Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The national anthem of hell is "I Did It My Way."

A man makes the most progress and merits the most grace precisely in those matters wherein he gains the greatest victories over self and most mortifies his will. --St. Francis de Sales

(Scripture text: HEB 10:1-10)
Brothers and sisters:
Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come,
and not the very image of them, it can never make perfect
those who come to worship by the same sacrifices
that they offer continually each year.
Otherwise, would not the sacrifices have ceased to be offered,
since the worshipers, once cleansed, would no longer
have had any consciousness of sins?
But in those sacrifices there is only a yearly remembrance of sins,
for it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats
take away sins.
For this reason, when he came into the world, he said:

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
in burnt offerings and sin offerings you took no delight.
Then I said, As is written of me in the scroll,
Behold, I come to do your will, O God.

First he says, Sacrifices and offerings,
burnt offerings and sin offerings,
you neither desired nor delighted in.
These are offered according to the law.
Then he says, Behold, I come to do your will.
He takes away the first to establish the second.
By this “will,” we have been consecrated
through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all.

When we trust someone, we believe in what he says, even if we might not totally understand what he tells us to do.  When we trust a doctor, we will take the prescription she writes. When we trust a coach, we will do things the way he trains us. When we trust a teacher, we will study as truth what she teaches.

If that's true at a purely human level, it's so much more important at the level of our interaction with God. To have faith in God means that we trust Him and, because of our trust in Him, we believe what he says and does.

Sometimes the greatest difficulty for us is in the discernment between what we want God’s will to be for us versus what it really is.  We still have a very human nature that seeks what is easy or comfortable and wants admiration, power and self-sufficiency.  We can fool ourselves about God’s will if we fail to develop self-awareness and trust in God’s love for us. This can lead to confusion about what is real and what is self-deception.

Obedience has almost become a bad word in our culture that has made autonomy a god. We believe that obedience to anyone, including God, is against our free nature rather than its genuine foundation, a form of slavery that shackles rather than liberates.

The real test of our faith is seen in our loving obedience to Him.

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