Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Single Biggest Factor In Obedience

Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or evil.
― Ecclesiastes 12:14 (Msg)
BEING UNDER constant observation – as in direct supervision, or under surveillance through closed-circuit television – with the will to obey – is the way to achieve obedience. Just the knowledge that we are under observation – that every move we make is under scrutiny – is enough for us to conform to the standards set, so long as those standards are achievable. Even though this sounds like ‘big brother’ looking down on us and keeping us in check, we can liken this to the Lord’s experience of knowing our every thought, word and move.
This is a thing to possibly resent and applaud – we don’t like being ‘spied’ upon, but we also don’t like others getting away with bad things against us, those we love, or the vulnerable.
If we can get over the fact that everything we do occurs before God’s sight – that he, of all beings, knows how crooked we are – we can focus on the Great Justice to be done: we will be judged in our wrongs, but so will those who literally got away with murder (and other serious crimes).
It is good for us to imagine being under constant scrutiny. It means we are motivated to be beyond anyone’s reproach. It means our integrity can stand on its own. It means we have far less to be worried or guilty about. We can look ourselves in the mirror.
Challenging Our ‘Hidden Intent’
If we wish to sin, we will certainly find a way to do it. There will be planning and execution of the sin – intent. Often times, if it is people we transgress, those transgressions are predatory in nature; if we have intent to sin. And by intent to sin, we also include the sin of wantonly continuing in it – without the will to change. Many people have addictions they wish to overcome – their intent may be seen as pure. The hidden intent is more calculating.
Integrity is an interesting topic, because it is an investment that promises a rich reward by faith, but it’s not a certain reward, because we do our deeds by faith. That is said in ‘this life’ terms, but the real consequences of this life play out in the next life.
It bears serious consideration.
For every secret thing,
We will all be held to account,
Before God at his throne,
To its exact amount.
It’s a good thing then,
To nurture the intent to obey,
For in holding ourselves to account,
God’s wrath we may hold at bay.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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