Obey God Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Obey God. Here they are! All 200 of them:

So many vows... they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It’s too much. No matter what you do, you’re forsaking one vow or the other.
George R.R. Martin (A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2))
Don’t concern yourself with being right in others’ eyes. And don’t secretly hope that their lives will fall apart so that your opinion will be vindicated. Instead, concentrate on obeying God in your own life and, when possible, helping others to obey Him as well. You don’t have to prove others wrong to continue on the course you know God has shown you.
Joshua Harris (I Kissed Dating Goodbye: A New Attitude Toward Relationships and Romance)
And God said “Love Your Enemy,” and I obeyed him and loved myself.
Kahlil Gibran (The Broken Wings)
How can you still count yourself a knight, when you have forsaken every vow you ever swore?" Jaime reached for the flagon to refill his cup. "So many vows...they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It's too much. No matter what you do, you're forsaking one vow or the other.
George R.R. Martin (A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2))
What can you say to a man who tells you he prefers obeying God rather than men, and that as a result he's certain he'll go to heaven if he cuts your throat?
Voltaire (Philosophical Dictionary)
Your religion assumes that people are children and need a boogeyman so they'll behave. You want people to believe in God so they'll obey the law. That's the only means that occurs to you: a strict secular police force, and the threat of punishment by an all-seeing God for whatever the police overlook. You sell human beings short.
Carl Sagan (Contact)
Does it make sense to pray for guidance about the future if we are not obeying in the thing that lies before us today? How many momentous events in Scripture depended on one person's seemingly small act of obedience! Rest assured: Do what God tells you to do now, and, depend upon it, you will be shown what to do next.
Elisabeth Elliot (Quest for Love: True Stories of Passion and Purity)
You can see God from anywhere if your mind is set to love and obey Him.
A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine)
Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.
Charles F. Stanley
Oh, I think not,” Varys said, swirling the wine in his cup. “Power is a curious thing, my lord. Perchance you have considered the riddle I posed you that day in the inn?” “It has crossed my mind a time or two,” Tyrion admitted. “The king, the priest, the rich man—who lives and who dies? Who will the swordsman obey? It’s a riddle without an answer, or rather, too many answers. All depends on the man with the sword.” “And yet he is no one,” Varys said. “He has neither crown nor gold nor favor of the gods, only a piece of pointed steel.” “That piece of steel is the power of life and death.” “Just so… yet if it is the swordsmen who rule us in truth, why do we pretend our kings hold the power? Why should a strong man with a sword ever obey a child king like Joffrey, or a wine-sodden oaf like his father?” “Because these child kings and drunken oafs can call other strong men, with other swords.” “Then these other swordsmen have the true power. Or do they?” Varys smiled. “Some say knowledge is power. Some tell us that all power comes from the gods. Others say it derives from law. Yet that day on the steps of Baelor’s Sept, our godly High Septon and the lawful Queen Regent and your ever-so-knowledgeable servant were as powerless as any cobbler or cooper in the crowd. Who truly killed Eddard Stark, do you think? Joffrey, who gave the command? Ser Ilyn Payne, who swung the sword? Or… another?” Tyrion cocked his head sideways. “Did you mean to answer your damned riddle, or only to make my head ache worse?” Varys smiled. “Here, then. Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less.” “So power is a mummer’s trick?” “A shadow on the wall,” Varys murmured, “yet shadows can kill. And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.” Tyrion smiled. “Lord Varys, I am growing strangely fond of you. I may kill you yet, but I think I’d feel sad about it.” “I will take that as high praise.
George R.R. Martin (A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2))
Men of Athens, I honor and love you; but I shall obey God rather than you, and while I have life and strength I shall never cease from the practice and teaching of philosophy... Understand that I shall never alter my ways, not even if I have to die many times.
