In our culture obedience is a bad word.
It somehow implies lack of freedom, restriction… even oppression. We want to be free to do as we please… think as we choose… act on our dreams. Of course, it is good to have freedom, but we sell ourselves short by trashing obedience.
After all… it is a good thing to ‘obey’ the laws of personal finances… and save money, so that we can be free to do as we choose. It is a good thing to ‘obey’ the principles of good health… so that we feel good, strong, and vital in the pursuit of our dreams. And, it is a good thing to ‘obey’ the laws of faith… so that everywhere we go and everything we do is used for a bigger purpose, to make a difference, and to make us better people.
What are the ‘laws of faith’?
- Listen… for God’s voice in daily life (no… it’s not a voice we can ‘hear’ but an internal sense in our hearts and minds… like a gut-feeling or a sudden and unexplained spike in our level of attention).
- Let go… of having to have things our way, and focus on the possibility that God’s way and plan is better for us and better for the world (its like seeing the bigger picture and wanting to be part of a greater good).
- Love… when people face the end of their lives… you never hear them talking first about personal freedom, dreams, or achievements… it’s always about family, loved-ones, and relationships.
We see a lot more of what God wants us to see when we listen, let go, and love .
In this last discussion of the Roman Centurion, Cornelius, we see how Peter, Cornelius, and eventually the world benefited from Peter’s wise obedience. You see… by accepting Cornelius and his family into the new faith community… Peter, in effect, opened the doors of the church to the whole world. Before this point, it was really only people of Jewish descent who were acceptable. This one act would open the church to all peoples over the next 2000 years:
Then Peter began to speak: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
We may not be able to change the world for the next 2000 years… but we can change today.
Listen… Let go… Love.