[forthright] Just Do It

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2006 11:25:03 -0500
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Field Notes

Just Do It
by Michael E. Brooks

"His mother said to the servants, 'Whatever he
says to you, do it'" (John 2:5).

A group of about 20 campaigners were flying by
charter airplanes into the back country of Guyana.
The crew of the planes were weighing each
passenger and his or her baggage in preparation
for the flights. There was a maximum weight
allowance for each small plane, and our group was
well in excess. The pilot kept saying, "we must
leave some baggage behind," but no one seemed
willing to take anything out of their packs.
Finally someone said, "It is our safety that is at
stake. If the plane is overloaded, it will crash.
Just leave something behind!" In the face of this
obvious and reasonable truth, things were finally
abandoned and we got on with the flight.

There are times to discuss and even argue as to
the meaning of a regulation or the reason why it
is required. Some laws or rules are unjust or non-
sensical. Some persons in authority are
unqualified, and some that seek to rule don't
really have the right. Yet, there are also
circumstances where such discussion is pointless
or even counter-productive. There are times when
we must simply do what we are told, without
argument or dissent.

As an example, I understand that the point of much
military "boot training" is to instill the
discipline of unquestioning obedience to
legitimate authority. A battlefield is no place to
discuss whether or why one should carry out an
order. Survival, let alone victory, often depends
upon an instantaneous response. In such
circumstances any hesitation or questioning may
cause defeat.

Similarly, there are certain relationships in
which unquestioning obedience is required. A
novice employee does not debate instructions from
the company president. A small child should not
question his parents. And, above all, human beings
are in no position to dispute the commandments of
God.

"But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against
God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed
it, 'why have you made me like this?' Does not the
potter have power over the clay, from the same
lump to make one vessel for honor and another for
dishonor? (Romans 9:20,21).

Faith is more than simple belief that God exists.
It is also unquestioning trust in God. Trust that
he loves us. Trust that he is good, just, and
powerful. Trust that his commands are righteous
and that obedience will result in blessing. Such
faith begins with the recognition of God's eternal
sovereignty and holiness. It is built also upon
our need for him, and our desire to serve him.
When those elements are in place, obedience is not
a disagreeable burden, but rather a natural
response. We do what he says, because of who he is
who says it, and also because of who we are -- his
creatures whom he formed, and his children whom he
loves.

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