The purpose of this subject
You may feel that the way of living we have been considering is a quantum leap from your present experience. Not only do you feel that you are in left field; you are in another state, maybe another country. That probably overstates the case, but even if it is an accurate description of your situation you need not be discouraged. You do not have to be advanced in the intricacies of sainthood to begin to move into holy obedience. You do not even need to know all of the problems or pitfalls. You need only one thing: a desire to know
God and to train with Him and His plan for you. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the very fact that you are participating in this training program is desire enough for God to begin bringing the grace of holy obedience into your life.
You can trust God to individualize the training: some things he will no doubt urge you to ignore; certainly he will teach you many personalized steps this training program does not cover. Above all, seek to be attentive to your Top Coach, whether through this training program or beyond this program.
We are to discipline ourselves to ‘seek first the Kingdom of God.” This focus must take precedence over absolutely everything. We must never allow anything, whether deed or desire, to have that place of central importance.
Let go of all distractions until you are driven into the Plan. Allow God to reshuffle your priorities and eliminate unnecessary activity. Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “Pray for me that I not loosen my grip on the hands of Jesus even under the guise of ministering to the poor.” That is our first task: to grip the hands of Jesus with such tenacity that we are obliged to follow his lead, to seek first his Kingdom.
The next step is so simple I am almost embarrassed to mention it, and yet it is so important that I must. Begin now to obey him in every way you can. Start right where you are, in the midst of all the tasks that press in upon you. Do not wait for some future time when you will have more time or be more perfect in knowledge. The Roman governor Felix wanted to wait for a more ‘convenient season,’ but we all know that there is no more convenient season. “Today when you hear his voice do not harden your hearts,” warned the author of Hebrews (Heb. 3:7-8). Right now, as you read these words, ask for an increase of the guidance of God your Father. In every task of your day seek to live in utter surrender, listening and obedient.
Some more advice in holy obedience is to get up quickly and keep going if you stumble and fall. You will fall, you know.
But when we do fail we do not need to give excessive time mourning the loss. We need to get up, and start again immediately. Nor should we linger long at the site of battles won. The issue in holy obedience is not whether we failed or succeeded yesterday or this morning, but whether we are obedient now. So Act Now, and put your training plan into Action.
We now will go into specifics of living.