I was flipping through my highlights in Oswald Chambers' devotional book My Utmost for His Highest. The November 2 reading was good, and it really dove tailed well with some of the thoughts I have had the last few days.
Yet, there was one sentence that I read that I just could not accept. Chambers wrote; “Jesus Christ will not help me obey Him, I must obey Him; and when I do obey Him, I fulfill my spiritual destiny” (p. 307).
I have no doubt that our spiritual destiny lies on the other side of obedience, and it because of this reality that I believe that Jesus will help us to obey God's will. When our intention is to obey, we will receive the help we need to obey.
The fundamental problem of the human condition is that we don't have what it takes live a life of obedience. We are dominated by the flesh, and we don't naturally do what God has called us to do. This is true even when we have good intentions to obey. If my spiritual destiny depends on my obedience then I am in huge trouble!
Oswald Chambers began the reading with John 14:15; “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (ESV). There is no doubt that our love for Jesus is demonstrated in our obedience to his will.
Jesus goes on to say; “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:16, 17; ESV). Jesus knows we need help in our obedience and so He sends the Holy Spirit to be the help that we need.
The apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:13; I can do all things through him who strengthens me (ESV). Paul credited his continued obedience in the face of hardship to the strength that Christ provided. This was not something that Paul could have done on his own, he needed the help of Jesus. We need the help of the Holy Spirit to live obedient lives. (Tweet this)
When it comes to obedience it does start with our intention and commitment. We need to point our lives in the direction of obedience. For me that includes going to God and to ask for the strength to forgive, to love, to serve, and to give generously. If these things depended solely on me then I will fail. The help of Jesus is essential for my obedience, and I am going to continue to rely on His strength to follow him.