On a scale from 1-10, what would you say is your "Obedience Ratio"? Most days I would rank mine at the top of the scale, but I have some 'cheat days' that my "OR" is at the bottom of that scale! As I was listening to Sunday church online this weekend, do you know what I heard? You don't have to totally understand something to obey immediately. I don't totally understand how eating less carbs helps me lose weight, but I have seen the evidence when I put down the donut and take up a few carrot sticks instead! Obedience is really a matter of trust. When we trust in the right thing, we are more likely to make the right choices, making our "OR" higher!God has breathed life into all Scripture. It is useful for teaching us what is true. It is useful for correcting our mistakes. It is useful for making our lives whole again. It is useful for training us to do what is right. By using Scripture, the servant of God can be completely prepared to do every good thing. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Most of us lack the power we desire to control whatever it is that gives us the greatest challenges when it comes to obedience, don't we? We want to control ourselves - our behavior getting the better of us only because we didn't place our trust in the right thing. We trusted in our own ability (will-power) to overcome some urge to do the wrong thing. That doesn't usually work out too well for any of us, does it? Truth be told, we seldom have the total power to 'control', but we do possess the total ability to 'trust'. When we place our trust in the right thing, we allow our "OR" to grow exponentially. My mind gets muddled at times. How about yours? Are you always on top of things when it comes to thinking right about them? If you are like the rest of the human race, you are likely answering a solid "no" to that question. We hold onto ideas that aren't solidly grounded - something my mom would have called a 'half-baked' idea. Ever eat a half-baked cake? It isn't all that great! The gooey inside of that cake isn't going to 'hold up' under the pressure. Guess what? Our half-baked ideas aren't going to hold up any under the pressures of life, either!
Scripture is given to us to help us increase our "OR", but until we actually allow it to be applied to our lives, the impact it will make on our "OR" is hit and miss. We may make an occasional right choice, but we will lake consistency. Scripture wasn't given to us as an occasional 'resource manual' we refer to when we need to 'troubleshoot' a life problem. While it is quite good for these issues, it is also meant to be an instruction guide that helps us make all those subtle adjustments each day that keep us operating in top notch condition! Trust in scripture to guide your steps and you are going to go along way toward increasing your "OR". The most significant thing we do in life is place our trust in Christ Jesus. As we consciously make a choice to lean into him, to get to know him better, and then to have him guide us in our choices, we begin to see consistency in our choices. Our "OR" is elevating with each 'right choice'. To lean into Christ, we have to let go of what we have been holding onto. That may mean we let go of our previous 'understanding' of how to 'do life'. We have to adjust to a new way of 'doing life' - by letting go of all those 'strategies' we have concocted in our own minds that we think will get us to a '10' on the 'obedience scale'. Instead, we lean into the things Christ uses to work out obedience in our lives - scripture, prayer, worship, his still small voice, and even the 'niggling' of our own conscience.
We may not know when our 'OR' is being evaluated, but let me assure you of this - when we are leaning into Jesus and trusting more in him than our own half-baked strategies for obedience, we are sure to hit the mark more often than when we are holding so tightly to those things that we think we can control with our own 'will-power'. Just sayin!