Plato (Apology of Socrates: An Interpretation with a New Translation)
I do not know why there is this difference, but I am sure that God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait. When you do enter your room, you will find that the long wait has done you some kind of good which you would not have had otherwise. But you must regard it as waiting, not as camping. You must keep on praying for light: and of course, even in the hall, you must begin trying to obey the rules which are common to the whole house. And above all you must be asking which door is the true one; not which pleases you best by its paint and paneling.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
Strength of my heart, I need not fail, Not mind to fear but to obey, With such a Leader, who could quail? Thou art as Thou wert yesterday. Strength of my heart, I rest in Thee, Fulfil Thy purposes through me.
Amy Carmichael
What is sin? It is the glory of God not honored. The holiness of God not reverenced. The greatness of God not admired. The power of God not praised. The truth of God not sought. The wisdom of God not esteemed. The beauty of God not treasured. The goodness of God not savored. The faithfulness of God not trusted. The commandments of God not obeyed. The justice of God not respected. The wrath of God not feared. The grace of God not cherished. The presence of God not prized. The person of God not loved. That is sin.
John Piper
Your question is the most difficult in the world. It is not a question I can answer simply with yes or no. I am not an Atheist. I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. May I not reply with a parable? The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged, obeying certain laws, but we understand the laws only dimly. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations. I am fascinated by Spinoza's Pantheism. I admire even more his contributions to modern thought. Spinoza is the greatest of modern philosophers, because he is the first philosopher who deals with the soul and the body as one, not as two separate things.
Albert Einstein
God beckons storm clouds and they come. He tells the wind to blow and the rain to fall, and they obey immediately. He speaks to the mountains, 'You go there,' and He says to the seas, 'You stop here, and they do it. Everything in all creation responds in obedience to the Creator...until we get to you and me. We have the audacity to look God in the face and say, 'No.
David Platt (Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream)
If you obey God with your whole heart, you'll usually scare off the folks who want you to obey them.
Meg Moseley (When Sparrows Fall)
Be strong, live happy and love, but first of all Him whom to love is to obey, and keep His great command!
John Milton (Paradise Lost)
If one man or woman is willing to obey God, it can change the destiny of millions.
D.C. Talk (Jesus Freaks: Stories of Those Who Stood for Jesus, the Ultimate Jesus Freaks (Jesus Freaks, #1))
It has always seemed absurd to suppose that a god would choose for his companions, during all eternity, the dear souls whose highest and only ambition is to obey.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Individuality From 'The Gods and Other Lectures')
Once I was free in the shackles of sin: Free to be tempted, just bound to give in; Free to be captive to any desire; Free to eternally burn in hell’s fire. ‘Til Someone bought me and called me His slave: Bound by commands I am free to obey; Captive by beauty I’m free to adore-- Sentenced to sit at His feet evermore.
John F. MacArthur Jr.
We can stop pleading with God to show us the future, and start living and obeying like we are confident that He holds the future.
Kevin DeYoung
Not to know one's true identity is to be a mad, disensouled thing — a golem. And, indeed, this image, sick-eningly Orwellian, applies to the mass of human beings now living in the high-tech industrial democracies. Their authenticity lies in their ability to obey and follow mass style changes that are conveyed through the media. Immersed in junk food, trash media, and cryp-tofascist politics, they are condemned to toxic lives of low awareness. Sedated by the prescripted daily television fix, they are a living dead, lost to all but the act of consuming.
Terence McKenna (Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge)
The word "We" is as lime poured over men, which sets and hardens to stone, and crushes all beneath it, and that which is white and that which is black are lost equally in the grey of it. It is the word by which the depraved steal the virtue of the good, by which the weak steal the might of the strong, by which the fools steal the wisdom of the sages. What is my joy if all hands, even the unclean, can reach into it? What is my wisdom, if even the fools can dictate to me? What is my freedom, if all creatures, even the botched and impotent, are my masters? What is my life, if I am but to bow, to agree and to obey? But I am done with this creed of corruption. I am done with the monster of "We," the word of serfdom, of plunder, of misery, falsehood and shame. And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride. This god, this one word: "I.
Ayn Rand (Anthem)
We obey God's Law, not to be loved but because we are loved in Christ.
