Whats the deal with the “Bold Obedience” thing?
Being a Christian is more than an instantaneous conversion it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ ~ Billy Graham
First I want to start by repeating The Labeless’s mission which you read on the Welcome page: The Labelless is a lifestyle blog that is about walking away from the Worlds identification of our lives to live a life in bold obedience to God.
The World loves one word labels to define who we are as a person. But the truth is that society only looks at one aspect of who we are and then determines what box we fit. Afterwards we are stuffed into an already crammed package and told that if we want love, stability and acceptance (you know just everything we are searching for!) we have to conform to the mindset of our tightly packed domain. At first its liberating you have a set of predetermined friends and allies! Who wouldn’t want that, right? But then you begin to notice that other parts of yourself (ideas, feelings, wants) don’t fit the approved list that is expected of all in your box. You begin to feel fear, anger and shame so you cling tighter to those around you, you get louder about your boxes ideals, you feel for sure that this is the only way to live. Your box has gone from a place of acceptance and support for you to a place of judgement and hate for anyone not like your box. We no longer see people but the cardboard confines that they, we, or society has placed them in.
This kind of judgement, shame, and hate is not Gods plan, But it is the enemy’s.
The hard truth is that the World preys on our instinctual need for love and acceptance. we must conform to gain that which we want most: purpose, fulfillment, and the freedom of being loved for who we are as a whole. Reshaping ourselves to correspond with a pre-determined image is not achieving any of those things.
God calls us to live in bold obedience to Him, and only him, and all that we seek will be given in full. You see God is more powerful than any action or reaction of this world, and definitely has more authority than some silly one word label. ( Romans 8:37-39)
Now you maybe thinking wait a minute isn’t being obedient to God just like complying to the world? Everything has strings…
Here is where you are wrong. Yes, God has commandments for how we are supposed to live our lives. The difference between God and the Worlds rules are this: We, as both individuals and a whole, are made to live abundant lives fulfilled by our unique purpose that God created specifically for you to do. The World has its own agenda and wants you to fit into its purpose, and judges and shames you if you don’t. The World can only see and understand itself, not you.
God see’s you. Every aspect of who you are from every thought you had, and will have, to every hair on your head and freckle on your body God sees. God pretty put it there because God created you! God knew you, every aspect of you, before you were even born! God knows your biggest fears, your impossible dreams, and your darkest shame. He’s seen it all.
Now if the World knew all that about you how would it react? It would see you as different, right? The world says to get my love you have to do what I want! It shames you, cuts at you, judges you until you slink back to the bottom of the box full of fear and guilt. This is where the world wants you, powerless.
God says I Love You!!!! Nothing you can say, think, or do will ever change that!
You see when the World calls us to it, God comes to us.
When the World says die for me, God says I died for you!
The World says if you love me you will do what I want, God says I love you so I will bless you.
The World says if you don’t do what I want I will hate you, God says there is nothing you can do that will stop my love for you.
God makes over 3000 promises, in His word, to us. All of which are answered with a resounding yes! When the World would tell us no. Because lets be honest when was the last time the World gave you a yes?
Now you maybe thinking this sounds great but how exactly am I supposed to be obedient? Well, Jesus showed us how by explaining Gods two greatest commandments :
- Love God above everything, and one, else.
- Love one another as you would love yourself.
Think of the most amazing man or woman in your life, someone who has been there for you in childhood and as an adult. He or she could be a grandfather/mother, father or mother, uncle or aunt, brother or sister, guardian, whoever, but someone important that has loved you. Would you want to disrespect or disappoint that person? No, I don’t think you would. Well, God is like that person times a million( Hebrews 12:9)! The people we look up to in this life are flawed, because they are human, but God is perfect! Do you really want to disappoint the father of all fathers? The one who will give you more, and love you more, than anyone ever could in this life? Again, I don’t think you would.
Next you hate the feeling of being hurt, betrayed, and judged by friends and family, right? Then why would you do it to others or yourself? This kind of behavior and thought process does not lend itself towards love. But that is exactly what God calls us to do to love everyone! This does not mean we have to accept peoples life choices, or daily decisions, or political views, or what ever is in that persons life that frustrates you. But it does mean that we have to be compassionate to them, tell the truth to them (in a kind and compassionate way please!), and we have to be willing to listen in a way where we aren’t getting ready to respond but we are purposefully trying to understand.
These two commandments are not easily accomplished in a world that belittles anyone with authority ( especially men), and teaches us to hate ourselves and others. We learn early how to disrespect, compare, and denigrate ourselves and others through a haze of misguided righteousness.
But we have to understand that obedience to God is founded in these two important commandments. Every other mandate from God stems from this abundant love He demands from us. The hard truth to accept is that we aren’t capable of doing it. We just don’t have the capacity for that kind of depth on our own. But the best news of all is that its okay, God took care of that as well! You see when we accept Jesus not only as our savior but ruler of our lives He gives us the greatest gift of all, His Holy Spirit.
A spirit that is apart of God and is so perfect and capable that it can make the impossible possible comes to reside in us. When we seek this spirit out, and listen to it, all that perfection and impossible possible-ness becomes apart of us! Because we can do all things through Him who strengthen us!
In the end Bold Obedience isn’t about rules, but love. Love is what we are called to do and be, Love is what gives freedom, fulfillment, and true acceptance.
Can you live in Bold Obedience? Lets try, together!