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“A Path We Feared to See!” Philippians 2:5-11 Key verse(s): 8:“‘And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even the death of the cross.”

We love so many things in this life! Yet, there is one thing so worth loving that is seldom afforded even the smallest of tender emotions; it is our will to obey. From an early time in our lives forward, obedience comes at a high price and is most often accompanied by only a grudging will to comply. Whereas we love to comply when our will and that of our overseer or parent are one, when the gap grows and differences occur, obedience because a manacle and not the blessing that God intended it to be.

Obey! That’s one word we just don’t like dealing with. It conjures up all kinds of subservient images. In a society where independence, self-determination and equality are held in such high esteem, how can something like obedience even rate a sigh? What it comes down to is this: we have a will and it is going in this direction. If your will matches up, fine! If it doesn’t, see you later.

I ran across a poem entitled Obedience by George MacDonald many years ago that was so moving I kept copy of it. I’ve folded and placed it in my Bible so that I would be inclined to pull it out and read it when life and my own willful desires become become overpowering.

I said, “Let me walk in the fields.”

He said, “No, walk in the town.”

I said, “I shall miss the light

“And friends will miss me, they say.”

He answered: “Choose ye tonight

“If I am to miss you, or they.”

He pleaded for time to be given.

He said, “Is it hard to decide?

“It will not seem hard in heaven

“To have followed the steps of your Guide.”

I cast one look at the fields,

Then set my face to the town.

He said, “My child, do you yield?

Will you leave the flowers for the crown?”

Then into His hand went mine,

And into my heart came He;

And I walk in a light divine

The path I had feared to see.

When we take the time to stop and reflect on the paths that we “had feared to see”, it would be good to remember the One whose obedience was perfect. Even He, whose will was more perfect than any man who ever lived, subjected Himself to the will of His Father in Heaven. He who humbled Himself despite the fact that He bore no sin and rightfully should have placed Himself above all creation, submitted to the will of One still greater. When we consider His willingness, His devotion to finishing the work even thought that work was painful and the path was fearful, our hearts ought to be filled with a joy unending. His obedience merited that the very gates of heaven be opened to you and I, disobedient and undeserving as we are. In the face of such love there can be no other response from us other than obedience even to that same fearful path should that be our lot in this life. God calls you and I to obedience and holds us to that path just as He held His own Son to it. Becoming even the servant of all that is in this world should not dull the luster of such a love. For each day, you and I can behold something quite unspeakable: the unbounded love of God for His Son is that same love He has granted to us. A gift so unspeakable ought be a gift compelling enough to overcome any fear we might have.

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