Nowhere is this danger more significant than in the spiritual realm. People
seem offended to learn that God has requirements that must be met if He is to
be pleased. But He does. “If (since) you love me, keep my commandments”
said Jesus in John 14:15. God expects us to do His will.
You remember the jailor at Phiippi asking Paul and Silas, “What must I do to be saved?’ (Acts 16:30). He was taught God’s will and he obeyed it (Acts 16:33). He did not quibble about baptism being too much to do. What God required he rejoiced in being able to do. He was not interested in ascertaining the minimal requirements for salvation.. .He just wanted to be saved.
This idea has application for folks who are already members of the church. I have from time to time run into this same attitude among our own people and here it is most troubling. I heard it expressed like this:
“Well I don’t mind going to preaching, but I don’t think I have to go to class.” Or “I’ll go to services, but I have other things to do with my money (or time).” I’ve even had folks almost dare me to prove that they have to come on Sunday or Wednesday night!
Well, the problem here is the attitude we’ve been discussing. I’ll never forget hearing brother Guy N. Woods answer questions after he’d preached one night in Tennessee. The question was “How many services do we have to attend in a week?’ Brother Woods had what one might call a uniquely direct approach to such questions. I believe his reply went about like this: “Your real problem is revealed in your question. Christian service is not a “have to”. matter. It is a “want to” thing. Your duty must become your desire.” Case closed, next question.
Of course, the preacher was right. As long as we look at our religion the way many people look at life these days, we cannot hope to be happy nor settled in our souls. To paraphrase Woods, Christianity is not something we have to do; it is rather somiething we get to do. God has His requirements. We must indeed obey Him. If our hearts are right, things like this are no problem at all. And it is surely one of life’s great blessings that we are allowed to do His will.
By Bill Irby
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