Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Obedience Begins Today

There is nothing quite as exhilarating as a brand new beginning. There is just something about a fresh start, the opening of a new chapter, the turning over of a new leaf. It feels so good when we can revel in the anticipation of starting from a clean slate.

Ah yes, all is well and life is good… that is, until the moment that we begin to realize, Wait a minute. This somehow looks vaguely familiar. It seems to me that I’ve been here before? In fact, I know I’ve been here before. No, I don’t think I’m second-guessing myself. These definitely look like my footprints on this beaten path, around this very familiar mountain. Well, what do you know? I’m right back where I started. I can’t believe it. I’ve been going around the same circle over and over again!

Don’t you just love those reality check moments, those fright or flight experiences that can either make or break you? Yes, they can prove to be most brutal, but often they are necessary in order to alert us to the fact that something might be out of kilter.

I recently had one of those encounters. My faithful friend, the Holy Spirit, gently led me to my own private screening of THIS IS YOUR LIFE. And just like the lovable football coach John Madden, with his famous black felt marker in hand, reviewing all the mistakes of the game, play by play, I was being shown how I had innocently picked up a bad habit of repeatedly becoming “hooked” on one particular thing, and always wanting to START OVER! That was my answer to every problem. I kept falling into the trap of the proverbial “Oh well, I’ll just start again tomorrow -- or better yet, Monday.” Little did I realize that this character flaw of always procrastinating was fast becoming the theme song of my life.

I once heard a well-respected man of God preaching a very powerful sermon entitled “The Most Dangerous Word in the Universe.” As he bellowed his message with fiery indignation, I found myself leaning into the television, locked onto his every word, waiting with eager anticipation as to what this mysterious word could possibly be. Finally, as if unveiling the Hope diamond he said, “The most dangerous word in all the universe is TOMORROW!”

Tomorrow? I thought to myself. But then as I listened carefully, he masterfully expounded on the subtle trappings of just how we can put off performing God’s perfect will for our lives with an innocent “I’ll just wait another day, or put it aside until tomorrow,” instead of obediently following the promptings of God’s voice, moment by moment TODAY.

Wow, like a searchlight locating a runaway prisoner, I had been located, yet I was even glad to surrender myself to the handcuffing of the Holy Spirit. I bowed my head in sincere repentance and whispered a renewal of surrender to the Keeper of my soul, the One who is my rearguard, the One who loves me enough to correct my wanderings and make my crooked path straight. I felt peace again when I heard Him gently whisper:

For the goodness of the Lord leads men to repentance.
—Romans 2:4


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