As children of God our life should always revolve around Jesus. There should be no second thoughts about it. Yet, what makes it happen? One thing that must obviously come to our mind is obeying Him at all costs. This will have great rewards. For this we should first measure our obedience toward Him; measure it in a manner that is acceptable to God. The measure would be accurate when the Lord is reciprocating with us. There is only one way to fully obey Him. It is listening to Him. It measures our obedience to Him to the acceptability of God. A simple way to let our life revolve around Him is to seep His guidance into our hearts. “His mother said to the servants, ‘Whatever He says to you, do it’” (John 2:5).
Firstly, the super outcome of doing whatever He says is amazement. Then of course, there is the incredible joy. That we are amazed means the Lord has done something before us or for us that compels us to cling on to Him to the end. Each one of us must experience it. There is no substitute for it, if we should exercise uncompromising obedience toward Him. Hence, the disciples never let Jesus go off their sight. When He turned the water to wine, amazement seized them and they believed Him to be from God; from then on they have only gone to greater things. God has great things stored for us both to obtain and see. The key to them resides in our uncompromising obedience to Christ. Such obedience is deep and takes diligence in the Spirit. It does not appear in a moment, but begins with the things that God in Christ first asks us to do. They are for our transformation and include belief, obedience, and repentance, confession, calling upon the Lord and meditating on the Word. These are the acts that bring sanctification in us and sanctification is not a onetime process; it is continual. It is the platform to listen to Jesus. The more we are amazed by Him, the greater the resolve for uncompromising obedience.
The definitive quality of uncompromising obedience is seen in the words of Jesus’ mother. Now, the question we ought to ask ourselves is ‘where do we stand in relation to it?’ The fact that God made us into beings that have choice, i.e. the wisdom to discern and measure ourselves, and not as robots is in itself proof that we can examine the nature of our obedience. Many become Christians through obedience, but from then on are not avid for the great things God stored for them. The reason is simple. They do not continue the sanctification process. Hence, they cannot seek the words Jesus desires to say to them. To have them means walking with Him on a daily basis. It is for His counsel concerning all matters to be a glory to Him. Great is the danger in not doing it. He or she misses the guidance that determines their path, and so, cannot keep His commandments. They sin and cannot come out of it until they bear the consequences. But if the sanctification process continues in them, they go from obedience to uncompromising obedience. At this juncture, they begin to obtain and see the great things God stored for them.
One man has been a pivotal example for uncompromising obedience to Christ. “Then Paul answered, ‘What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus’” (Acts 21:13). He has shown millions of Christians to date as to how one’s mind should be when following Jesus. He revolved his life around Him. Such obedience did not appear in him in a moment, but he grew up for it. He did whatever Jesus said; God showed him the great things He stored for him. The amazement he experienced in hearing the voice of the Lord was the foundation for his obedience. Emphatically speaking, in his case, the water became wine. He was sweeter to the Lord than when he lived by the Law. He fulfilled the law of liberty, because his path was laid by the Lord. The secret for revolving our life around Jesus is in obtaining from Him the path to our life. Because it is of Him, He enables us to finish it. In this we keep His commandments. It is easier to obey His law this way than to scramble the Word and end up contradicting the omnipotent God. In fact, if we consider Paul as an example, it is Christ’s wish for all.
There was never a time when Paul or any of the disciples including the likes of Timothy, Silas, etc were found contradicting the all-powerful God. Yet, we see many in the present days divided by creed with human elements to it. For those people in the first century it all began with a simple format. It is listening to whatever the Lord says. The churches too were established under that format. How rewarding would it be, both to the dying world and to the churches themselves, to have such a creed! When the laws of sanctification are not adhered, it is impossible to hear the voice of Christ. But, you brethren have come to this message so that you may show uncompromising obedience to Christ. Such obedience of yours affects the lives of many so that “while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you” (2 Cor. 9:14). The overflowing grace of God in you stands you apart from the rest. Because of it, you will be known and sought after. It makes you a people that many would want to imitate. Having it is beneficial. For through the prayers of many Christ’s canopy will be over you. They are the best assets to you from God. You will go from strength to strength in serving the Lord and helping in the cause of the gospel. That the surpassing grace is in you means the measure of your obedience is acceptable to God.
Nevertheless, if you find it difficult to do what the Lord says or understand His ways, hear from the following. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (Jam. 1:5). Because His ways are higher than ours, which means His wisdom is not of this earth and because of the hindrances caused by the flesh and by the one that tempts it, it sometimes becomes difficult to understand what the Lord wants from us. Apply the sanctification process and then seek the Lord for wisdom. He will counsel you to accomplish His desire. The understanding He gives you will be as easy as pouring water into the pots. When you have done it, the Lord makes the result magnificent. The uncompromising obedience lies in doing what the Lord wants from us so that He causes a fantastic result. We should never forget that the end product of our works is by His power. He works in ways we do not know. That we constantly bear this too in mind, we ought to ask God for wisdom. By the wisdom He gives we do not stumble or disbelieve allowing the Lord to joyfully work in and through us.
For this reason, Paul willed to go to Jerusalem, even if it meant he could die. He knew how amazingly the Lord worked for him and of the number of times he amazed him. He had fears within, but learned to trust the Lord. He trusted Him, since he did whatever He asked of him. Incidentally, he went to Jerusalem and ended up in Rome for the sake of the gospel. He did suffer persecution, much greater than we have, but his state of uncompromising obedience to the Lord allowed the Lord to work in and through him. The Lord who worked for Him is ready and willing to do the same for you, if you on your part are willing to do whatever He says. For He said, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come” (John 16:13).
He has come and is ready to guide you into all the truth. So, let Him in. In the words of Jesus there is a clear promise. He did not say it nonchalantly, but with great eagerness to lead His believers in His will. Whatever He wants you to know, He sends the Spirit to deliver it to you. His words are for intimacy with Him. It should not be your intention to ignore them, but you must embrace them. Then, you overcome the hurdle, i.e. to abstain from applying the promise to you. It leads you to the provision of God. Hence, Paul said, “Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am. However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that” (1 Cor. 7:7).
You live to serve God by the way He chose for you. His gift will be the source of zeal for you to walk the way. It powers you to revolve your life around Jesus. The Spirit works in you through it to continually lead you into the truth. You obey the commandments through it. You keep the sanctification process for it. That gift which God gives is His seal on you through the Spirit. He recognizes you by it. He rewards you, because you employ it. This is made possible by Christ, as you have turned into a person that listens to whatever He says. You have been employed by Christ for His God and yours, and your life will not dwindle. And last, but not the least is a word of direction. “Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more” (1 Thess. 4:1).