Thursday, June 12, 2008

Chapter 7 - Obeying the Great Commandment

Unfortunately quite a few people have been ill over the last few weeks, and the last two meetings there have only been three of us so we haven't discussed chapter 7. We have however decided to move on. So next meeting we will be discussing Chapter 8.

I really enjoyed this chapter and found some of it quite challenging. I particularly related to the analogy of the driver on page 119

" To continue the driving analogy, we press the accelerator pedal of obedience until we have brought our behavior up to a certain level or "speed." The level of obedience is most often determined by the behavior standard of other Christians around us. We don't want to lag behind them because we want to be as spiritual as they are. At the same time, we're not eager to forge ahead of them because we wouldn't want to be different. We want to just comfortably blend in with the level of obedience of those around us.
Once we have arrived at this comfortable level of obedience, we push the "cruise-control" button in our hearts, ease back, and relax. Our particular Christian culture then takes over and keeps us going at the accepted level of conduct. We don't have to watch the speed-limit signs in God's Word, and we certainly don't have to experience the fatigue that comes with seeking to obey Him with all our heart, soul, and mind. This then is what I call "cruise-control' obedience, and I fear it is descriptive of any of us much if not all, of the time."

I'm sure I've been guilty of pressing the cruise control button at times, and I found this a challenge to be reminded to be more like the racing car driver

"Race-car drivers are totally focused on their driving. Their foot is always on the accelerator as they try to push their car to the outer limits of its mechanical ability and endurance. Their eye is always on the track as they press to its limit their own skill in negotiating the turns on the track and the hazards of other cars around them. They are driving with all their heart soul, and mind.
This is what it means to love God with all our heart and soul and mind. It means to obey Him with all our heart and soul and mind. It means, in the words of Hebrews 12:14 to ' make every effort... to be holy'.
Page 119

It was also a great reminder to remember that are whole lives are worship, not just Sunday morning, and as Jerry said on page 120 "God is not impressed with our worship on Sunday morning at church if we are practicing 'cruise-control' obedience the rest of the week. You may sing with reverent zest or great emotional fervor, but your worship is only as pleasing to God as the obedience that accompanies it."

As Christian friends let us encourage each other to switch cruise control off. Let us stir each other up to run the race as described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. Let us run with all our hear mind and soul. For as it says in 1 John 5:3 'This is love for God: to obey his commands'.