I write having failed in this area not two hours ago. I should have been up at five. However, when my alarm went off my half-awake self started talking to my good intentions. It’s still dark. You didn’t sleep well last night. Just one more half hour. You deserve it. I yielded to the siren call of sleep and woke two hours later. Wow, Elizabeth. What a fighter you are. I definitely did not obey what I felt the Lord wanted me to do. One thing I certainly did NOT do today–endure obedience.
Have you ever thought of obedience as something to endure? I usually think of obedience in terms of making the right decision at any moment in time. Enduring obedience takes this to a higher level. It’s making the right decisions faithfully over a long period of time and bearing any pain that comes because of it. Hebrews says of Jesus Christ, “that7In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. 8Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.9And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him”. Jesus didn’t learn how to obey, he was sinless, but he learned or experienced what it was to obey to the uttermost. Because he did it perfectly, he became our perfect high priest, able to save because of his sinless sacrifice and able to sympathize with us in all our temptations. Jesus endured his incarnation and his obedience won salvation for us all!
So, are you enduring something now? Is being obedient exacting a high price? Are you a parent, who needs to be faithful in the never-ending cycle of housework, meal preparation and child care? Do you have to go to a job you don’t like day after day in order to provide for you family? Do you have to care for someone who is sick? Do you have to face the work of overcoming an addiction? You’re in good company. Jesus knows what it is like to obey and to do it for a really long time. Don’t give up! Talk to Him when it is hard…He knows! Remember that if you are His, you belong to a great company of others who have endured too.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and the sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-3)