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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Submission Continued

So by now you've had a couple of days to ponder the fact that true love for Christ always results in obedience to Him. A loving heart is a submitted heart. Now let's talk about why it is that so many people think they love Jesus but don't back up that love with obedience to Him.

Consider if Jesus were here in the flesh and you could physically see Him, touch Him, even smell Him and audibly hear Him.

Let's say you go to Wal-Mart. As you walk through the aisles, pushing your shopping cart, Jesus is walking alongside you. When you pick something up, maybe an R-rated DVD, Jesus says, "No, I don't want you or your family watching that. Please put it back." You would do it.

Perhaps you have trouble with anger and frustration. Something (or someone) just sets you off and you let fly with some language your mother wouldn't approve of. Neither does Jesus. He pulls you aside and says, "Look, I don't want you talking like that. In fact, you can't belong to me and keep acting like that. Get it together. In fact, go apologize for what you've just said."

"But Jesus," you exclaim, "did you see what she did to me? She totally deserved to be told off!" Jesus reply? "Yes, I saw. Go apologize. Now." And you would do it. You would go apologize. When you finished, Jesus would say, "I'm proud of you. But don't do that again." And you wouldn't!

So what's the point here? The point is that our proximity to Jesus totally inhibits our sinful behavior. The closer one is to Jesus, the more likely we are to obey Him - to live life on His terms. But the further we are from Jesus, the less likely He will be able to influence our sinful choices.

Any good preacher or pastor will tell you that the solution for sinful behavior is closeness to Christ. And he (or she) would be right. That is the solution. As one moves closer to Christ, obedience becomes a natural thing. Submission feels good and right. It fits like a glove.

So when someone tells me they struggle to obey Jesus - or I see them living a disobedient life - not submitted to Christ ... then I know the problem. They aren't close enough to Jesus. He is too far away from them. His presence is to abstract to feel real.

Want to be fully submitted to Jesus Christ? Be in close proximity to Jesus Christ. You'll find that obedience is no longer a struggle!

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