Incomplete obedience

Incomplete obedience

Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. –

Hebrews 5:8

Acts 5:1-4

 1 But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property.

 2 He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest.

 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself.

 4 The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!”

If you ever acquired a new puppy, know that one of the first things you have to do is teach them to obey. One of the best ways to do this is obedience school for dogs. This is often done by enrolling them in a class where they learn how to be obedient and follow their leader’s commands. When the advent of digital streaming, SPCA has endorsed video training programs. These programs permit dogs to receive top-notch dog training regardless of where they are located in the world without ever leaving home.

Any training regimen should begin with clear communication. Good training does not involve force, but rather respect, love, and trust. Training should fit the dog’s nature and proclivities. Training is not “one size fits all.”

Dog training deals with a wide range of issues including common concerns such as:

  • Disobedience
  • Aggression toward other dogs and people
  • Barking
  • Anxiety, nervousness, and separation anxiety
  • Chewing, mouthing, and stealing objects or food
  • Potty training
  • Hyperactivity
  • Selective hearing
  • Unpredictable behavior

The Father has provided a training school for all children of the King. His program begins with developing a close personal relationship with each of His children beginning with clear communication. He does not use force but rather respect, love, and trust. Each of His training programs is individually suited to that particular child of the King. He trains every child of the King according to the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6).

REFLECT & PRAY

It is sad to say that some children of the King are often obedient only when they want to be. “God didn’t say be perfect. He said the obedient” (Stanley).

Father I want to want to be obedient

INSIGHT

“Partial obedience is the greatest enemy of obedience” (Stanley). However, more critically, partial, incomplete obedience is actually disobedience.

It seems to be part of human DNA to sing along with Frank Sinatra, “I did it my way.” The Scriptures are replete with people that go just so far in their obedience, but not all the way in their obedience.

In the early church, people were extremely generous and set a high bar. Ananias and Sapphira wanted to look good when it came to giving. But they were only partially compliant. It had deadly consequences for them both. In a spirit of generosity, they sold some property and gave money to the apostles. They pretended to give it all. But they held some back secretly. They forgot that the Father knows everything all the time and no one can keep a secret from Him. Peter was given prophetic insight and confronted them. Both Ananias and Sapphira died on the spot, three hours part (Acts 5:5, 10)

Peter pulls back the curtain on what was going on within their hearts. What he revealed was frightening. They lied not only to the apostles but to God.

Acts 5:3-4

 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself.

 4 The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!”

It is very sad to realize that this could happen to any child of the King. In fact, it probably already has and we were not aware of it.

How do we make this right? Follow the example of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was tempted in all things but never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). He was always obedient to the Father’s will.

John 6:38 For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will.

Yet apparently there was a struggle at times.

Hebrews 5:8 Even Though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.  

It is the standard operating procedure for children to learn obedience as they grow up. But the Lord Jesus Christ was no ordinary son, He was the Son of God. This seems a conundrum. How can He always be obedient and yet learn to be obedient also by the things which He suffered?

The answer is found during His time in the garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion. Humanly speaking, He dreaded the events that were about to take place that culminated in the crucifixion. In his humanity, He did not want to do it. He sought a way out. He asked if it were possible, not to have to go through with it. He appealed to the Father. But He had already settled the matter in His own heart. When we asked, He was already obedient in His heart. He said, “I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Matthew 26:39 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Luke 22:44 He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.

Amid great anguish, and even greater suffering, humiliation, shame, pain, and ultimately death, He learned in real-time and, for all time, to obey.

“‘To learn obedience’, then, meant coming to appreciate fully what conforming to God’s will involved. But this is not to suggest that Jesus had previously been disobedient, and now needed to grasp what it meant to obey the will of God. Rather, authentic obedience is practiced in particular, concrete circumstances. So, as Jesus encountered fresh situations – and the focus of the text is on his suffering – his faithfulness to God was challenged, and his unfailing obedience to the Father’s will was tested again and again” (O’Brien).

Recall that Jesus was at once fully God and fully human. As a human being, He acquired knowledge and experience just as other people do. “He especially came to know firsthand what it cost to maintain obedience in the midst of suffering” (O’Brien).

Are any children of the King is not required to obey your mother?

¯\_()_/¯

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