Borrowed Truths

Under Subjection

under usbjection
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Under Subjection

If, which indeed it does, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) then where does obedience come from? “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” (1 Sam. 15:22)

The question of where does obedience come from is simple, if we search only the Old Testament, obey these commandments from the Lord, and you will be in good standing with Him, as long as they are done with a pure heart out of love for Him, but in time the people did not do that. “I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.” (Amos 5:21)

Beyond that, when we step into the New Testament, where all who call on the Lord will be saved, (Romans 10:13) where salvation, as it always has to be truthfully, is based solely on the grace of God. “And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” (Matt. 3:9) Then the question still stands as relevant, where does our obedience come from?

Isaiah, Ezekiel, Elijah, all the prophets of God were commanded by God to give the message that He wanted them to give, but did they have to do so, could they have said no, was obedience forced upon them? I contend here that all obedience to the will and Word of God is done by our free will, and only out of the attitude of love.

My lovely wife and I had a conversation this evening about this subject, the intellect and the emotions, and which of them is more necessary to become a willing, obedient servant of the Most High. As a man, made in the image of God, I naturally took the side in our debate of the intellect, for in deductive reasoning skills a man looks at both sides of the equation, and then makes a logic-based decision. Of course, this decision is prompted, if you will, by the Holy Spirit, it just makes sense to serve the living God. My beautiful wife, being made in the image of God, contended for the emotional side of the equation, for she is a woman, and women are much more in tune with their emotions than men, though not always as able to express them properly. The conclusion was the same on both ends of the debate, what is required to be obedient to the Lord by those who profess Jesus Christ as Lord is both the intellectual knowledge that He who says He is, He is indeed, and the emotional construct that makes the heart pine for Him who first loved us.

“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1 Cor. 9:27) We do not allow our intellect to control us in this matter of obedience, or we will end up like those who did no more than adhere to the commandments of the Lord because they were supposed to. But we cannot let our emotions get the better of us, or we will be like “a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” (James 1:6) We will praise when things are “going well,” we will doubt when the trials and tribulations begin to appear.

In one simple sentence, we obey the will and Word of God because we want to, we have made the decision by our own free will, both intellectually and with our heart, our emotions, that He alone is indeed worthy of all honor, praise and glory.

These are the two fronts, the intellect and the emotional part of us, that we are in continual battle against, our old man (Romans 6:6) and it is here, and perhaps only here, that Satan can find an advantage against us. This battle will not end until you are glorified, it is continuous, but it will end. The real question is, if indeed these words written here are truth, are you even in the battle, are you doing all that you can through prayer, supplication, and the exercising of your free will to stand against these two ever present constructs within you. Are you keeping your body under subjection?

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