95% Obedience is 5% Too Little

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
King Uzziah of Judah gets only seven verses in the Old Testament account of his reign, but it is a telling seven verses because of this:

"He did what was pleasing in the Lord's sight, just as his father Amaziah had done. But he did not destroy the pagan shrines and the people still offered sacrifices and burned incense there" - 2 Kings 15:3-4

The accounts of king after king in Kings are mind-numbing, floating along on a dark cloud of treachery, greed, violence, and faithlessness. You have to read carefully to see what's going on between the lines.

Uzziah was a far better king than most. He actually pleased God, unlike the typical king who was somewhere between clueless and psychopathic.

But even this better than average king was not good enough. He did not make the spiritually and politically hard decision of destroying the shrines where the people performed bizarre and often immoral religious rituals before false gods.

And as a result the nation stayed on the wrong track, hurtling towards destruction.

All because Uzziah was 95% obedient to God.

95% obedience is 5% short. And that 5% is a huge deal spiritually. Anything other than whole-hearted, full-throated, all-out obedience to what God has called us to do will result in fatal flaws in our character, choking out life, potential, blessing.

This isn't a moralistic deal. The model is Christ, who fully obeyed his Father, choking down the bitter dregs of suffering and death so that we are free to obey out of gratitude and love...an obedience that leads to blessing and joy.

Where are you 5% short of obedience? What shrines are you allowing to stand...

Time spent with the Father?
Giving up something that is distracting you from loving others wholly and well?
Selling a possession to invest in a Kingdom goal?
Pursuing a relationship that is less than God intends?

Nail the last 5%, destroy the shrine, and experience freedom and blessing!

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