“DO PUSH-UPS” A phrase both received and uttered countless times while I was in the military.
This phrase was most often a direct result of some failure to operate in line with something that was requested, expressed, ordered or mandated. Now in an attempt to be leaders of the highest caliber and prepare young Rangers for greatly complex overseas operations, these disciplines were for the good of those who received them.
Our obedience is what gave us a better chance to stay alive and keep those around us alive as well. We were brothers. We were a family.
Obedience is dictated by boundaries and operating within them.
When you weren’t exercising obedience, you were disciplined. Occasionally it came when it wasn’t due because you had a leader who was just a little…well, “off” is probably the best way to put it…but most often, discipline came when it was needed and due. Whether it was appreciated in the moment or not, it was effective and it kept you within the designed parameters.
Our God is slightly different in the sense that He is 100% good, but the process, direction, and discipline still remain. Obedience to biblical structures is for our benefit…not just for His. He never disciplines when it’s not needed. Godly boundaries are always helpful and always due.
Think of it like your dog. You feel bad for your dog because you’d like for him to be able to go out and run around outside. But if you let him out to run right now, he’ll probably run off through the neighborhood causing trouble and potentially get hit by a car.
So you build a fence. However, it’s really not about keeping him in. Think about it. It’s likely that if there was zero doubt he’d behave, that he’d stay close to home and that he’d never get hurt…you probably wouldn’t even think twice about a fence.
Your main focus was more about giving him the greatest level of freedom possible, to run around and enjoy life while keeping him safe. It’s within sound boundaries and obedience to them, that the truest level of freedom, security, and safety is found.
I choose to live within Gods designed structure, but I never make it a single day without screwing it up. The amazing nature of our God is this: He knew we’d all mess it up at some point. That we’d stray from staying within his structure. That’s where Jesus comes in. To stand in the gap. To be perfect where we are flawed. To take our punishment, while we receive the heavenly access that’s really only due to Him alone.
That’s why I couldn’t be more amazed by Jesus.