It’s time for another discussion of Experiencing God by Henry and Richard Blackaby since we just finished reading unit nine in the workbook. I’m so amazed by this Bible study…as the authors have walked us through the 7 realities and demonstrated how to have a deeper relationship with God. I know a few of you joined our study late and are behind on the reading, so be sure to take an hour each day and finish the assignments. You’ll be so blessed when you do! We will not repeat this study for at least a year… so make your best effort to finish it now.
Our study this past week centered on obedience and if you’ve had a chance to complete the exercise on page 183, question 3…then you probably experienced a “wow” moment like I did! My greatest reality was discovering how I think I’m obedient to God until I made a list of where He has called me during our past 9 weeks of study. I was excited to create a list of where I am being obedient, and then disappointed to see where I dropped the ball. Some items on my disobedience list have long-term commitments so I was not too hard on myself. Others on my list were from neglect or forgetfulness. After completing the exercise I was convicted to pay closer attention when God gives me direction, watch where he is working and join Him immediately when He calls me. Did you have a similar experience?
Blackaby writes, “When the disciples obeyed Jesus, they saw and experienced God‘s mighty power working in and around them.” The Bible is an eyewitness account of people who encountered God and were transformed. So when I read this reminder from Blackaby, I am encouraged to “Be His Witness.”
We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. (1 John 2:3-6 NIV)
This comes back to the Crisis of Belief. When we have the decision to KNOW His will or take that “other path”. Someone who does know KNOW Him will follow the path of the world. Or friends. Or family members. Instead of being under the influence of God, they are under the influence of people approval.
Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. (Jeremiah 7:23 NIV)
I am a recovered prodigal so I have the experience of not obeying, and then obeying. I can say with 100% certainty, being in the place of obedience feels like a peace that surpasses all understanding. It is the place where the bride meets the Bridegroom and experiences the deepest love.
We will have hard times. The DECISION is…will you walk through your hard times WITH Jesus, or without? You have free will and can choose His love.
My obedience is because I put my trust in God. When my feet move forward, it’s because He gave me direction. When I stand firm, it is because He told me to stand. When I am silent, it’s because He told me to be silent. I will NOT be influenced by worldviews.
“God doesn’t give you His commands so you can choose the ones you want to obey and neglect the rest” (Blackaby, p185). I enjoyed this week of study as Blackaby invites us to go back to the workbook. We looked at the previous weeks and where God is calling us/what He wants us to do. This week, He convicts us “Are you doing it!”
We need to stop assuming everyone has the same relationship today. Some are struggling with the past. Some are struggling with the present. Some are ready to walk away from faith. What we CAN DO is ENCOURAGE someone. Yes, my friend… you made a mistake. God can take those mistakes and cover them in the blood of Jesus. God can help you heal from shame, anger, hurt, and loss. But if you walk away from God, you miss your moment of transformation.
Sometimes, God may let you make a wrong decision, then guides you back to the right path. Wrong decisions are my responsibility and I bear the consequences. As I learn by doing, I see myself (and others) through the eyes of Christ. My clouded vision changes, my heart is restored, and I am under the influence of grace.