A few weeks ago, I helped staff a week of camp for several soon-to-be freshmen in high school. Our campus ministry planned and staffed the entire week, which was very cool. We had the former campus minister as the Dean of the week, myself on staff, and 7 of our CCH students.
I mentioned in a post last week that I wanted to share with you some of the lessons I learned during that week. Then, my internet died. Now, we are back online, and I thought I would share.
So…here is Lesson #1.
It sounds simple, but I learned that God is still God.
One of my responsibilities for the week was to teach a class addressing some of the questions that Jesus asks. One of those questions is found in Luke 6:46:
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (TNIV)
This is the question of obedience. And I asked a further question: why should we be obedient?
I think that in many Christian circles, we are taught to be obedient because there is something in it for us. For example, if you are obedient, you will be blessed. If you are obedient, you will have no trouble. If you are obedient, you will…and fill in the blank. I think this is a self-centered and self-serving obedience. One that is based on the “what’s in it for me?” principle. And I don’t think this is the obedience God desires. I don’t think we should be obedient to get something from God.
I think we should be obedient for one reason: God is God. God has the authority. God has given that authority to Jesus. Therefore, I think we should be obedient because, simply, the authority does not lie with us.
Peter illustrates this issue very well in Luke 5. Peter and his buddies have just spent a long night fishing and have caught nothing. Jesus uses Peter’s boat that morning as a stage from which to preach. After he is done preaching, Jesus tells Peter to put his boat out into the deep water and let down his nets for a catch of fish.
From my understanding, fishermen in these days usually fished at night and did so in the shallow water. And here, Jesus is calling Peter to put down his nets in the deep water in the middle of the day! Yet, Peter says something…and it shows his heart of obedience.
“But because you say so, I will…” (TNIV)
That should be enough for us to be obedient; because Jesus says so, and he has the authority.
This I learned at camp. Look for Lesson #2 soon.