Monday, March 31, 2008

Obedience & My Version of God's Will

I'm reading Judges 1-2 this morning. The Israelites have lost both Moses and Joshua and are about to embark upon a season of revolving leadership that eventually culminates in their demand for a king, rejecting pure theocracy for a more culturally acceptable system of government.

In these first two chapters, I am reminded of the importance of obedience. In their conquest of the land of Canaan, several of the tribes failed to drive out the inhabitants of the land and cleanse their new dwelling of false gods and evil influence. Yahweh intended for them to take complete habitation of the land, establishing his kingdom not just as the predominant religion, but as the only one.

The disobedience of the tribes reminds me of my own life. I'm not an advocate of "Christian culture" to become the only valid culture in the US; I don't know that an essentially state-sponsored Christian religion is the best method for the kingdom of God to impact the world. This method has failed miserably time and time again in other countries over the centuries. However, I am more concerned about the advancement of the kingdom of God in my own life and in my sphere of influence. Am I being obedient to the commands that God has whispered to my heart in times of clarity? Or do I, like the Israelites, fall to compromise when I am in the midst of following Christ? When faced with decisions (should I kill this "king" or simply subdue him?) and my spiritual horizon is overcast, will I do what I heard God command? Or will I settle for my version of God's will?

My prayer today is that the Holy Spirit would 1) help me remember what God has commanded me to do, 2) reveal to me the "kings" and "inhabitants" that are already established in my life and 3) give me the strength to be completely obedient, refusing to resort to my version of God's will.

Judges 1-2

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