It’s Gods call, Gods will, Gods way. God gives us commandments, not requests or suggestions, to fulfill the calling and purpose He has paced in our lives. Philippians 2:5-11 says this:
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Do I really believe that God can do through me, what He is calling me to do?
Do I believe that I can know and walk in Gods will for my life?
Once we have settled that questions with a resounding “yes,” then we are to demonstrate our faith by making whatever adjustments that are needed in our lives to obey God and serve Him as He has appointed.
In our text, we note that the Son had to make some adjustments before he could obey the Father and thus, join the Father in the work of world redemption.
He made the necessary adjustments (vs. 6-7), so He might obey (v. 8), and receive the resulting reward (vs. 9-11).
In the same way, when we sense God’s call to take a new step of obedience in our walk with Him and determine to respond by faith to His call, we will first have to make the necessary adjustments to walk in obedience.
Once we do that, we can then obey and be blessed as we receive the rewards that accompany those steps of obedience to God.
What kinds of adjustments might we have to make in order to obey the call of God?
Typically, the adjustments we might have to make in our lives in order to obey God will fall into one of the following categories:
1. An Adjustment Regarding Our Attitude - Verses 5-7
Note the attitude of the Son that put him in a position to obey the Father. His attitude was that any price was worth paying in order to join the Father in doing his will. Even so, God’s invitation to us will also require a similar attitude if we want to be in a position to obey.
With regard to whatever is required to obey the father’s call, we must have the attitude that any sacrifice necessary to do God’s will is worth making in light of the inevitable reward for obedience.
It was this attitude that enabled Jesus to obey the call to sacrifice Himself on the cross for our sake.
“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
Obeying God will always require an adjustment in our attitude regarding the worth of whatever sacrifice is required to obey him.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Yolya
2. An Adjustment Regarding Our Actions – Verse 8
The Son took action to make the adjustments necessary to obey the Father, and we will have to do the same. We cannot stay where we are and follow God.
Following His call will always require taking the necessary actions to adjust our lives so that we might obey.
Noah could not continue life as usual and build an ark at the same time (Genesis 6).
Moses could not stay on the back side of the desert herding sheep and stand before Pharaoh at the same time (Exodus 3).
David had to leave his sheep to become king (1 Samuel 16:1-13).
Peter, Andrew, James, and John had to leave their fishing businesses in order to follow Jesus (Matthew 4:18-22).
Matthew had to leave his cushy tax collector’s job to follow Jesus (Matthew 9:9).
Paul had to completely change directions in his life in order to be used of God to preach the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 9:1-19).
God will always make clear what actions we need to take in order to adjust and get in a position to obey Him, because He wants to bless us.
You see, not only can we not stay where we are and follow God, but we cannot follow God and stay the same!
We are never so much like Jesus to determine that any sacrifice is worth making in order to follow God and then take whatever action is necessary to obey Him and be rewarded by Him.
This is what Jesus was referring to when He said:
“Then he said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it’” (Luke 9:23-24).
The Message translation of Matthew 16:24-26 explains it this way:
“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat - I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?”
Photo credit: Unsplash/Nathan Dumlao
What Adjustments Will You Make?
How is God calling you to “take up your cross” today? How is He calling you to obey Him? What adjustments are you going to have to make in order to do so?
Is it an adjustment in:
- Your circumstances (like job, home, finances)
- Your relationships (marriage, family, friends, business associates)
- Your thinking (prejudices, methods, your potential)
- Your commitments (to family, church, job, plans, tradition)
- Your activities (how you pray, give, serve, spend your free time)
- Your beliefs (about God, His purposes, His ways, yourself, your relationship to God)?
Mark this down: whatever changes or sacrifices I might have to make in order to obey God are always worth it because it is only in embracing my “cross” that I will fulfill my God-given destiny.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
So which will it be? Will you waste your life or invest in your life? Will you live for yourself or for your Savior? Will you follow the way of the crowd or the way of the cross?
Photo credit: Unsplash/Toby John Varhaugvik
Roberto Martinez is the founding Pastor of King of Glory Ministries, Inc. Through his hard work and dedication they have been able to open four satellite churches both here and abroad. He also works fulltime as an Administrator at a local hospital in Coral Springs FL. Roberto is a husband to his wife Griselda of 28 years and the father of two great young men, Gabriel and Samuel.