Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Power of Radical Obedience (Part 2)

Radical obedience requires stepping out into the unknown and obeying and believing God, taking Him at His word, and doing what seems (and often is) humanly impossible. It's knowing that we cannot accomplish the task at hand on our own that reminds us and others of God's awesome power. The willingness to commit to obeying God, despite what others might think or the personal costs associated with following Jesus are what make certain types of obedience "radical".

I started on the lap quilt for K.T. last night. Before that though, Ann and I spent some time reflecting on instances in the Bible where others were called upon by God to undertake acts of radical obedience. Here's what we discovered:

  • God instructed Noah to build an ark. This wasn't just an ordinary canoe. The ark was big enough to hold almost 45,000 animals! And if that wasn't radical enough, consider the fact that Noah had never experienced rain before! Because of his radical obedience, Noah's family was spared and they inherited all the wealth of the world. (Genesis 6:1-11:32)
  • God asked Moses to lead the nation of Isreal out of slavery and he did. With nothing more than his faith in God and a staff, Moses told Pharoah to "Let my people go". Because of his radical obedience, the Isrealites' 400 years of slavery under the Egyptians ended (Exodus through Deuteronomy)
  • God asked Joseph to wed Mary even though Joseph knew Mary was pregnant with a child he did not conceive. Because Joseph was radically obedient, he became the earthly father. of Jesus (Matthew 1:18-2:23)
  • The Holy Spirit asked Peter to build His church. Acts 5 tells of the severe persecution that the disciples faced when they began preaching the gospel of Jesus. Because of Peter's radical obedience, God's church was built and the name of Jesus is still preached throughout the world today.
Then of course there's Jeremiah. Here's a man who preached for 40 years that Judah and it's capital city of Jerusalem would repent and turn back to God. The book of Jeremiah tells us that during the entire time, he was ignored, ridiculed and persecuted. No one would listen, but he didn't give up. He remained faithful, and this required radical obedience. Jeremiah was a failure in the eyes of man. But to God, he was a huge success.

Radical obedience does not require great strength, a college degree, wealth, fame or social status. It simply requires the willingness to say "Yes, Lord." What is God currently asking you to be radically obedient about? We'd love to hear from you and we'd love to pray for you.

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