Was reminded as I read 1 Peter 1 this morning that we are called to obedience of God’s holy standard, not giving in to our passions as when we were ignorant of God. I’ve heard Pastor James preach so much about obedience to Christ within the years that we have been at New Life and I have been getting more and more convicted of what true obedience should really look like. I think for a long time before I came to New Life, I thought that I didn’t really have huge issues with obedience because most of the time, obeying God was convenient for me or obeying God was what I agreed with, meaning that I thought “Yes God—those are good laws that are reasonable and it makes sense for me. I will try to obey them.” Of course, it was easy to obey things like going to church on Sundays and not stealing things from my neighbor, but really seeing what God calls us to obey is so overwhelming. We’re called not only to not steal, but also to not have envious hearts. We’re called not only to go worship God on Sunday, but also to commit our entire week to worshipping him above all the idols in our hearts. GAH! SO HARD! So most of the time, it is easier for me to not think about obedience all that much beyond the things that are easy for me to obey and then to think that I’m doing at least a mediocre job.
This morning though, the passage in 1 Peter 1 that spoke about obedience just hit me out of nowhere that I had been struggling with submitting my emotions and thoughts to obedience as well as my outward actions. I woke up this morning and as I was going about my daily routine—feed E, make a breakfast smoothie, walk the dogs, play with E, put her down for her morning nap—the whole time, I was really finding myself getting bitter and annoyed about something that had happened earlier in the week. I never said anything out loud about it or acted upon any of it which I oftentimes proudly mistake as being obedient, but the thoughts that were running through my mind while I was outwardly doing everything that I would normally do on a typical morning were making me feel so upset. And then upon reading God’s word this morning, it really struck me how God’s call for us to obey him must first arise from our thoughts and our minds. I think it’s so easy for me to let my mind run loose and then I am left with the repercussions of my thoughts through the day—feeling ungrateful, bitter, or angry about something that I shouldn’t have allowed to even take root. It’s easy for me to blame the outward circumstances or the person who I would take to be the cause of these sinful emotions. But today, I was really convicted by God calling me to obey him in my mind and emotions. I had to really repent this morning over my wrongful heart and immediately address my sinful thoughts and it felt so refreshing and freeing to know that I am not captive to my own thoughts but that I can submit them to God by struggling with them and just being really aware of what I am thinking. Don’t know if I made all that much sense but just wanted to get my thoughts down this morning to at least process them a little more permanently for myself. And I’m re-reading this post thinking, “man—I used the word “obedience” at least twenty times in this post—I should have at least attempted to use some synonyms!”