Much is being written and preached about the mental, moral and spiritual state of the present generation. Numerous factors are considered to be the underlying cause of the predicament in which we, as Israel nations, find ourselves. As in the past, many remedies are suggested, and much of the blame for the outrageous acts and behaviour of so many young people is boredom, lack of meaning and worthwhile purpose in life. And to this there is a lot of truth. For to the genuine Christian, it is an accepted fact that the Divine intention is that we should continually grow.
But, we are not robots, for, in the Divine Purpose, the aim is for us to become not only creatures of God by creation but sons and daughters of the Living God by recreation and by living in harmony and fellowship with Him. This means a continual harmonious union, in obedience to His Will, for only God Who made us knows what He made us for. It is in this respect we say that obedience is the key to the meaning, purpose and real growth in our new status. Anyone who reads Holy Writ with proper intent will see this necessity running right through from beginning to the end. Obedience on our part is the Key to everything God can do and will do on His part. And this Key is with us; it lies within our own will. It is something we on our part have to use and, when used properly in harmony with God’s Will, the promised results will follow us certainly as night follows day.
We recall the time when the disciples returned from a nightlong but fruitless fishing expedition. To them it was, on the surface, a wasted night. Frustrating, disappointing and indeed very worrying, for fishing was their business, their livelihood. Now when they came towards the shore, standing there was Jesus, Who, strange as it may appear, gave them the amazing command: “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets.” On the surface, could anything appear more futile to these tired, frustrated and disappointed men? However, Peter used the Key, for he replied, “Lord we have toiled all night and taken nothing. Nevertheless, at thy word, I will.” And we all know the result. But we must not forget it was the use of the Key: “At Thy Word I Will.”
This is the attitude of mind required from Christ’s followers. The Word has never failed, never let anyone down, never been proved wrong in experience, never deceived anyone in all human history. Think about this seriously. For is it not a fact of all human history that it is “other Words” that have let individuals and whole nations down? Nothing throughout all human experience has been proved so right as obedience to God’s Word.
So, in today’s situation, there is only one thing left and that is to come to a point where we will say with meaning and purpose “At Thy Word, I will” – and then do it. Not as is so often the case: “At Thy Word I will think about it.” Or “At Thy Word I will have to get the right feeling.” In other words so many modern folk want to emotionalize what God says we must do. Hence we see an emotional religion—not God’s intended Reality. It is the Will that has to say with determination, “Nevertheless at Thy Word I will!” Is not just this which is the missing factor in today’s situation? Absolute obedience to God’s Will. Many even are prepared to do what is called Christian work, rather than God’s Will! In this “self’ is the center, not the Father’s Will; for it is God Who must be the central figure in genuine Christian experience.
Now, to do this obviously needs courage. Is not that what Biblical Christianity is all about’? Doing what others consider to be impossible’? Many things with man are impossible. But with God all things are possible. After all, the most courageous people ought surely to be the followers of the most courageous Man Who ever lived—the Lord Jesus Christ. Have we ever thought of this aspect of our Lord’s life in complete obedience to His Father’s Will? It demanded courage such as has never been seen before or since on planet Earth. Even for Jesus, Obedience was the Key. And if for Him, can we expect to be allowed to be different—or let off on easier terms? As genuine Christians, we have no other choice—Obedience to the Divine Voice is the Key to all of our life’s growth, happiness, success and fulfilment. There is no other way. And there is no other Key that will open the secret to the solving of life’s increasing problems. There is surely nothing needed more urgently in the world today, and especially within our Israel nations, than our giving active response to the revealed Will and Word of God as we find it in Holy Writ and in His Beloved Son Jesus Christ, the Lord.
Written by Rev. John W. Shenton