing on me this morning.

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