The most detrimental thing in modern Christendom is this idea that we can bypass the difficult and painful issues of reality, and go on to live a flowery spiritual life. We have scarcely brought the issues of suffering, judgment, and raw obedience before the Lord, for we have popularly exchanged the call to carry the cross with a cushy idea that Christianity exists for our preferred benefits, rather than the glory of God.
We have been “tied to the dock,” unwilling to venture out into the deeps, quite content with a sporadic religious experience that allows us to feel as though we are in control of our destinies. But the call of God beckons us to “cut the lines” of humanistic security- which is a false foundation- and to feel the uncertainty of drifting out into the deeps. Obedience is not a cookie-cutter, predictable venture. Just ask Abraham. But following the Lamb wheresoever He goes is to come into all the glories of eternal life. “….righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
If you yourself do not cut the lines that tie you to the dock, God will have to use a storm to sever them and to send you out to sea. Put everything in your life afloat upon God, going out to sea on the great swelling tide of His purpose, and your eyes will be opened. If you believe in Jesus, you are not to spend all your time in the calm waters just inside the harbor, full of joy, but always tied to the dock. You have to get out past the harbor into the great depths of God, and begin to know things for yourself— begin to have spiritual discernment.
When you know that you should do something and you do it, immediately you know more. Examine where you have become sluggish, where you began losing interest spiritually, and you will find that it goes back to a point where you did not do something you knew you should do. You did not do it because there seemed to be no immediate call to do it. But now you have no insight or discernment, and at a time of crisis you are spiritually distracted instead of spiritually self-controlled. It is a dangerous thing to refuse to continue learning and knowing more.
The counterfeit of obedience is a state of mind in which you create your own opportunities to sacrifice yourself, and your zeal and enthusiasm are mistaken for discernment.
(Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, June 8 selection)
Am I obeying His voice today? Am I creating my own supposed spiritual opportunities, or am I surrendered to Him in my inmost part, cutting the line of self-sufficiency and drifting out into the deep unknowns of true discipleship? It is one thing to compartmentalize my life and to look pious in the proper atmospheres, when the proper men are watching me. It is quite another thing to be totally surrendered to the Man Christ Jesus.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. -1 Cor. 15.58