July 4, The Obedience of Jesus

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a  doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at  once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
(James 1:22-25)

There is an old legend about a dispute between the American Navy and the Canadian Authorities. Though it’s largely based on myth, the story purports the following to be the actual transcript of the radio conversation a US naval ship had with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland one chilly October:

AMERICANS: Please divert your course fifteen degrees to the north to avoid a collision.
CANADIANS: Recommend you divert your course fifteen degrees to the south to avoid a collision.
AMERICANS: This is the captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert your course.
CANADIANS: No, I say again, divert your course
AMERICANS: This is the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, the second largest ship in the United States’ Atlantic Fleet. We are accompanied by three destroyers, three cruisers, and numerous support vessels. I demand that you change your course fifteen degrees to the north. That’s one-five degrees north, or counter measures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship.
CANADIANS: This is a lighthouse. Your call.
That reminds me of how at times we may communicate with God. We demand that God bend his will to our will. But that is never going to happen. God’s word is fixed. God’s word is permanent. God’s word is changeless. When God gives a command He expects obedience. We can try to barter and make a deal with God but He will not budge. He is not affected by our excuses. Like the lighthouse, God is not going to move. We must make the correction in our lives. So today perhaps it’s time to stop worrying and treat that command as seriously as “repent and be baptized.” It could be time to heal a broken relationship and extend forgiveness. Maybe it is time to stop spending on ourselves and start giving back to God. Whatever the command, whether we consider it to be small, silly, or insignificant–know that if you obey God you will be blessed.

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