Jerry Bridges (Holiness Day by Day: Transformational Thoughts for Your Spiritual Journey)
Your call will become clear as as your mind is transformed by the reading of Scripture and the internal work of God's Spirit. The Lord never hides His will from us. In time, as you obey the call first to follow, your destiny will unfold before you. The difficulty will lie in keeping other concerns from diverting your attention.
Charles R. Swindoll
Remember that ofttimes the wisdom of God appears as foolishness to men, but the greatest single lesson we can learn in mortality is that when God speaks and a man obeys, that man will always be right.
Thomas S. Monson
I may repeat 'Do as you would be done by' till I am black in the face, but I cannot really carry it out till I love my neighbor as myself: and I cannot learn to love my neighbor as myself till I learn to love God;and I cannot learn to love God except by learning to obey him.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
If there's one thing I believe more than I believe anything else, it's that you can't fake the core. The truth that lives there will eventually win out. It's a god we must obey, a force that brings us all inevitably to our knees.
Cheryl Strayed
A Christian society is not going to arrive until most of us really want it: and we are not going to want it until we become fully Christian. I may repeat "Do as you would be done by" till I am black in the fact, but I cannot really carry it out till I love my neighbour as myself: and I cannot learn to love my neighbour as myself till I learn to love God: and I cannot learn to love God except by learning to obey Him. And so, as I warned you, we are driven on to something more inward - driven on from social matters to religious matters.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
The essential principle of totalitarianism is to make laws that are impossible to obey.
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)
A tree gives glory to God by being a tree. For in being what God means it to be it is obeying [God]. It “consents,” so to speak, to [God's] creative love. It is expressing an idea which is in God and which is not distinct from the essence of God, and therefore a tree imitates God by being a tree
Thomas Merton (New Seeds of Contemplation)
When we're not following God's will, our sacrifices aren't acceptable to Him. What God wants most is for us to be broken before Him, walk with Him, know Him, and obey Him.
Sarah Sundin (A Distant Melody (Wings of Glory, #1))
Having a girlfriend was no longer my greatest need. Knowing and obeying Him was . I wanted to please Him in my relationships even if it meant looking radical and foolish to other people - even if it meant kissing dating goodbye.
Joshua Harris (I Kissed Dating Goodbye: A New Attitude Toward Relationships and Romance)
Whatever man may stand, whatever he may do, to whatever he may apply his hand - in agriculture, in commerce, and in industry, or his mind, in the world of art, and science - he is, in whatsoever it may be, constantly standing before the face of God. He is employed in the service of his God. He has strictly to obey his God. And above all, he has to aim at the glory of his God.
Abraham Kuyper
He held her gaze steady while he summarized her promises. “She will honor me, protect me, obey me only when she believes I’m being reasonable—but I shouldn’t hold out hope that that day will ever come—try to love me before she’s an old woman, and I’d better get it straight in my mind that she will respect me until or unless I do something to prove I’m not worthy, and God save me then. Have I left anything out, Brenna?
Julie Garwood (The Wedding (Lairds' Fiancées, #2))
It is a simply matter of obedience. If He is our Lord, then we will obey Him. If we do not obey Him, then He is not our Lord.
Nik Ripken (The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected)
Oh god, I thought, can nothing in this jungle behave as it ought? Must fruits move and trees breathe and freshwater rivers taste of the ocean? Why must nothing obey the laws of nature? Why must everything point so heavily toward the existence of enchantment?
Hanya Yanagihara (The People in the Trees)
Your Heart's Desire is the Voice of God, and that Voice must be obeyed sooner or later.
Emmet Fox (Power Through Constructive Thinking)
He doesn’t want you to obey a bunch of rules, He wants your love.
Lacey Sturm
When you truly love God, you obey Him.
Dannah Gresh (Secret Keeper: The Delicate Power of Modesty)
Food and fire, protection and companionship, were some of the things he received from the god. In return, he guarded the god's property, defended his body, worked for him, and obeyed him.
Jack London (White Fang)
She had on an OBEY beanie, but had corrected it with a Sharpie so the word was now Disobey. What a fucking rebel. Someone should notify the authorities before she did something really crazy, like eat non-organic blueberries in the cafeteria.
