[forthright] Comfort in God's Leadership

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2010 00:15:09 -0800 (PST)
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross

Richard Mansel goes to the Bible to answer ... "The
Most Important Question." Great for classes, groups,
evangelistic studies and individuals. 
http://forthrightpress.com/#MostImportant


COLUMN: LIVING THE FAITH

Comfort in God's Leadership
 by Richard Mansel, managing editor

A small, dusty Old West town lived its life under the
thumb of a powerful rancher named Hawkins. The old man
was surly and wealthy. His cowboys began to grow rowdy
as time passed and the town’s people lived in fear.

Finally, the town council decided to grow a backbone
and take a stand against the lawlessness.

They hired a sheriff and deputy from another territory
to bring law and order to the town. When they arrived,
they posted the new laws and demanded obedience. The
men from Hawkins' ranch began to cause problems and
several died, as a result.

The new lawmen cleaned up the town and brought peace to
the streets. People walked the sidewalks and went to
school, without fear of being murdered. The good people
of the town relaxed, while the criminals fled.

Citizen today relish a high police presence in their
city, while the lawless disdain them. This is typical
human behavior.

In our postmodern age, when men wish to overthrow all
institutions and ideas, we see rebellion growing in
prominence. The children raised on the rebellion of the
1960's are leaders today and we see the fruits of their
dreams.

If we have a rebellious spirit, we will not find solace
in the Church of our Lord. Christ asks us to submit to
him and to humble ourselves before his Lordship 
(Matthew 11:28-30; James 4:10).

Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" 
(John 14:15). Christ demands that we be broken, so he
can reform us into a new creation (John 3:3-5; Romans
12:1-2). Christ will be the only Lord in the church 
(Matthew 17:1-5).

When the rebellious cannot submit to Scripture, they
seek to reshape Biblical authority, until they feel
comfortable again. With the unpalatable passages
rationalized away or discarded entirely, they feel an
acceptable level of control return to their hearts.

Instead of fighting against God, we should instead feel
safe in his leadership. Laws and commandments are
boundaries. When we are rebellious, and no one will
tell us what to do, we see these boundaries as
oppressive.

Yet, no one feels the same way when laws keep children
out of the busy street.

Like the citizens of the city above, laws created
comfort and peace. We can relax in God's arms, knowing
he will protect and guide us. He covers us with love
and peace (Isaiah 4:5-6; Psalm 4:8; Psalm 142:5).

Our hearts should desire the structure and order of
discipleship.

Obedience does not save us, in itself (Ephesians 2:8-
9). Yet, good works are the coin of the realm and we
cheerfully do whatever we can to bring glory to Christ
(Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 3:20-21). We are ultimately
saved by the shed blood of Christ (1 John 1:7).

Grace does not obviate the necessity of obedience.
Rather, it allows it. Coming to Christ means that we
have the privilege of serving him and having a loving
Father who establishes boundaries to protect us from
Satan and facilitate peace among us.

Boundaries are not to annoy us or keep us from having
fun. They empower us in a world where serving Christ is
the greatest joy.

We need to lay our rebellious spirits down and immerse
ourselves in his gentleness and peace. In doing so, we
use all of our energy against Satan, rather than
fighting against God’s authority. Let us make peace
with Biblical authority today and stop fighting against
it.

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