In David Platt’s latest book, “Follow Me”, there is a powerful passage that details what our lives should look like as followers of Jesus. The author writes, “All throughout history, God has purposed to raise up a people who by His grace are so holy and so pure and so abandoned in their obedience to Him that they dread the thought of disobedience. A people who are so serious about sin that they help each other to avoid it at every turn because they know how dangerous and deadly it is. God has determined to display His character through a distinct people who show a watching world that He is great, holy, powerful, and pure.”
Is that what your life looks like? While I am deeply stirred and motivated for this to be the picture of my life, being honest I certainly know it is often not the case. How amazing it would be if we were to live our lives in such utter abandonment that we would dread the thought of disobedience. Just thinking about that excites me. Can you imagine that every time you encountered a temptation to sin that you would feel the same dread as if you were going to walk through the most dangerous area of town alone at two o’clock in the morning? You would avoid it at all costs, realizing how stupid the mere thought of doing so would be. That’s the same dread of sin with which we are called to live.
The phrase “abandoned to obedience” resonates deeply with me. To be abandoned to something means to be without restraint. In other words, we could not be stopped from obeying God. Think of the most difficult habit you have ever tried to break. No matter how hard you tried, you still found yourself falling back into it. That’s the way obedience to God should be for us. It should be such that we cannot help but obey, no matter how hard we might try to do otherwise. Obedience should be instinctive, done without thought. It should be our default response. It is to this we are called.
What if we were so adverse to sin, so aware of its consequences that we could not help but do everything we could to keep others from falling prey to it as well? This is what we are to do not only for our brothers and sisters in Christ, but also for all people. The hope of Jesus and His salvation from the horrific consequences of sin should ever be poised on our lips. When we become so repulsed by sin and its obligatory outcome, we cannot help but tell others of the better way. We will not be silent.
Living abandoned to obedience and repelled by sin is not just a lofty ideal to which we all should strive. It is the standard Christ has set for us, and the way in which we all should live. This is an attainable goal, but only through the strength and mercy of God. Envision what your life would look like if you were living in this way. Disciples of Jesus will see this path and excitedly embark upon it. This is the narrow road that we must travel. Let us all live in abandonment to obedience.