“But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God, rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
Obedience. Hmm, if I am being completely honest, this is an area that I have struggled with all of my life. Growing up, I was a little fireball, at least with my family. I never took naps, but would instead stay awake and throw all of my shoes at the door. I was certainly not the submissive, obedient daughter my parents had hoped for. I have always been outspoken, sassy, and strong willed, and though those characteristics have diminished over time, I have noticed that the same way I treated my parents, stubborn and resistant, is the same exact way I am with God. I resist the voice of the Lord all day long, and try to ignore the leading of his Holy Spirit. I do not want to be taken out of my comfort zone, and surely I know what is best for me. It is M Y life isn’t it? Is it not M Y time, M Y energy, M Y future, and M Y happiness that God is trying to take away from me? Writing these words makes me feel so dirty! How could I possibly think and say such a thing? How could I say no to God? Have I not read the bible enough times to know that every person who says no to God, ends up paying a heavy price? I guess that is the problem. I grew up in the church, went to a Christian school, and danced at a Christian dance studio. My whole life has been surrounded by Jesus. I know all of the bible stories, and important verses, but that is where the problem resides: I simply know. Surely some of this knowledge has taken root in my heart to produce fruit and grow wisdom and understanding within me, but a lot of the seed landed on the rocky soil of my hardened heart. I need a heart transplant. Ezekiel 11:19-20 says, “And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people and I will be their God.” He will cut out my heart and replace it with a heart that is restored and made whole by his Spirit; that I might walk daily disciplined, in obedience to his will. The apostles clearly understood this verse. They were thrown into prison because they performed so many miracles that people would actually place the sick in the apostle’s shadows, hoping that they would be healed. Then God set them free, and what did they do? They began to proclaim the gospel in the temple, telling the high priests that they were the ones who killed Jesus. They were completely led by the spirit, yielded to his will. God knocked on their hearts, and instead of throwing shoes at the closed door like myself, they opened up and did as the Lord called. Even after they preached the gospel, they were beaten and told never to speak of Jesus again, but they left, glorying in the fact that they were counted worthy to suffer for Christ (Verse 40-41). This is the life I want to live, and this is the heart I desire to behold. God give me a heart transplant. May I not be numb to who you are. I can never know enough about you, Lord, there is always deeper still.
Application: I will pray this morning, as soon as I wake up, and tonight, before I go to bed, that God would bind my wandering heart to His, and give me a spirit that is willing and eager to submit to His will.