Radical Obedience

Prepare your mind for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you in holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
                1 Peter 1:13-16

What do you think of when I say the word radical? Do images of political rallies, planes crashing into buildings and riots pop into your head? Those are my first thoughts too. But today, I want to change your view of radical.

Do you know what the definition of radical is? It is favoring extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions. And yes, in many instances it is a way to describe the examples in the above paragraph. But what if radical was a way to define your odedience to God?

This week in my study of What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst, I was challenged to live in radical obedience. At first I thought, “You’ve got to be kidding. Radical doesn’t fit into my life. I’ve got kids to think about. And laundry. And dishes. And…” It was definelty a time when I said “Say what?”

But the more I thought about it and gleaned from other ladies taking this online bible study from Proverbs 31, the more I was convicted to turn towards radical obedience. You see, radical obedience is something that should define every Christian. We should be radically different from the world around us. Like the verses above from 1 Peter, we should be self-controlled, put our hope in Christ, not give in to evil desires and be holy. None of those remind me of the way the world lives.

But where am I on the obedience spectrum? Do I sway back and forth when it suits me?

My everyday life, as I described above, doesn’t seem radical. And most would say that being radical as a mom isn’t the best way to raise a family. But I think it’s the best way to be a wife and mom. My family, above all others, should see that I live in radical obedience to God. They need to see that my life as a living example of the work of Christ. They need to see that living in radical obedience is not some hocus pocus, fruity-tooty way of living, but that its simply a way of turning everything I do into an opportunity for God to work in my life and the lives of those around me.

I have to be honest. I’ve had a really rough week. Between kids not listening, me having insomnia, back problems and housework that I can never seem to finish, I’ve felt very overwhelmed at times. And as I’ve written about before, my need to have everything appear perfect and in control gets out of control sometimes. But I know that Satan was trying to knock me to the ground because he doesn’t like that I am doing this bible study and experience life changing biblical teaching. And it worked. He knocked me to my knees. But that is where I could best cry out to God and lift my open hands in surrender of my life. My home, my family, my need for approval, all that was surrendered to God. For me, it’s radical surrender. It’s not something that is a one time surrender, but a surrender I need to do every day in radical obedience to God.

So what is God calling you to surrender to Him in radical obedience? No, it won’t be easy, but it will be freeing. As Lysa says in her book, “One thing you can be assured of is that God has already worked out all the details of what your obedience will accomplish–and it is good. We need not fear what our obedience will cause to happen in our life. We should only fear what our disobedience will cause us to miss.”


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