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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
- Marc Heinrich

His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
- Rose Cole

[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
- David Kjos

Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
- Jonathan Moorhead

There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
- Carla Rolfe
 
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Thursday, April 20, 2006
Why we obey...
May God grant me both brevity and clarity in this post - for His eternal glory.

Faith, obedience, humility, forgiveness, and love. When the bond between these items is understood clearly, it will help you to be a better "repenter."

If I call into work sick, when I am not really sick, I do so against the will of God, and I do so according to my own will. By callously sinning in this manner, I immediately put myself out of fellowship with God (what has Light in common with darkness?) While my flesh wants to simply throw an "I am sorry" prayer at God and get on with my life - yet inside me I know this is shallow and false. If I were truly repentant about it afterwards, I wouldn't cover the thing up, by feeling bad about it, but pretending it didn't happen - rather I would bring it into the light - that is: I would march into my bosses office the moment I turned from my sin, and explain the whole thing to him. I would tell him how I had willingly gave myself over to both avarice greed and laziness so that I was willing to stretch the truth lie about being sick in order to get out of working and still get paid for it.

Here is where many of us fail to see the link between humility, obedience, and faith. The reason we don't go marching into our bosses office to admit our guilt is because we believe that doing so will be quite detrimental on a variety of fronts: our reputation will suffer; we might lose our job; our "witness" may suffer; etc. We look to the consequences of such an action, and we refuse to embark upon "setting things right" because we believe that doing so will hurt us more than help us. That is called "unbelief" where I come from.

Our mouths joyfully parrot the party line - "God is good, God's will is best for us" etc., but the rubber meets the road when obedience requires faith. It is imperative that this concept is understood, and understood fully. If and when we are in a situation where obedience is going to cost us something - these are the times when the nature of our faith is revealed. If we humble ourselves and go into the bosses office and "fess up" - we do so because we truly believe that God will give grace to the humble - if we find some excuse to avoid it, we do so because we do not believe God's way is best.

In my example confessing to the crime demonstrates a genuine and humble trust in God - but why would we do such a thing? To please God? While we all want to live a life that pleases God, it isn't exactly an effective motivator. We truly humble our selves for one reason, and one reason only - because we desire to be in fellowship with God - and that because we truly love Him. This saying is true, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments" - why do we love Him, because looking into the magnitude of our sin, and seeing the forgiveness given, the same loves much.

Thus it is ultimately our love for God that drives our desire to fellowship with God, and it is this same desire to fellowship with God that strengthens us to repent - that is, to humble ourselves in obedience - trusting God to make our paths straight - trusting God to direct the course of our lives.

This is what it means to be a healthy Christian.

There are many counterfeit motivations for obedience - guilt, authoritarianism, fear, etc. But the Christian motivation is supposed to be that love that was poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. The flesh is overcome through setting the mind on the things of the Spirit - that is, by trusting God in everything we do - utter obedience comes through utter faith, and not through utter effort.

It is something we all do well to meditate on.


posted by Daniel @ 7:32 AM  
3 Comments:
  • At 10:54 AM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Susan said…

    Meditate on. And pray on.
    For God to fill our hearts with His love for Him. His Son. And His Holy Spirit.
    And each day may it be our prayer in the morning.
    Because we can't manufacture that love. I've tried. And tried. And can't.
    So I continue to pray to God for this. Continually.

     
  • At 10:57 AM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Amen Daniel - well said.
    Seven years ago I found a lump - one of the tests I underwent was a needle biopsy (sp?). They showed me the small strand after and I could clearly see the white fat tissue on both ends but in the middle it was blackish and streaked with red.
    When God reveals my sin to me, I cannot help but 'see' my sin just like that cancer looked. It is as gross and ugly to me and just as I immediately underwent surgery to remove the cancer - I run to God, sick at heart at my sin.
    I thank God for the promise of 1 John 1:9 and have learned He not only cleanses me, but puts His nature and character in that place instead. Then I confess 'my stuff' to others with a clean heart, in His love and strength.
    It never fails to amaze me how when I do my part, He smooths out the path in front of me. There may be consequences of my sin, but God can still work it out for good. But only - only - when I am truly repentant.
    Many Christians do feel 'bad' about their behaviour and regret it, but that is not the same as repentant. That's as helpful as me admitting I had a lump, feeling bad that I had the lump, and then not submitting to the surgery.
    I have undergone so much 'sin surgery' that I cannot believe God still loves me. What love!
    How can I not love Him! I have been forgiven so much, and know there is much forgiveness ahead as He continues to show me my 'sin tumors'.

    Repentant Eunice

     
  • At 12:13 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Even So... said…

    Daniel,

    Yes.

     
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