Life At Its Best: Upgrading life through obedience
Feb. 11, 2011 at midnight
Updated Feb. 10, 2011 at 8:11 p.m.
By Jim Graff
As a frequent traveler, I love to hear the phrase, "You've been upgraded." I love it because flying first class means I get to trade in my peanuts for a real meal and can sleep in a big, soft chair with plenty of legroom. The service is amazing, and I don't even have to pay for headphones. Everything about that upgrade is better.
The same is true about the kind of life God gives. Everything he offers is first class and is a definite upgrade. Unsure? Just listen to Jesus' words in John 10:10. He says, "The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life." That sure sounds like an upgrade to me. But notice I said "everything he offers." Simply offering something to us doesn't guarantee we'll be blessed by it. There's a part we must play if we want to live that abundant life, and God makes our responsibility clear in His Word. Simply put, we're called to upgrade through obedience.
In Genesis 12, God makes Abraham an offer for an upgrade but first presents him with a challenging test of obedience. He instructs him to leave his family, friends and entire country for a place He'd reveal along the way. I don't know about you, but if God asked me to leave everything behind for a place I'd never seen, I'd have a hard time obeying! But God promised Abraham that if he did obey, He'd make him into "a great nation," with great wealth and with many children to inherit that wealth. Abraham chose to follow God and sure enough, God kept His promise. Abraham was blessed with many children and riches beyond his need.
But there's another guy in the story who didn't end up so blessed. His name was Terah, and he was Abraham's father. Terah was instructed by God to travel with Abraham, but decided to settle before he reached the Promised Land. I don't know if he was tired, angry or just comfortable where he was, but the land he settled in was nothing compared to what he could've experienced had he not given in. Whose example will you follow? Will you settle for what's comfortable, or will you trust God to lead you into something greater?
Receiving more in our lives requires a constant obedience to God. That obedience just might require us to leave the comfortable behind, but it's only because there's something greater ahead. Even when we don't know where we're going, we can put our trust in God because He does. In fact, He has every one of our days already planned out. So with an amazing future planned, who better to lead us into it, than the planner Himself? Today, let's decide to never settle for less than God's best. He's got greater things ahead, just beyond any challenge you might be facing. Live in obedience to God, and you'll enjoy life - upgraded.
Jim Graff is the Senior Pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria, Texas. www.faithfamilyvictoria.com