Unfortunately or fortunately in my life I seem to be able to find myself in situations where I’m able to be humbled,.
last time I spoke up here was one of those situations when I spoke on David and Goliath. It was something I was looking forward to do. I couldn’t wait to talk about it and the message that was inside it. Alas in the morning I had an issue with my jacket which followed me through my day into my into my service. Into my sermon and it was a sermon where I must say I was probably the most nervous that I’ve ever given. I don’t know why ‘cause I had four pages of highlighted text and underlines… which could also be the reason, I was overthinking it.
But when I go back and look I couldn’t help but go back over it. As i was dismayed. I even said Leesh afterwards I don’t know what was happening. Leesh said to me don’t worry the message got through what are you worried about even Meredyth said the same thing.
But there was something there I didn’t know what and I had to find out what. I was struggling with it and know I want take you on an adventure where I’ve come from to find out the reason why.
You see it came down to my obedience.
In the morning when I was getting dressed and I put my new jacket on and caught a reflection of myself in the mirror. Although I’ve been reading scripture praying and trying to be a good Christian. For that one instant doubt crept into my mind and the doubt was my jacket and it was yelling! who are you to go and talk to people about God. You don’t know what you’re talking about? They won’t understand you?
I pushed the thought out of my head. I wore the jacket anyway. I came here ì put it on. I took it off. I put it back on and took it again. Visually struggling with my doubt for all to see but not for all to know. A mustard seed of doubt that morning continued to grow and it affected me as I spoke. I thankfully base my sermons off the book, so I can’t go wrong even if it sounds bad. But for the first two days after that sermon, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I knew it was a doubt on my mind. I know I have to turn to God. I know I’ve got to trust his word and I know i have to focus on him… what would Jesus do?
But even though I knew my scripture and I pray every day, doubts still crept in. I still fell for a trap or snare, I put it aside and had a holiday and I came back and it wasn’t till I home in my garden where it started to make sense.
I actually made a beautiful garden for Aleeshas 30th birthday and I’d come back and decided to go and weed it. two years ago that garden was perfect it had my full attention I was out there looking after it planting it, caring for it, watering it. Just like my faith through God word, i read it, to plant it, i water it and place my hope in it and grow. But like faith and like all of us at times we get distracted by the world and now this garden had turned into effectively a jungle which I couldn’t even pull some weeds out because of how thick and stuck they were in the ground. As I was pulling them out, i thought to myself…these weeds are terrible. They all have to go and its going to be a big job that that will take time and effort. And this is exactly like our faith. It can become overgrown with concerns of the world and we forget about what it truly was supposed to be. Out of sight, out of mind.
That afternoon we went to the beach as a family and met leashes mom and that’s why we weren’t at church or the chosen. The beach was beautiful but the water was freezing cold and windy. Alas when got there we said, kids don’t go in the water because there’s no spare clothes. so try to stay away from the water and just have fun. Though half an hour later there is Oliver.. I’m all wet! I fell in by accident and Abbies running around in wet shorts and scarlet not to be left out also put her claim forward for the most wet.
It didn’t matter, lucky for them I go to the car get them some spare clothes out and they get some new clothes. We had a fire cooked some even had some marsh mallows.
Half an hour before we left, they all decided to go down to the beach again. I sing out, “guys don’t go near the water ‘cause you’ll get wet and I literally have no more clothes left for you.” I made it quite clear just like God does in the Bible.
Now, there was a stick down there place upright like a pole. As the waves crashed up the beach the kids would all run up too the pole and once the water subsided they would chase it back down the beach. How is it not fun as a child and as a parent to watch their joy. Don’t let the water catch you. it’s a great game. One im shall we all have played. They were having a ball, they were laughing their heads off and enjoying it. I even said to leesh as we were waiting look at them. We were taking bets on who would go in first and it was at that time, I’ve said you know what…this is like us.
God gives us these commands to obey and they’re not commands supposed to scare us. They are commands based from loving care and I want you to picture God watching the kids playing at the beach and those kids are you in the world, playing and living. I know that I’ve told them what to do but sometimes life can be so fun and tempting that we forget about being obedient and gods love.
But if you were obedient we wouldn’t succumb to temptations or sin and it’s important to realise that temptation is not necessarily something that can glorify you or give you money. temptation can be doubt that can be self loathe. that’s also a temptation that you need to be wary of. Romans, Paul writes in Hebrews you’re born a new, don’t go back to that old life.
Trust in God that he’s there with you, living in you now to move you forward. It’s a funny adventure faith, and that’s how
I got to the word obedience. Because if we were more obedient the world would be a lot happier place.
The dictionary describes obediant as compliance with an order or a request a law or submission to one’s authority the very meaning of obedience requires something for me to be obediant to something for me to follow so therefore to be obediant there needs to be a master and it also needs to have a purpose a creator. Just like in nature flowers grow up and face the light, migrating birds and whales every season go off on their migratung journey. the sun rises and sets every day like the moon when God created the world in genesis the world was obeying him. The obediance is part of creation as its part of God’s plan and it’s a glorious plan. Obedience to m God has been Here since the beginning. Although with the birds and the whales and the sun they haven’t been given the gift of free will which we have all been given, in that garden made in Gods image.
So for us to be obediant we must have freewill. you must have the capacity to choose what to be obediant to. We all whether we choose to realise it or not are obedient to something and if you disagree with me look in the mirror and see your own self righteous on full proud display.
So if I can be forthright and ask you right now in church who is your master? who are you obedient to? Is it money, is it your pride, is it alcohol or drugs, is it sex or jealousy.
