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I'm saved by grace. I have nothing to boast except for the fact that I have the greatest Being on my side.

Monday, April 10, 2006

the "O" word...

In our last youth praise and worship service, Ptr. Doy talked about decisions and their consequences. This got me to think about the decisions I and my fellow OWLS made this past week and about the consequences these decisions brought. I'm not going to go into specifics, but I know that each one of us has gone through a specific "obedience" trial these past few days.

Obedience. Probably one of the toughest words existing in the human vocabulary: easy to say and pronounce, but very difficult to actually do. How difficult is it to obey? Depends? Yeah, I suppose that would be the most reasonable answer. It's easy to obey when what you are told to do would hardly require you to lift a finger. But what about in situations where you are told to make sacrifices? What about situations where you feel tempted to do something wrong? What about situations when you feel that authority figures just don't seem to get the picture? Totally different situation, huh? Kinda makes me wonder about the obedience of people like Jeremiah, Moses, Paul...even Jesus himself. I mean, come on! They had tough lives (actually, tough would be an understatement), and yet their obedience to follow God and obey His commands doesn't fail to amaze me. How many people are willing to live a life of "hell on earth" just to do what the Authority tells them to do?

For the past few days, I've been thinking about what OWLS stands for: Obedient Workers for the Lord's Service. The first word strikes me hard. Obedient. What did I mean when I came up with the word "obedient" as one of the words for our group? Let me first explain how the word came to be part of it in the first place. There aren't much adjectives that begin with the letter O, and to come up with the appropriate "O" adjective for a team of anointed musicians and singers is not easy. What word to use then? Opposing? No, that would be totally wrong! Outstanding? Mm...not quite. Okay? Heck, who uses "okay" for a group name? Then it hit me...obedient. Perfect. After all, being an OWL means being a servant of God. How can one be a servant of God when one cannot be obedient to God and follow His directions?

So what does it mean to obey God? It's not as simple as saying, "Doing what He wants us to do." Truth be told, obeying God is tougher than obeying our own parents (or any other authority figure, for that matter). Why? Because obeying our parents is just one act of obedience to God. It says in Ephesians 6:1: "Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right." In another verse in the Bible, it says to "obey them that rule over you." So, if it's hard to obey human authorities, then obviously obeying God would be so much more difficult, wouldn't it? Because if we disobey those whom God placed to be our authorities, we are, in effect also disobeying Him. This is why I said obedience is just so hard to do during certain situations. We have that desire to obey God and to do what He wants us to do, but then, circumstances just arise that make us want to go for the easier way out.

Let me now connect it to what I said earlier about decisions and consequences. To obey or disobey are decisions we make in life. And, as Pastor Doy said, every decision has its own consequences. And we have to admit, more often than not, the consequences of our decisions do not always appeal to us. And I'm not talking only about the consequences of disobedience. Sometimes, the consequences of obedience may not always be to our liking. But then, does it really have to be all about us? I realize that it's not about us; it's about God. It's about Him being glorified in our own lives. It's about Him reigning in our own lives.

After looking at the obedience perspective of servanthood, I figure being a servant of God is so much tougher than what I first perceived it to be. I remember the story of Saul in I Samuel 15, when he was rebuked for disobeying God by sparing the king of the Amalekites and by sparing the best of the livestock for a sacrifice to God. The words Samuel said, "To obey is better than to sacrifice." seems to just speak so strongly to me. I can't help but think, "Yes, sacrifice is good and it is pleasing to God. But then, I think what matters to God more is an obedient heart." When I think about it in terms of my ministry in the praise and worship team, I think to myself, "Yes, to offer praises and worship to God is a good thing. But, have I been obeying Him and actually living according to how He wants me to live?" It's actually food for thought...

I think it's a good thing that the first word in the name OWLS really is the word "obedient." It serves as a reminder to me, and to all of us I think, that before being workers in the Lord's service, we have to be obedient to Him.


Only a few more days to go before April 22! The excitement is reaching fever pitch, and we still have two more sets to practice. Also, a week from now, I'll be going to Antipolo to attend Ted's camp to be a vocalist. I have a busy April to look forward to. Thank God that He's opening more doors for me, not only to develop my talent in singing, but more importantly, to serve and glorify Him!


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