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This Sunday – April 29


What impressions, thoughts or feelings does that word prompt in you?

Are you instantly inspired? Are your passions suddenly elevated to a higher level of devotion?

I wish mine were.

Instead I tend to think of restriction, control, of having to do something that you would prefer not to do. Obligation. Conformity instead of free expression. The school to which you take your dog so you can manage it better.

Perhaps I’m the only one who distorts such an essential spiritual concept.

At the Gathering Church I’m doing a message series, Included: Participating in the Life of God. It is based on 1 John, a letter written fifty to sixty years after Jesus’ resurrection. Its purpose is to help people be sure about what it means to experience God’s life.

And guess what?

After honesty, obedience is the next factor that describes how God works in our lives.

The outcome is anything but controlled, restricted people gritting their teeth to live up to some impossible standards.

See for yourself in 1 John 2:3-11.

Am I the only one who doesn’t have an immediately positive reaction to the concept of obedience?

What’s your reaction?


  1. Barry DeLong says:

    I have a similar reaction – one of wanting to push off the imposed instruction or idea or task. Mine comes in the form of individuated rebellion. A spiritual ACLU attitude perhaps? It certainly feels Americanized.
    I have experienced the simplicity in obedience however. It is not a pure selflessness, in my experience, but more of a non-competition with His Will. So, I am free to quietly or noisily walk in the direction He points. Most often, peace or joy arises naturally from my obedience and that, in turn, dramatically affects my attitude and mood for the better. It doesn’t determine it (yet?).