DON’T MISS THIS – Episode 24 Aug 2020
My entire life, I have really valued EXACT obedience. EXACT fairness. EXACTLY matching clothes. Following a recipe EXACTLY. etc etc. As far as I could tell, being exact had served me well. It had kept me safe. It had also saved me from doing much work, do you know what I mean? I didn’t need to figure out if the recipe needed a little tweaking here or there, because I followed the recipe exactly. And I made pretty good food. And that is good. But, is there a better way? Following exactly is re-creating a result, right? And that is appropriate. But there is something beautiful about creating a result – creating something that had never been done before.
There is something beautiful in creating my life! And that takes some deviating from the “recipe”, whether cultural or familial or whatever. Remember Ashton Kutcher’s words of advice to young people:
“Build a life. Don’t just live one. Build one.”Ashton Kutcher
Create a life. That’s what we’ve been talking about this week, right? Thanks, Ashton.
Okay, let’s look at this, then. How can I justify exact obedience = re-creating by following each rule, each recipe How can I justify that with creating = trying new rules, new ideas, new creation?
A couple of ideas this morning. Here is the first, from Henry Ward Beecher:
“Laws are not masters, but servants, and he rules them who obeys them.”
We will get this more in a second.
Another thought, coming from the podcast I’m enjoying today:
Exact obedience is not necessarily following a check-list, no necessarily a recipe, or a set of strict rules. Thinking of exact obedience as such feels like a lot of pressure to do something perfectly – to not deviate at all, or everything is ruined. As if His blessing is dependent on my obedience to a list.
“That makes God a … vending machine. ‘If I put this many obedience quarters in, I will get what I want.’ That didn’t make sense to me.”
What is the difference between the Pharisees’ “exact obedience” and Jesus’ “exact obedience”? They look really really different, right? What is the difference? What is exact obedience, then?
“Exact obedience was (Christ) turning His heart to the Father. And then the miracles happened.”
Bryant said that it was Christ being exact to principles like love, not rules.
It was Christ’s exact loyalty to the Father. That is what exact obedience looked like for Him. That is ultimately what exact obedience will look like for us.
Bry and I got talking about this yesterday. I am exactly loyal to Bryant. Not because I am following a checklist, but because I don’t want to do anything that would turn my heart away from my husband. I don’t think, I won’t cheat on him because that is against the “rules”. Not at all. That thought has never ever crossed my mind. Rather, I don’t cheat on Bryant because that wouldn’t be loyal to that relationship – it wouldn’t be bringing me closer to him and to the person that I want to be, and to the Lord.
And that means I do keep those “rules” about fidelity and about honesty, but not because the rule is my master, but because I love Bryant, and the rules happen to turn my heart to the object of my affection. Again, “Laws are not masters, but servants, and he rules them who obeys them.”
“Everything on the ‘check list’ is actually meant to turn my heart to the Father. The things I thought I needed to do – the vending machine quarters – aren’t not actually to get something, but to turn my heart to the Father… I want to be strict or ‘exact’ to that relationship.”
- Daily scripture study
- Going to church
“It’s saying, ‘Nothing will get in the way of my relationship with God.’ I think that is what strict obedience looks like.”
I want to close with a scripture I looked at this week in my personal study. In Halaman 7, the prophet is Nephi. And he could see where the people’s hearts had turned.
“How could you have given way to the enticings of him who is seeking to hurl away your souls down to everlasting misery and endless wo?”Helaman 7:16
And then he pleas with them, and with us:
“Turn ye, turn ye unto the Lord your God.”Helaman 7:17
What does my EXACTNESS “turned” me toward?