This is “part 3” on the topic of obedience.
Here are some key acts of obedience I have found to be part of the sanctification process of a Christian. Some may call these christian or spiritual disciplines, which is fine, however my approach here is less about practicing disciplines and more about responding to life in general with a spirit of obedience to God.
One of the most challenging acts of obedience is self-denial. Being obedient to God means rejecting His enemies. The most startling things I’ve come to realize is that I am God’s enemy. Being born into sin and without the ability to fully treasure God, I am an enemy of God. However, through acceptance of Christ’s salvation by faith I have become not only an ally of God, but all charges against me are dropped. Through self-denial, I am demonstrating my appreciation and my commitment to the God who’s right it was to destroy me, but instead forgave me. I think the topic of self-denial merits another blog post on its own, but for now I’ll move on.
Eugene Peterson wrote a book about 20 years ago called Answering God. This is probably one of the most influential and eye-opening books on prayer I’ve ever read. In it he writes that prayers are tools, but not in the same way that we often think about tools. Normally, a tool is used for doing or getting. But, prayer is a tool for being and becoming. Rather than trying to get something done, prayer is meant to enable our being and becoming human. Read Peterson’s book if this intrigues you.
This is a word that I think a lot of people like to use to describe themselves, but very few actually have it. Being a person of integrity means much more than just making honesty and morality your “motto” in life. This is about responding to everything in life in a way that makes people wonder why. I’ve heard it said that we should live our lives in such a way that demands an explanation. This is what Jesus did, and we are still asking that question of his life.
Of course, this is not a complete list, but like I’ve said before, these are areas that have been particularly important to me. Also, I like to keep my blog posts short. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment or email me.