Why We Don’t Give In
Why is it so hard sometimes to obey God?
I’m thinking about why we fight God (I’m talking about born-again Christians) to do what He says. We want to have our own way. We want the “power” of doing “what we want.” It feels “good.” An antidote for that (again, I’m talking to born-again Christians) is remembering why we came to God in the first place:
5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. 6 Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. 7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. 8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. 10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. 11 In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
–Colossians 3:5-11 NLT
When I came to Christ, I was on the way to suicide. He rescued me, mentored me, put me in the right places to meet the right people, and taught me slowly (because of my arrogance and pride) how to put my life together. He taught me how to be confident and stand in what I knew to be true. He taught me to love those who didn’t necessarily love me back. He taught me what true manhood is and He continues to shape me with His loving hands into His likeness more and more each day as I submit to Him.
8 And yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand.
–Isaiah 64:8 NLT
18 And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.
–2 Corinthians 3:18 AMPC
…submit to Him. That’s the key.
When I realize (again) where I came from without Him, it makes it easier to say, “Alright God. Have it (my life). Take it all.” That’s what He requires anyway…total submission:
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
–Luke 14:25-27 NIV
Yes, we must be willing to follow Christ even if it separates us from our closest family members and friends. If we’re not willing to do that, then we have placed them (as idols) in front of God!
34 “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword.
35 ‘I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
36 Your enemies will be right in your own household!’
37 “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. 38 If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. 39 If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.
–Matthew 10:34-39 NLT
Jesus speaks this (Luke 6:46). Following God takes true commitment. Will we give up those closest to us and the practices or thoughts we hold most dear to follow Jesus? That is the cost. If the answer is no, we are not followers of Jesus.