The Burden of Obedience
“Father, if You are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22: 42
I sat with a friend in court as she faced someone who had abused her verbally, emotionally and physically. She was there seeking protection for herself and for her daughter. God could have made it so that this man didn’t show up in court, signed over his parental rights and she could be free of him. God could have taken this cup from her, but He didn’t. She was granted the protection she was seeking but only for a limited duration. Next year she’ll pray for God to step in and remove this cup again and no matter what, she’ll submit herself to His will.
I had other things to do this morning. This was my morning to go to the food bank instead, God was inviting me to go to court with my friend. He was inviting me to go into an uncomfortable space, in an uncomfortable setting to be His physical presence of support for her. This morning wasn’t about me, it wasn’t about her, it was about Him and following His will. God knows I’m a “nervous Nelly” and He could have removed this cup from me and had her ask anyone else but He didn’t, He had her ask me.
There is a burden to following God, and though Jesus tells us it is light (Matthew 11:30), a burden is still a burden. Jesus spent His last night on earth asking God to provide a way out from what was coming the next day and what is so awesome about this prayer is that He never wavered in His commitment to do God’s will. He put forth His request, remove the cup, and ended with obedience, Your will be done.
We face the burden of obedience every day if we walk closely with God. Everything about being a disciple of Jesus is counter cultural in American society today. Society tells us that we are our own top priority, that we can accomplish whatever we want and that we are number one. The burden of obedience tells us that we are the least in priority, that God’s will for our lives trumps our will and that God is number one. Following Jesus becomes like a walk in a river against the current and without the power of the Holy Spirit living inside us, we would be swept away.
I believe the lightness that Jesus is talking about is that our burdens are fully supported by Him. If we will choose Him, choose His will, He will carry the burden with us. Our job is to say yes, and once we do He comes in and takes over. The burden of obedience becomes light because it’s not our power that allows us to do all things, it’s the power of the Cross of Christ. (Philippians 4:13)
Whatever burden of obedience you are carrying today, don’t hold on to it too tightly because your power can’t get you through. Walk in obedience and submission and He will carry you through. The world around you may call you crazy but don’t worry about that, God calls you blessed. God’s promises of unending faithfulness will always be proven true.
Live in God’s love, grace, peace and mercy. If you need a prayer partner, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.