Abiding to the protocol of the “correct order” is a fundamental element of the process of life. For instance, take a look at a Type 2 diabetic person. Some of the complications of a diabetic person comprises of having a heart and blood vessel disease, nerve damage (neuropathy), kidney damage (nephropathy), eye damage, foot damage, hearing impairment, skin conditions, Alzheimer’s disease, etc. The risks are higher if the person does not follow the correct order of insulin intake via pills or the common subcutaneous shot. Having too little insulin or not being able to take insulin effectively is deadly. The correct order concerning insulin intake must be taken seriously.
The protocol of the correct order is intensified concerning our relationship as Christians to God. Our binding relationship to Him can fall under the order of these three fountainhead truths: “He is” (Col. 1:15-18 [character of Christ]), “He has” (1:12-14, 20-22 [the work of the Father & Son]), “and I must” (1:9-12, 23 [my response to who He is and what He has done]). To reverse the order of those three fountainhead truths will send a shock-wave of pain, disillusionment, and to step foot into the outer oblivion.
Why do I bring this up? Because your duty to follow the imperatives of God’s law is not caused by your own inner isolated strength. The imperatives for you to follow God is caused by what God has done for you. For example, you are who you are because of the work of Christ. Without Him, your obedience is nothing but floating leaves and chaff. As recipients of the cross, He deposited unto you: wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30). So next time you obey, make sure it is set-upon the blazing white cross that was dipped in blood–a costly grace!
However, we must not stop at what God has done. Beyond what He has done, lies something else greater: “who He is.” That is the foundation of Christianity. That is the heartbeat of our Christian faith. To park at “what He has” is to see the beauty of the outer edges of Island’s paradise. To move beyond “what He has” to “who He is” is to be stunned and frozen by the beauty of the Holy One.
Now, our obedience is not only stimulated by what He has done for us, but stimulated by who He is. It is easy to be imbalanced by emphasizing a major truth at the expense of the other. The truth is that our obedience (“and I must”) must be stimulated by “what He has” and “who He is,” provided that we keep in mind that the foundation is “who He is.”
So in summary, one’s obedience must not be anchored primarily upon “and I must,” “what He has,” but “who He is.” With that said, I come to a close with these words from John Snyder, from the Behold Your God’s daily devotional workbook, “You cannot make yourself a child of God by doing things that a child of God does, any more than you could make yourself an heir to Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain by walking around in royal clothes and waving kindly at people!” You are who you are in your obedience to God because of what God has done on the cross and because of who He is.