“Most of us are knowledgeable beyond our level of obedience.”
Have you heard that before? It’s true isn’t it? We know what is right. We know what God’s Word says about our marriage, relationships, finances, lifestyles, thoughts, words, actions, and more… But we don’t seem to live it out.
We’re called to be “living sacrifices” offering our lives to God in surrender and thankfulness. In obeying Him, we are simply doing what is glorifying to Him and is also best for us. But the problem with “living sacrifices” is that they tend to run away when they’re not being watched. When we take our eyes off of Jesus and onto ourselves and what we see around us, we can get caught up doing the very things we know aren’t best. We can run away.
So, how do we break the cycle? It surely isn’t by acquiring on more knowledge. The whole problem is that we already know what’s right and we don’t do it. Paul shares this very issue with us in Romans 7, expressing frustrating that he does the very things he knows he shouldn’t, but he brings a solution for us in the very next chapter.
“If Christ is in you [as He is in anyone who believes and trusts in Him], although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”
The way we can break this cycle of disobedience is exactly the same way we came to salvation in the first place: by the grace of Jesus. It’s not by reminding ourselves of what is right and wrong if we already know it, and it’s not by putting ourselves down or punishing ourselves in some way, as Paul even reminds us earlier in chapter 8, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Instead, we can find the power for godly change in our actions and words through the Holy Spirit.
I don’t say this to mean that there’s no decision to be made. There is constantly a decision to choose Jesus over our sin, but rather than trying to be better and stronger by constantly trying to lift a weight too heavy for ourselves, we need to choose to give that weight to Him instead.
And as the saying goes:
“It’s never the wrong time to do the right thing.”
So start today. As we begun, “most of us are knowledgeable beyond our level of obedience.” What is that for you? In what way have you chosen not to obey God, and where do you need to surrender your life to Him? Let us keep looking up instead of in. And when we fail we need to remember God’s promises, like this one found in Jude 24-25, and draw near to Jesus.
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”