We live in a day and time when there are not a lot of obedient children. Obedient children stand out because so many children are defiant, obstinate, throwing tantrums when they don’t get what they want. Is that how we act toward the Lord? Eash, I don’t want to address that one right now 🙂
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” -1 Peter 1:14-16 (NIV)
It is interesting the Holy Spirit has called us to behave like obedient children and then tied this together with being called by the Lord who is holy. Children tend to misbehave when they don’t feel wanted. They act out to get attention. They rebel in a wave of defiant independence against the one they never felt took care of them. Obedient children do not come from harsh parents. Harsh parents create angry children (Proverbs 15:1) that react to others out of their own insecurity never really believing they can be loved. They fall into relationships where they accept someone treating them as less than because this is what they believe about themselves.
Obedient children to not come from the lovey-dovey, never-discipline-their-children parents either. These kinds of parents produce children who are spoiled and entitled. The behavior of their parents made them believe that someone was always supposed to do something to make them happy so they grow up to be people believing it is everyone else’s job to make them happy-spoiled!
Obedient children come from parents who consistently discipline with healthy boundaries and parent from love and concern from the child, not their own irritations. You know what I mean by that, right? You have seen parents discipline their children, but not because they are trying to do what is right for the kid, but simply because the kid’s behavior is a bother. Obedient children come from parents who love their children emotionally but they also love them with consistent discipline and there is no time where there is positive emotion without discipline, nor is there ever discipline without love and affection. These parents love their children and focus solely on what is best for them out of deep affection.
This is why Peter, after commanding us to behave like obedient children, reminds us that God has called out to us. He is calling us to Himself. One translation says that He chose us. God wants you. He loves you. He died for the opportunity to adopt you as His own. There is one song we are singing in church now from Bethel music called ‘Pieces.’ There is this one line that overwhelms every time we sing it. It says “Your love is wild for me.” Oh man!!!! Did your heart hear that?!? His love is wild for you. His passion for you is unrestrained. If we miss this desire of God to be emotionally connected with us in spirit, we will not feel wanted and we will fill that vacuum with things that satiate the flesh, the desires we have that turn us into something worldly and empty while also turning us away from the God who loves us with such abandon.
Within this passionate love God has for us, He is always trying to guide us into the best place, to the best decisions, to the best character, the best relationships. He disciplines us so that our selfishness is addressed, our lust, our negativity, our perspective. He disciplines us sometimes allowing us to face the consequences of bad behavior in order to help us see that is not the way, but He is the way to truth and life. The Bible says we are to accept all hardship as discipline (Hebrews 12:7-11). When we don’t accept hardship as God directing us to address something in our life that is keeping us from the best life possible, we will turn into our selfish desires and ambitions and fall prey to the traps of the enemy.
If we want to live as obedient children, we must accept and reciprocate the emotional connection that happens through the intimacy of worship and prayer. But then, we must stop allowing bitterness to set in when we go through hard times. Let us accept hardship as object lessons that bring new revelations of who we are, who God is, and how to see the world that leads us to different attitudes and better responses. Then, we will experience the wonderful life God has for us.
This is my desire for all of you-to enjoy the wonderful plan God has for you!
If you are struggling with a situation in your life and you want to know the wisdom of the Bible applied to your specific situation, contact me and I will respond with Biblical principles to give you direction to move you closer to the Lord.
May the Lord bless you!