The struggle to obey

by Rev Lai Kai Ming

Readings: 2 Thessalonians 1; Proverbs 19:26

READ (verse/s chosen for meditation)
2 Thessalonians 1:8 (NIV)
He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

Is it fair for God to punish those who do not know Him? Is ignorance a sin? Well, yes, if we choose to ignore God. In Romans, Paul made it clear that the evidences of God’s reality are plentiful, and humans have no excuse not to seek Him (Rom 1:20). Nevertheless, it is also clear from the Bible that those who do know God, and yet disobey Him, are liable for greater punishment.

Sometimes I just don’t wish to obey. Obedience can be so painful, because it means denying my natural desires. It makes me feel so dissatisfied, because my desires are not satisfied. And so I begin to ask, did God really say that I can’t do that? (Cf. Gen 3:1) I flip the Bible to look for answers, hoping to find an excuse for my questionable actions. Yet, deep inside, I do know the answer. Now will I obey? Will I carry the cross to life, or cast it aside to death?

Romans 7:24-25 (NIV)
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!