Saturday, November 17, 2007

simple obedience

In reading about the first king of Israel, Saul, in Eugene Peterson's rendering, the Message, it struck me just how wonderful was his start, both in what God was graciously doing, as well as Saul's response, and the result. So far so good.

But what happened? It seems on the surface one little thing: disobedience. I'm not referring to no longer sinless perfection; this is referring to a major issue in which one of God's major commands in reference to loving God and/or loving human beings is broken.

How many times in our lives are we faced with difficult situations, or times when it seems like our calling is too much. We're tempted to quit, to give up. We feel defeated and maybe we really are. What can be the crux of the matter? Again simply failure to obey God.

If we can trace it down to that, then we can go from there to repentance and faith expressed in obedience. In Saul's case he didn't repent, but went on a tragic downward decline.

Of course all that goes in to changing us into the image of Christ is all that we find in Scripture, or better put, all Scripture contributing to that. And especially found in Christ or in the Person, words and works of Jesus as well as in being led by the Spirit.

Yes, this is about us individually, but it never is separated from us corporately. Any disobedience on our part affects the whole; it really matters to our "neighbor", even if we or our neighbor don't sense that. This begins at home in our families, and into the family of believers we are a part of as well as out into other circles of relationships we have, or maybe ought to have. But this is not, as to impact, simply confined to ourselves.

Is there something wrong? Are we down for some reason, maybe even down and out for the count? This may be what's the matter. We may be holding out or even walking out on some simple matter of obedience to God. Let's check up on ourselves before God and then go from there.


Ted M. Gossard said...

I hope any reader would not be turned off by the thought that I'm contradicting eternal security or perseverance of the saints (I actually do believe in the latter, though I also believe a Christian can apostacize, but I believe all this is beside the point for this post).

It does speak to me as to how one can start well in God, but then lose out in some way.

Hey, I don't care if my post doens't have a comment, though I do like to read from any of you out there. But I did want to make this comment as I thought about this post. It was just so striking to me, reading this rendering from Scripture about King Saul.

Anonymous said...

actually i read your post twice and really...i think it is one the requires a bit of thought.
it makes me think and question about how i am walking. and so inner thought. a hard one to comment on right away. some of the best questions are left unanswered, but work themselves out in our lives. that puzzle that gets put together a piece at a time.

Every Square Inch said...


It's interesting that you're posting on this. My church is going through 1st Samuel and a couple weeks back, my senior pastor preached on Saul - how he started out great but was not willing to submit to God w/ simple obedience

Check it out - I think you'll like it.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Well put.

I did want to add what I did on my comment, just because I know for a few they might wonder what I'm getting at as to one's salvation or the possibility of losing it, which I consider a peripheral matter. Though I think I may post on that soon.

But yes, sometimes a post is hard to comment on; I run into that myself. I may either like the post or think it's helpful, but don't know how to comment. I guess I in my gregarious nature enjoy interacting with others.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks. I'm getting ready now for homegroup, but I'll listen to it, if not all today, real soon. Thanks so much.