Obedience is a tough lesson to learn, and we have to learn it over and over because we like to do things our way. Sometimes it is too late when we discover that our way has ended in ruin.But there is someone who is willing to forgive and forget, if we will submit our will to His. He is just waiting for us to ask Him to show us a better way
"Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account." (Hebrews 13:17, NIV)
This passage of Scripture is despicable to anyone who is influenced by the slogan of our day: "Do your own thing." Obedience has become something you do only when all else fails.
But God clearly states in his Word that the way of disobedient person is difficult. He wants us to obey Him through his designated authority figures our parents, employers, government and spiritual leaders. I realized this truth while I was in prison, and I have personally discovered that as I have submitted myself to God and those in authority over me, I have been the better for it.
Each time I rebelled against God's designated authority, I found myself placed under a more harsh, less caring authority–even prison. On the other hand, as I have humbled myself, He has exalted me for above all expectations.
Alex,* released from prison
PRAYER: Father, may the words of Christ be our own: "Not my will but Thine be done."
GIVING IT ALL TO HIM
"... Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10, KJV)
I've lost just about everything I've ever had because of my impatience. I've wanted everything to happen according to my time schedule and in my way. So I've always gone my way, and it finally brought be straight to prison.
Many people tell me that it's too late for me to do anything in my life. But I know that now I have just begun. I'm alive and God has His hand on me. Now I wait upon Him for direction in my life, and I am growing and learning and allowing the will of God to take shape in me.
I'll be someone–someday, and I owe that belief in my future all to Him. I'm no longer on my own track–He has control.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, let Thy will be done in my life and give me the wisdom to know, the strength to accept, and the courage to do it. In Your name, amen.
UNITED IN CHRIST
"For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:27-28)
When I was first called to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, I realized that God commands us to love all races, not just our own people. I never knew until I began to read the Bible that God had provided a plan of salvation for all races of people through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Now, since I am reading and studying the Word more, I find myself loving my brothers and sisters more. There is no distinction between us–no black or white, rich or poor, free or prisoner–we are all sinners, coming to be cleansed by a Holy God, our Father. We are one family of His children, united by His love.
PRAYER: Thank you, O Lord, for the understanding of your Word. Thank you for making us all one through your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
*Names have been changed.