Imitate Jesus….at the cost of our idolatry
Devotional Thought of the Day:
8 He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death— his death on the cross. Philippians 2:8 (TEV)
625 Your obedience is not worthy of the name unless you are ready to abandon your most flourishing work whenever someone with authority so commands.
5 Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name. 6 And you are included among those Gentiles who have been called to belong to Jesus Christ. Romans 1:5-6 (NLT)
If you want to grow as a Christian, one of the things you need to do is confront your idols. To see them, confess them, and let God circumcise your heart and soul, removing those idols that would destroy you.
Two words can help in this examination.
Even as you read those words, like me, something in your stomach reacted, or perhaps you became a little jittery, as defenses began to rise up. I don’t want to submit to my boss, we see teens struggle to obey their parents, and you want to really have fun, bring up the idea of wives submitting to their husbands in a Bible Study!
Most Christians would nod appreciatively when we talk about imitating Christ. That we should have the heart for the lost, for those who are broken and destitute, We may think of them, and pray for them, and pretend we are like Christ. We may give money to missions, and think we’ve done our part, that we’ve made our sacrifice.
But will we, as St Josemaria notes, abandon what is going well, what is flourishing, what seems to be blessed, to obey Jesus?
That’s another question entirely, and strikes to what obedience really is.
Will we embrace hardship, to love? Will we give up that which we’ve invested our lives in because we’ve heard the voice of God, because we know this is what God has planned, because it is in accord with the heart of God, that has been revealed to us in scripture?
Would you leave your business, like Peter, Andrew, James and John did, with an unheard of catch of fish? Or leave success as Matthew did, literally walking away with tables full of money?
That is obedience. Jesus calls.
But please, understand me, this is not a blog to create guilt, but to help us learn to trust in God, to depend on Him, for that is the source of obedience.
Obedience is not blind, it is not mindless, to set aside our desires, it requires us to be in prayer, to examine our consciences and allow God to purify them.
It requires us to hear God.
Which is probably why the word in Greek for obey is – hyper-hear.
To listen and let it stick, to internalize what is heard.
TO hear the voice of God, and be so overwhelmed, we respond in love, in adoration.For we realize that nothing, no idol, no desire, no amount of success is worth the joy of being in His presence.
This is our life. This life of walking with God, of hearing His voice, of knowing Him, and knowing His love for us.
Escriva, Josemaria. The Way (Kindle Locations 1477-1478). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.