"And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God." - Colossians 1:10 (NIV)
Each morning, before I start my Bible study, I read the John Wesley self-evaluation test that I have posted in the right hand column of this blog. I take the time to reflect on each question. About 2/3 of the way down is the question, "Did I disobey God in anything yesterday?". I can NEVER answer that question with a "No". I disobey Him daily. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally, but in some way, shape or form, every day, I am disobedient to God.
It's something I struggle with. Paul says here in Colossians to live my life so that I am worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way. My struggle is that I know I am not and never will be perfect, at least not in this life. So how can I be worthy of the Lord? How can I please Him? What can I, a sinner, do, to live up to Paul's instruction? I know, no matter how hard I try, I will never be fully obedient to God.
Funny thing, God knows it, too. He gave me freewill. He allows me to make my own choices. So, I can choose to be obedient to Him...or not. I can choose to follow the commandments He gives me in His Word...or not. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment is, He replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Matthew 22:37-39 NIV). Paul also gave me a couple of other things that are pleasing to God: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. These are not hard commandments to follow, yet I know there are times during the day when I choose to go my own way and disobey.
I have been and continue to be on the receiving end of God's blessings. When I seek Him, when I obey Him, when I trust Him....oh, the blessings He heaps on me! I have also been and continue to be on the receiving end of His discipline. Through my decisions to disobey, to take control, to seek my own counsel instead of His, I bring suffering to myself and my family. All God asks of me is to have faith. To trust Him with all areas of my life. To seek His will in all my decisions. To make the right choices. And, in His infinite wisdom, because He knows I am a sinner, He sent Jesus to intercede with Him on my behalf. When I disobey, and I will, I only need to repent, truly repent, and ask for forgiveness and it will be granted. Clean slate, do over, fresh start -- a new day to make the right choices. So, as I ponder the "Did I disobey God in anything yesterday?" question, and think about the choices I made the day before, I become more aware of the things I do that are displeasing to God. Then I can choose, this day, to make a different decision in how I think, act or speak. I can choose to be worthy of my Lord.
"Although God causes all things to work together for good for His children, He still holds us accountable for our behavior." - Kay Arthur
Awesome God, I want to be obedient to You. I want to follow Your commandments. I want to live a life that is worthy of You, that is pleasing to You. Forgive me when I stumble, Lord, as I often do. May I make choices in my behavior that are consistent with my belief in You and in Your Son. May I continue to grow in my knowledge and trust of You. I ask You this in Jesus' name, Amen.