641. Not Disobeying — Is That The Same As Obeying?

“I was reading again this morning in the Book of Acts,” Stan began, “and my focus was on the account of the apostle Paul’s time before King Agrippa.”

“If I remember correctly,” I responded, “we’ve talked about that before, where Paul was telling King Agrippa all about what had happened to him on the road to Damascus.”

“That’s right, my friend,” Stan replied.  “Jesus seriously interrupted Paul’s journey to Damascus.  Not only that, Jesus changed Paul’s eternal destination and everything about the time he had remaining on this side of eternity.”

“So,” I asked, “what were you looking at this time?”

“The part,” Stan replied, “about how Paul related to Agrippa that he, Paul, had not been disobedient to what God had for him to be and to do.”

“For me,” he continued, “that same thing is crucial and essential for my faith walk and relationship with God.”

“While you wait for the train,” I said with a smile.

“Exactly!” Stan exclaimed.  “I’m all set for eternity because of the finished work of Christ on the cross.  The main question is whether I’m going to be obedient to what God has for me while He leaves me here.”

“Paul described it as ‘not being disobedient’, I replied.  “Is that the same as being obedient?”

“While I think they are definitely related,” Stan replied, “I don’t think they’re the same.  If I just stop at the point of not being disobedient, without following that neutral position by being obedient, I believe I will have stopped short of what God wants and expects.”

“That sounds kind of like,” I replied, “if I’m driving my car in reverse, and then shift into neutral, but don’t shift into drive, I’m not going to go forward.”

“Exactly!” Stan said, and then concluded, “When Paul was talking with King Agrippa, he didn’t stop with telling him that he had not been disobedient.  No, he went on to tell him how he had been obedient.  That’s to be the same story for me.  Don’t stop with not being disobedient, but go on to obedience!”

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And it came about that as he journeyed, he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”  And he said, “Who art Thou, Lord?”  And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but rise, and enter the city, and it shall be told you what you must do.”  Acts of The Apostles 9:3-6.

Consequently, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision.  Acts of the Apostles 26:19.

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.  John 14:15.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, that you show me what obedience and disobedience look like.  I confess that too many times I deliberately disobey you.  Other times I simply am not disobedient without following with obedience.  Please forgive me.  And please help me to follow your lead in being obedient, whatever that takes.  Help me to be active in obedience, not just neutral in not being disobedient.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think on this:  We all struggle with being disobedient to what God doesn’t want as well as with being obedient to what He does want.  Can you relate to that?  What would it look like for you to go from not being disobedient to being obedient?  Is this something you need and would like?  Why or why not?  If it is, do you know how that can happen?  Can you do it on your own?  Why or why not?  If not, what will it take?

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