Responding to God's Perfect Leadership
I see some great questions as an Internet missionary. Such as
I really need your help spiritually. My Christian life is no longer what it used to be. I am not active any more and I need a God revival. Or
How do I control my bitterness and destructive attitudes? It affects my relationships and my prayers.
What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus—to surrender, have commitment and devotion? Why does it seem scary as though these will make my life worse instead of better? Jesus declared Himself as "the good shepherd." In our culture good can mean just above fair to this-is-really-great. The Greek here, as used by the ancients, is better translated flawless, morally perfect, completely competent.
The absolute perfection of God's will means every action I take to follow His leadership is a monumental step up. Following His leadership is not a little better, it is much better. The consequences of taking my own direction are far worse.
Paul changes the metaphor but communicates the same idea in a slightly different way:
- Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption. But the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (Gal 6:7-8) And,
- Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. (Col 3:23-24)
So what is our right response? Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." (John 10:27) The call is to hear and follow. We must be listening. That takes time in the word and relationship with Him in a constant communication with God. As sheep we are never to lose sight of the shepherd.
So then even in trying circumstances, we are prepared with a godly attitude. We are reminded to find God in the difficult. Rejoice always; pray (dialogue) without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thess 5:16-18)
Think of God as big and majestic. All of Heaven surrounds the throne of God, "... saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing." (Rev 5:12) Is this your view of God right now? Jesus is a credible, competent leader of our lives if we will yield our agenda to Him. He is more anxious for a right relationship than we can imagine. Allow Jesus to sit on the throne of your life.
What then are the promised consequences? More of Jesus. Jesus said, "Who has My commandment and keeps them is the one who loves me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him." (John 14:21)
Complete your joy. Ask God for your next encounter with someone, "What would You have me say?" or "Lord, how would you have me respond to this person?" Then be still for a moment to hear is voice. Make a habit of it.
Nelson Malwitz, August 2011
This blog entry is adapted from the book, More Than Ordinary, Enjoying Life with God, by Doug Sherman.