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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Negotiating the Kingdom

Since I got back from the overseas project last month I have been processing some of the reactions to the Word that happened.  I have mentioned this in the past month, there was resistance to obedience to the Word of God.
Negotiating the Kingdom
I asked those participating to write questions that they wanted the group to answer as they worked through the topics we addressed.  At the beginning of each topic I asked them to write down questions that they had about the topic that they wanted the group to discuss.

During the session where the resistance started, I remarked to them that the questions they asked were similar to the questions I have heard in the United States and other counties.  One of them came to me after the session and said that the questions had to be unique because of the hostile climate in which they live.

I reminded her that every word that was penned in the New Testament was penned under duress.  All of the apostles were martyred, there are some who hold that John was also martyred.  Paul wrote some of his epistles from prison.  Peter wrote from prison as well.

As I have thought through this exchange as well as the others during that time, I am struck by the universal reaction to the Word that just may be human nature.  It is not just those who are in difficult circumstances that conclude that because of their "unique" circumstances they cannot obey the Scripture.  We all do that at some level.  We often engage with the Scripture as if we were in negotiations with the Lord as to what He really wants us to do.

Actually what He wants us to do is pretty simple.  Obey.  1 Samuel 15:20 and Matthew 5:48.

It is not a negotiation.

There is more, I will continue this tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. As I consider my daily (moment by moment?) struggles with obedience I recognize two significant conditions (I'm sure there are LOTS more but these two are constantly conscious.(:
    1. You have already mentioned it: my fallen human nature. My immediate reaction w/o thinking is to resist.
    2. I don't define concepts like God does. For instance, "good." God tells me He is good. That He can only do good. That obeying Him is good for me, that disobeying Him is bad for me. I have a very clear picture of what that means - and the death of the most important person in my life doesn't fit the picture. And that makes a whole lot of His commands seem utterly impossible in my moment by moment existence. Rejoice? Be thankful? Gain my satisfaction from Him? Trust Him? Affirm His goodness?

    It does come back to how well I know God. In fact, one of the great benefits of hard circumstances is to reveal to me how superficial my relationship with God really is, how little I know Who He really is. And provide the environment to stretch my faith in Him. All strenuous exercise is difficult. This seems more like mortal combat. It sometimes seems just about to kill me. But it won't. He has promised HIs grace....

    Rather humbling....