Oct 24, 2013
Too many of us think we should read commands in God’s Word, and then use our will-power to push ourselves to obey.
But that’s like pushing your car to work. You don’t need to push, because it’s got an engine. You’re supposed to fire up the engine. After all, driving is a lot easier than pushing.
Your Christian life also has an engine. And the way we fire up that engine is by trusting the promises of God. Trusting God’s promises is like turning the key in the ignition — VROOOM.
So when we read God’s Word, don’t stop with the commands. Be sure to find the promises. That’s where we get the power to obey.
What A Friend Experienced
Here’s a note my wife and I received this week from a dear friend. She shares how she experienced God’s promises empowering her obedience.
What she wrote was so helpful that I asked if I could share it here. She graciously said I could. So here it is —
Her Note —
Steve & Jan –
Just wanted to send a quick Thank You to reiterate your impact in my spiritual life.
Today I read 1 Peter 5:6 –
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you…
As I read it, I first saw just the command –
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God
Then I thought, “Okay, if there’s a command, then there’s a promise. So what’s the promise?” And as I kept reading I immediately saw the promise —
… so that at the proper time he may exalt you…
And I smiled to myself as I thought of what a different (and freeing) approach this – to find the promises that motivate the commands.
The reason I say this is freeing, is because I noticed a change in my attitude toward the command after I found the promise.
I found myself wanting to obey, and recognizing that I can only obey with Jesus’ help.
I went from thinking and feeling, “Okay, here’s a command I’d better obey…I’ve gotta figure out how to be humble under God’s mighty hand” to thinking and feeling “Wow! If I will humble myself before him, HE WILL EXALT ME!?!
Then I prayed (something like),”Lord, I don’t know why you work the way you do, but you say that by humbling myself, I will be exalted ‘at the proper time.’ PLEASE HELP ME…I know that I can’t even humble myself without your help. Thank You that Your commands always come with a promise.”
And I immediately thought of you two and your role in changing my understanding of God’s commands and promises.
I thank God for the part you two have played in the Lord’s transformation of my understanding of faith in Christ and a more appropriate and accurate motivation for obedience.
So I wanted to share with you my exciting realization that I really do get it and to encourage you that you are RIGHT ON with the idea of clinging to promises…they change EVERYthing!!! (for the better) …
Praying for you,
Stop Pushing The Car
Remember that Abraham obeyed “by faith” (Hebrews 11:8). Which means he obeyed by trusting the promises God had given him to motivate his obedience.
So if you are struggling with an area of obedience, find what promises God gives to motivate you, and pray over those promises until you feel your heart starting to change.
I don’t want to make this sound easy. It’s not. Trusting the promises of God means battling the world, the flesh, and the devil.
But it’s easier than pushing the car.
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And here are some related posts you might find helpful –
- Is Biblical Obedience Motivated By Gratitude?
- How Does The Holy Spirit Empower Obedience?
- Jesus Gives Us Reasons To Obey
- Is Your Obedience Firing On All Four Cylinders?
(Picture is from everystockphoto by sfoskett.)