December 12, 2006

You Can't Go Home!

Whoever said, "You can't go home," was only partially right. Home is never what it used to be, but it was never meant to be. Life goes on even when you are not there.

I grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and I swore I would never move back there. I lived in Kansas City for 9 years, and when my family moved 8 months ago I never thought I would return. We moved to Dayton, Ohio, and I am writing this from Kansas City.

God has a way of standing things on their head. I didn't go back to Dayton because I loved the town; although I do. As strange as that may sound to many who live or have lived in Dayton. I went back because a man I respected and trusted invited me to be part of something. He saw something in me, and wanted to encourage that.

I came back to Kansas City this week not because I wanted to earn a little extra money doing freelance, but because I have some very good friends here and because someone I respect asked me to help.

Servanthood, obedience, submission, taking a leap of faith is easier when we trust and respect the person asking. We will do things that we don't necessarily like or agree with if the person asking is someone we trust and respect. Often, we don't even hesitate.

That is why the Gospel of Matthew makes a point of demonstrating true obedience as immediately putting into action what God has asked. Joseph immediately took Mary as his wife following the dream-encounter with the angel. Peter, Andrew, James, and John left their nets and followed Jesus...immediately.

Why?

Because they trusted and respected the Rabbi Jesus. They felt humbled and important that such a man would take an interest in them, and invited them to be His disciples.

Obedience should be immediate for us as well. Why? Because we trust and respect the God who calls us to obey. Even if we are unsure of where our obedience will take us, we follow because we trust God.

That is why Abraham's decision to leave his homeland was a demonstration of faith and righteousness. He trusted that God would fulfill His promises. He left everything, and lived in utter dependence upon God.

What if we put this kind of obedience into practice? I am not talking about rushing God's process or running with reckless abandon after something. I am talking about immediately moving ahead in the obedience in which God calls us to live. Our world, our church, our family, our lives would be different.

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