Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed.
I had a very lively discussion today (11/14/2019) with classmates regarding knowing who we are in order to know others well. Obedience to God and to others came up during the conversation and someone advised that they are uncomfortable with the word obedience. I was aware of the situations and people that I easily obeyed versus those that I contested. There are many contexts in which obedience can be uncomfortable for someone. However, it is something that I believe needs to be taught and expressed well so this powerful principle can be restored in our society in the USA.
Obedience is submission to another’s authority. I think obedience is something that can more easily be given to someone who is capable of maintaining integrity when exercising their authority. I think one should be very discerning in those instances when one is given the choice to come under another person’s or entity’s mission (i.e. submission). And there or other instances when one’s obedience is an expression of honor to someone who is dishonorable and unintegral in their position of authority. Obedience is not always easy; it is for the mature. Ultimately, obedience is a death process—a death to my own will and opinion. Quite frankly, I do not want to die. When I resist dying to my will and opinion it is because of pride and deception. The companions that help me mature in obedience are humility, patience, and accountability. I am grateful for these companions. I’ve found that the more that I associate with them and am transparent with them the more I am saved from pride, deception, and disaster.
I am reminded that the LORD Jesus said that if one loves Him, they would keep His commandments in John 14:15. Keeping His commandments is the act of obedience. I have found that it is easiest to obey when I look to Jesus and behold Him throughout my day. What I behold I become, so when I behold Jesus, I become more like Him. In becoming more like Jesus, I can submit to Him and submit to others that have authority over me. The wonderful thing is that when I behold Christ His beauty, truth, love, joy, and grace penetrate my spirit, soul and body. His radiance becomes my own and washes me from any shame that I may be experiencing. I do not have to allow any embarrassment or guilt or shame to remain in my emotions, thoughts or behavior because of my actions, characteristics, or associations. Obedience to the LORD Jesus Christ allows me to be mature and free as I submit to honorable and dishonorable leaders. I truly believe that the LORD vindicates and protects those who dare to obey.
Adonai Shamma, You alone are always worthy of obedience from humanity. Still, we reject You and Your ways. Forgive us. Forgive me. I recognize that I must work out my own soul salvation with fear and trembling. One way that I do this is by keeping Your commandments. Another way that I do this is by being a witness for You. I ask You, LORD, for abundant grace to live my life for You and to testify of Your goodness. Let me burn for You, LORD Jesus Christ, for the whole world to see. Through my witness, may others be drawn to You, look to You, live for You, receive Your radiance and be freed from guilt and shame. Thank You for freeing me from guilt and shame! Make me a vessel and an offering, I pray in Jesus’s Name. Amen.
written by Myrina K. Robinson
Duke Divinity School MDiv 2022
Guest Blogger for BWET Blog
Words of wisdom to live by from our Senior Leader, Bishop Earnest E. Robinson, Sr. and other guest writers.