Comfort in God's Leadership

by Richard Mansel, managing editor
oldwesttown2.jpgA small, dusty Old West town lived its life under the thumb of a powerful rancher named Hawkins. The old man was surly and wealthy. His cowboys began to grow rowdy as time passed and the town’s people lived in fear.
Finally, the town council decided to grow a backbone and take a stand against the lawlessness.
They hired a sheriff and deputy from another territory to bring law and order to the town. When they arrived, they posted the new laws and demanded obedience. The men from Hawkins’ ranch began to cause problems and several died, as a result.
The new lawmen cleaned up the town and brought peace to the streets. People walked the sidewalks and went to school, without fear of being murdered. The good people of the town relaxed, while the criminals fled.
Citizen today relish a high police presence in their city, while the lawless disdain them. This is typical human behavior.
In our postmodern age, when men wish to overthrow all institutions and ideas, we see rebellion growing in prominence. The children raised on the rebellion of the 1960’s are leaders today and we see the fruits of their dreams.
If we have a rebellious spirit, we will not find solace in the Church of our Lord. Christ asks us to submit to him and to humble ourselves before his Lordship (Matthew 11:28-30; James 4:10).
Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Christ demands that we be broken, so he can reform us into a new creation (John 3:3-5; Romans 12:1-2). Christ will be the only Lord in the church (Matthew 17:1-5).
When the rebellious cannot submit to Scripture, they seek to reshape Biblical authority, until they feel comfortable again. With the unpalatable passages rationalized away or discarded entirely, they feel an acceptable level of control return to their hearts.
Instead of fighting against God, we should instead feel safe in his leadership. Laws and commandments are boundaries. When we are rebellious, and no one will tell us what to do, we see these boundaries as oppressive.
Yet, no one feels the same way when laws keep children out of the busy street.
Like the citizens of the city above, laws created comfort and peace. We can relax in God’s arms, knowing he will protect and guide us. He covers us with love and peace (Isaiah 4:5-6; Psalm 4:8; Psalm 142:5).
Our hearts should desire the structure and order of discipleship.
Obedience does not save us, in itself (Ephesians 2:8-9). Yet, good works are the coin of the realm and we cheerfully do whatever we can to bring glory to Christ (Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 3:20-21). We are ultimately saved by the shed blood of Christ (1 John 1:7).
Grace does not obviate the necessity of obedience. Rather, it allows it. Coming to Christ means that we have the privilege of serving him and having a loving Father who establishes boundaries to protect us from Satan and facilitate peace among us.
Boundaries are not to annoy us or keep us from having fun. They empower us in a world where serving Christ is the greatest joy.
We need to lay our rebellious spirits down and immerse ourselves in his gentleness and peace. In doing so, we use all of our energy against Satan, rather than fighting against God’s authority. Let us make peace with Biblical authority today and stop fighting against it.

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