Adam was created in fellowship with God. After he sinned, breaking that fellowship, God revealed the pattern by which people could be restored back in to what Adam lost. He would awaken a desire within them and then from that desire they would call out to Him. Once a person called out to Him and the relationship was begun, they could walk in fellowship with Him.
But there was more to the plan. In each example we’ve studied, when people called out to God and began walking in fellowship with Him, they adjusted their lives to conform to His plans and intentions.
Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did. (Gen 6:22)
Believing in God, calling out to Him, led to a life-transforming commitment.
In his book I Surrender, Patrick Morley writes that the problem is in the misconception "that we can add Christ to our lives, but not subtract sin. [Sin is that desire and practice of rejecting God’s intentions for our own.] That it is a change in belief without a change in behavior."
Jesus is not an add-on feature, like some app we’ve downloaded. He is Master of the life and we are His servants.
Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? (Rom 6:16)
Our obedience is not measured by what we say but whether we obey.
Jesus told a story: But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go work today in the vineyard.' And he answered, 'I will not'; but afterward he regretted it and went. The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, 'I will, sir'; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father? They said, "The first." (Matt 21:28-31)
Obedience is the evidence of what we decided. We come to a crossroads. We decide to turn right. Turning right, then, is the evidence of our decision.
But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works." (James 2:18)
For each tree is known by its own fruit. (Luke 6:44)
The Bible recognizes no faith that does not lead to obedience, nor does it recognize any obedience that does not spring from faith. The two are opposite sides of the same coin. A.W. Tozer.
The Christian life is a never ending series of decisions. How am I going to live today, in this moment, in light of what Jesus has done?
How to Make Good Decisions
1. Perform a situational analysis – decisions usually involve change
a. Understand what the situation is now
b. Project how this decision will affect that situation
2. Conduct a cost/benefit analysis [Pros/Cons]
a. What do you gain vs. what you lose.
b. What’s it going to cost me to move forward?
c. What’s it going to cost if I do nothing?
3. Assess the risk/reward ratio
a. How will it affect me: financially, socially, positionally, physically?
b. What if the reward is obscure? Spiritually, not all rewards are on this side
4. Determine what is the right thing to do
a. Davy Crockett: Be sure you’re right, then go ahead.
b. Remember that at some point, indecision becomes a decision to do nothing, which might be the worst decision of all.
Process of taking the decision down from multiple options to a single choice: yes or no, go or no go.
Casting lots, drawing straws, rolling the dice, flipping a coin
As believers, faith calls us to surrender the decision to God.
1. Have I asked God to help me know what to do?
2. Is it commanded in Scripture?
3. Is it forbidden in Scripture?
4. Would it glorify God?
5. Can I ask God to bless it?
6. Have I any check within my spirit?
7. When in doubt, don’t.
Little boy looking at a famous painting from a couple of inches away saw only blurred colors. Only when he was taken back several steps could he see the whole painting, seeing where these colors made sense in the over-all.
Since God has perfect perspective to see how each decision fits into the greater whole, trusting God with the over-all not only makes sense, it is a step of obedience.