You know how you experience times when you think life is teaching you one lesson but when you look back at that season in your life you realize it was teaching you another? That’s how 2014 was for our church. Many of our members experienced breakthroughs in areas where they had been stuck for years. Whether it was in becoming more effective in helping people find God and become disciples, godly financial management, better eating habits and weight loss, or healthier thinking and processing, many gained real traction.
What the Holy Spirit was teaching us in those instances is clearer now. Namely, it was that trusting God more fully and obeying him more completely is the real path to freedom. We started to connect the dots and see that the people who actually made spiritual progress were actively trusting and obeying God and the ones that stayed stuck were not, generally speaking.
Though inspiring that discovery presents a dilemma. Let’s face it; the word obey is odious to us because we think of it as limiting and cowardly, not heroic. In fact, trust and obedience get a bad rap and are extremely underrated.
Everything in our national DNA, history, and the media glorifies rebellion and belittles trusting obedience. Certainly, those who have made the world a better place through civil disobedience of corrupt authority are to be held in the highest regard. Our problem arises when we carry over that pre-programmed habit of disobedience into our relationship with the only completely incorruptible, honorable, and benevolent authority in the universe, our Heavenly Father.
While on earth as a man, Jesus’ had the most intimate, trusting, loving relationship with God the Father. He expressed that closeness by glorying in precisely obeying God, delighting in following him, and obeying his commands exactly, to a tee. He also happened to be the most revolutionary, constructively civilly disobedient, culture-changing, world-changing person in the history of mankind.
So we have decided to devote 2015 to imitating Jesus in this way. Our really creative and original theme for this year is “Trust and Obey.” It meant success or failure for God’s people when they we’re called to possess their destiny upon entering the Promised Land and has for every spiritual endeavor his people have embarked upon since. So here we go. To quote Bilbo Baggins, I think we’re “quite ready for another adventure.”