Obedience To Christ
The best measure of a spiritual life is not its ecstasies, but its obedience. Spirituality cannot be measured by "mountain-top" experiences, religious feelings, and spurts of great emotion. Spiritual life must be measured by faithfulness and obedience to Christ. I denounce with every fibre of my renewed soul every thought of gaining or improving God's favor by personal obedience. We are saved by grace alone! However, I fear every notion of men that there is such a thing as salvation without obedience to Christ. It is both our responsibility and our privilege to obey our Lord in all things. THE CAUSE OF OBEDIENCE is the grace of God. If anyone has a heart inclined toward obedience to Christ, that heart is the gift of God's grace. THE CHARACTER OF OBEDIENCE is essentially two-fold. First, there must be the preparation of the heart. Our Lord will not accept any service but that which arises from a willing heart. That which is done in the name of Christ, by constraint of law, for fear of punishment or hope of reward, is a mockery of Christ's name. Our Lord requires heart obedience. Secondly, our obedience must be universal. If we obey our Lord with sincerity, we seek to obey him in all things. It is not the servant's perogative to choose which of his master's commands he will obey. We, if we love Christ, would obey our Master in all things perfectly. That is our hearts' desire. THE COST OF OBEDIENCE must be carefully counted. And it will often be very high. But the cost must never interfere with our obedience to our Master's will. THE CONDITION OF OBEDIENCE is faith. Precisely to the degree that we trust Christ, we will obey Christ. The root and essence of disobedience is unbelief. And THE CONSEQUENCE OF OBEDIENCE is satisfaction. Obedience to Christ has no bearing upon our relationship with Christ, though our relationship with Christ does have a great bearing upon our obedience. However, the believing heart does find great satisfaction by obedience to Christ. I want to so obey Christ that upon my dying bed I can honestly say, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." God, give us that kind of obedience.