“Radical obedience” is a phrase that’s challenged me. But it’s not just for me. This should be a daily challenge for ALL believers.
What is radical obedience? Let me see if I can put it into words. To me, radical obedience is obeying God when it doesn’t make sense. Radical obedience is doing God’s will when our own agenda makes more sense. Radical obedience is denying my flesh while fulfilling God’s purpose for me. Radical obedience is heeding the call of God when, by all appearances, it’s out of the question. Radical obedience is not compromising even if it means losing friends. Radical obedience is venturing outside my comfort zone no matter how uncomfortable or unreasonable it feels. Radical obedience is not only asking “What Would Jesus Do,” but DOING what Jesus did.
“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:8)
Radical obedience demands I do whatever I do in a manner which emulates the attitude found in Christ Jesus as He gave His all, through life and through death, so the Father might be revealed through Him every moment of every day.
Christ must be glorified. He must be the focus of my life. Others must see Him and not us. Radical obedience demands we disregard those things which seem important to us so Christ becomes of paramount importance to us all, through life and even through death.
At times, I’ve thought I was living a radically obedient life. But each day I learn there are more areas in my life that fail to reflect such humility and obedience.
Look at our verse in context … “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11 NIV)
Jesus is the greatest example of radical obedience. It’s time for Christians to understand what it means to be called a Christian – being LIKE Christ. We cannot be a Christian unless we pursue Christlikeness.
Oh, I have so far to go! But it is my desire to pursue radical obedience … not when it’s convenient, but when it is most inconvenient. What about you?
Father, forgive me for failing to be Christlike in all I do. I want to change. I want to emulate my Lord Jesus Christ in every aspect of my life. Help me. Empower me. Lead me. Teach me. It is my desire, Lord, to pursue radical obedience. Not for a trophy or a medal or a gold star, but I choose a greater level of obedience so that Christ might be glorified – Him and Him alone. In Jesus’ name, amen and amen.
© Jan Ross
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