Many years ago, in another place and time, I had a fellow come to me with a big grin on his face. He shook my hand vigorously and announced, “Pastor, I believe God wants me to serve as an usher here.” I encouraged him to do so, gave him the job description, and referred him to the Head Usher for further information. A few days later he returned to tell me, “I enjoy drinking wine, but your rule says I can’t be an usher and drink alcohol.” I confirmed that this was indeed the case. He informed me that I should change the rule so that he could serve, since he and his wife enjoyed wine with dinner on the weekends.. My response was simple: “God knew you drank wine. He also knew the rule. He led you to be an usher. That means your choice is either continue to drink, or obey God. You can’t do both.” He got all huffy and left the church. I was saddened by his response, but I was also instructed about why people fail to fulfill their commission and live the abundant life.
There are a couple of interesting points here. First, if you believe that God set you somewhere, then you need to assume He knew what He was doing. Be submissive to those He has set over you. If you don’t believe He set you there, then why are you there? Learning submission to God-ordained authority is a real key to living out the Kingdom of God: the attitude is much more damaging than the wine. The chip-on-the–shoulder posture that pervades our society is counter to the nature of God. He wants us to be bold, not rebellious. The second point is simple: If something is hindering you from being all God wants you to be, deal with it! What a tragedy to think that a glass of wine on the weekend could derail a fellow from obeying the leading of God. For me, it was smoking and wearing long hair. I had to lose both to go to bible school. There have been many others along the way. It never makes sense to cling to something that hinders me from following God. His way is always better.
Scripture Reading: Even though Jesus was God’s Son, He learned obedience from the things He suffered. In this way, God qualified Him as a perfect High Priest, and He became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey Him. Hebrews 5:8-9 NLT
Somebody Said: I know the power obedience has of making things easy which seem impossible. Teresa of Avila
If you’re in a tough spot, though you believe God led you there, look for the lessons you can learn. If something is holding you back from obedience to God, get rid of it. The relief will be invigorating.
Check out the great new edition of Diagnosis and Treatment of Fools