The last time I spoke up here i was battling the seed of doubt and dismay. That day doubt was my master turning me away from obediance and it’s important to know that it is so easy to become disobedient.
To be obediant, it requires our action and it shows and demonstrates our faith and our love. Obedience requires patience and perseverance just like a child waiting for Christmas morning. I remember as kids I just couldn’t wait to wake up for the gift and the glory that was to come on Xmas morning. Laying in bed, trying to go to sleep. You knew you had to patient and no matter the restlessness you persevered. You were obediant you obeyed because you knew there was a glory to come. It rings true for us as adults and Christians obeying God because of love.
Recently Leesh’s cousin had a little baby boy Barry. I think we’re going this afternoon to meet him and I will be meeting him for the first time. But it reminds me of the obediance of love and the love of God in newborn and parents. That child needs the obedience of his parents to care for him to feed him to change his nappies and look after him even at 3:00 AM in the morning when it’s the fifth time and you can hardly sleep, can hardly walk because you’re so tired. Yet you’re still being obedient for that love of your child as parent.
like God Cares for his children, us.
I think it’s important that we don’t get caught up and become disobedient because it suits us or it’s because we’ve allowed it in. We are made in the image of God so for us to be obediant it is something that God takes on seriously.
When you turn to Jesus and you look at him in Luke 6:4-5 the wise and foolish builders why do you call me Lord and not do what I say As for everyone who comes to me and here’s my words and puts them into practise. I will show you what they’re like. they’re like men building a house who dug down deep and laid the foundations on rock and when the flood came the torrent struck that house, but could not shake it. Because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practise is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. the moment the torrent struck that house it collapsed and its destruction was complete.
Just like saul on that battlefield (david and goliath) that day he disobeyed God and he was terrified and he was dismayed. Everyone of us in this church I guarantee has had a moment where they were terrified or they dismayed. it’s important when we identify that. You need to turn as a Christian to the one who hears you and the one who knows you and the one that can help you to give you strength and the power through the spirit inside of you.
If you struggle to believe that God provides us with power of the spirit. I want to take you to Moses and his birth. Two levites give birth to a baby boy. at this time the Egyptian pharaoh was a powerful man and scary he gave an order for every newborn child should be killed and people obeyed it. They were obeying through fear. except these two levites. they disobeyed pharoah and obeyed Gods love. They hid Moses and they cared for him. when it was time they couldn’t do anymore they handed him over to God effectively and put him in the river. Down steam he was found by the pharaoh daughter and her slaves. The same pharaoh slaves whose master was making the rules to kill every child. that slave showed the pharaoh’s daughter and they kept the child disobedient to man, but obediant to God’s love. Those actions of the levite’s as parents and that slave girl and the Pharaohs daughter. that’s the power of the spirit. the power giving them a strength and confidence to do what was right to say no to an earthy ruler and to glorify God.
Which is another clue for us to see. When your obedient your obedience glorifies God, through your love. at the Last Supper John 14, Jesus says to his disciples before they leave anyone who loves me will obey my teaching my father will love them and we will come to them and make our home with them.
The reason I wore my jacket today was to walk through my fear.
Inside I am good enough, I’ve got God on my side and I trust and obey God’s word. Don’t clothe yourself in doubt or temptation or disobedience. Clothe yourself with obediance clothe yourself with God’s love. Don’t be like saul.
Obedience is not fleeting. obediance is forever. without it you can’t progress. Practice makes perfect they say
It should be obediance makes perfect. An athlete like ash barty practises every day but she obediently wakes up at 6:00 AM. she obediently goes on the court to practise.
she had to obediently do something to her glory. like us in our faith, we need to be more obedient to the Bible to God’s word in his trust. Obeying is a choice and that’s why we have the gift of free will. We have the opportunity to be obediant. to show our love to those around us giving God the glory because of that. Don schultz’s garden I’ve been here for five years and I think every day I’ve driven past his house, he is out the front in the garden, whether it’s picking off dead flowers, raking up leaves. but he’s obediently caring for his garden. it looks great and it brings great joy and glory. All of us should do the same for God’s garden, which is the world. last year in lockdown Dons mulcher broke down. that didn’t stop him from looking after the garden. Same for us, a set back shouldn’t stop us from being obedient to God. Like i was two weeks ago. Up here with nervous pauses, human mind saying I can’t do it anymore.
I didn’t throw it in. I looked for a solution. I try to humble myself and I take encouragement from everywhere and everyone around me.
Through obedience we experience the true blessings of the Holy Spirit. only Jesus Christ is perfect but as we allow the Holy Spirit to transform us from within we grow in our holiness the more we read God’s word spend time with him, allow the spirit to change us from within. The more we grow in obedience and holiness as Christians and feel the love and comfort of Christ in our life. how can a man and wife have a successful marriage. we have got to be obedient to each other. I know Paul mentions submissions and and I find that word, I still struggle sometimes with that button of a wife had to submit to her husband. I turn submission unto meaning accepting. that person we are all called to be obeying each other and if you want to talk about that aspect of submission look at what God calls husbands to do, to love your wife. to love someone requires sacrifice, requires submission, requires accepting, a man and wife reflect obedience in any successful marriage. beautifully they care for each other, they look out for each other.
It’s so easy to be disobedient
Don’t see obedience as a scary word. Obedience is a word rooted from love from the time of creation to Adam in the garden with eve and beyond that Joseph. there’s so many stories. Ruth obeying her faith after failing in Moab, obediently went back for God’s glory.
Stay strong in your faith don’t let the world get you down or sidetrack you.