In my devotion today, it was about how a heart yearning to love the Lord will not make excuses for choices that go against His Word, His commands, but will confess when we’ve been unwilling to show our love through obedience, and seek to follow Him. That obedience and the will to be obedient, is the only path for a Follower of Christ.
I thought of several things I’ve considered doing or have done in my life – public school, sex outside of marriage, but mostly, I thought of struggling with PTSD and choosing unhealthy behavior and mindsets, because it’s the most recent struggle in my life.
It’s easy to make excuses. With Saul, he said in 1 Samuel 15 that he disobeyed God because he was “afraid of the people.” I hear people say they “couldn’t deal” with their own kids all day or a particular kid (I’ve felt it, too, but know it’s a lie from satan and have always called it out as such). That “as long as you love each other…” That I kept getting triggered with PTSD and couldn’t control my emotions.
But, for Followers of Christ, God calls us to not only be obedient, but to CHOOSE to be *joyful* in our obedience.
When He says in Scripture to teach our children of His way night and day in every action we make and activity we do, and we send our children away all day and some of the night, but our home feels peaceful because one or all of us is getting what we want, it’s false peace. It’s a peace that pretenses our way is better than God’s, and justifies our choices with excuses of how tough our children are to deal with, how insufficient we are, etcetera, ignoring that He’s commanded us to be together as a family all day and participate in the acting out of grace, iron sharpening iron, mercy. We ignore that He also says His grace is sufficient for us, that we can do all things that He calls us to do. We ignore that there’s no such thing as religiously neutral – Scripture says you are with Him or against Him, period… which puts public school in the hating-God category, with no wiggle room.
When He says to keep the marriage bed pure, but we protest our love for the person we are having sex with, we forget that our Creator gives us commands because He knows the consequences of doing these things, commanded or not. It hurts people to lie to them, to steal from them, to rob them of full commitment and joyful sex. We ignore that He has a plan and purpose, and that He has our best in mind, even when other’s (and ourselves) don’t, when we or others just have right now in mind.
And, when He says to hold our thoughts captive to Christ, but we allow circumstances to turn us bitter, we ignore that He also says we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us, that we are to put on the full armor of God (and He offers it to us!), and that we are to con
tinually offer up our lives with joyful supplication. We ignore that He offers us a peace that surpasses understanding, joy without measure, and a safe haven in commune with Him. He knows my life, my heart, the things my family has been through – and still, He calls me, if I love Him, to be joyful always, to seek mercy and love, and to not let any bitter root grow in my heart.
It is a high, hard calling, but… if I love Him, if I am so grateful for His offerings TO me, so constantly… why? Why is it so very hard to obey His commands, when He offers us all the help to achieve them? Why did I choose, for so long, to let my PTSD consume so very much of me – who HE created me to be? Paul says somewhere in Romans, I believe, that he does that which he doesn’t want to do, and doesn’t do what he wants so desperately to do. This is a man who I see so often in church circles being talked about so often and so highly, that I sometimes think he is held in our minds as a standard, more than Christ (I know it’s not true, but it feels that way sometimes!). Even he struggled with obedience to the will of God.
Lord, I ask Your forgiveness for my unbelief. Forgive me for ignoring Your Words and commands, and going my own ways. Draw me ever closer to You. I do believe, please help me in my unbelief!!