L.J. Shen (Angry God (All Saints High, #3))
Athenian men, I respect and love you, but I shall obey the god rather than you...
Socrates (Apology)
The one who obeys God’s instruction for today will develop a keen awareness of His direction for tomorrow.
Lysa TerKeurst (The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands)
If, in the quiet of your heart, you feel something should be done, stop and consider whether it is in line with the character and teaching of Jesus. If so, obey that impulse to do it, and in doing so you will find it was God guiding you.
Eric Liddell
I am the servant of the sword,” he said. “I obey the will of the—great god, woman, put on some clothes!
T. Kingfisher (Swordheart)
The more faithful preachers are to the Word of God in their preaching, the more liable they are to the charge of hypocrisy. Why? Because the more faithful people are to the Word of God the higher the message is that they will preach. The higher the message, the further they will be from obeying themselves.
R.C. Sproul (The Holiness of God)
We don't want to merely obey God: we need to catch His heart. It is then we will glimpse the wisdom behind His directives, and not just see them as laws.
John Bevere (Honor's Reward: The Essential Virtue for Receiving God's Blessings)
Wherever the early Christians entered a town the power structure got disturbed and immediately sought to convict them for being 'disturbers of the peace' and 'outside agitators.' But they went on with the conviction that they were a 'colony of heaven' and had to obey God rather than man. They were small in number but big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be 'astronomically intimidated.' They brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contest. Things are different now. The contemporary Church is so often a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. It is so often the archsupporter of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the Church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the Church’s silent and often vocal sanction of things as they are.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Letter from the Birmingham Jail)
We pray to obey God, not to 'play God'. We pray, not to change God's mind, but to change our own; not to command God, but to let God command us. We pray to 'let God be God'. Prayer is our obedience to God even when it asks God for things, for God has commanded us to ask (Mt. 7:7).
Peter Kreeft (Prayer For Beginners)
It sounds really spiritual to say God is interested in a relationship, not in rules. But it's not biblical. From top to bottom, the Bible is full of commands. They aren't meant to stifle a relationship with God, but to protect it, seal it, and define it. Never forget: first God delivered the Israelites from Egypt, then He gave them the law. God's people were not redeemed by observing the law. But they were redeemed so that they might obey the law.
Kevin DeYoung (The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness)
Faith is not merely “feeling good about God” but a conscious choice, even in the utter absence of feelings or external encouragements to obey His word when He says, “Trust Me.” This choice has nothing to do with mood but is a deliberate act of laying hold of the character of God whom circumstances never change.
Elisabeth Elliot
Fortunately Jesus didn't leave [the disciples]-or any of us-without hope or direction. Where we fail, Jesus succeeded. The only One who as able to recognize and follow His purpose from the beginning was Jesus. He alone was able to obey consistently and please God completely. And His divine mission was to make a way for each of us to do the same.
Charles R. Swindoll
What a frightful weapon is human thought! It is our defense and our safeguard, the most precious gift that God has made us. It is ours and it obeys us; we may launch it forth into space, but, once outside of our feeble brains, it is gone; we can no longer control it.
Alfred de Musset (The Confession of a Child of the Century)
We must choose with our agency to obey in faith that the promised blessing will come, that the promise is true because it comes from God.
Henry B. Eyring (Because He First Loved Us)
A person motivated by love rather than fear will not only obey the letter of the law, but will eagerly seek out new ways to carry out business with transparency and integrity.
Timothy J. Keller (The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith)
It’s better to obey God rather than men.
Brother Andrew
You and I need to obey God. When we do, the consequences of our obedience become God's problem and not ours.
Beth Moore (When Godly People Do Ungodly Things: Finding Authentic Restoration in the Age of Seduction)
One of these days some simple soul will pick up the Book of God, read it, and believe it. Then the rest of us will be embarrassed. We have adopted the convenient theory that the Bible is a Book to be explained, whereas first and foremost it is a Book to be believed (and after that to be obeyed).
Leonard Ravenhill (Why Revival Tarries)
It is better to die for the truth than to live for a lie. Let it cost me what it will, I will not depart from the truth, even to save my own or my father’s life. I will obey God, and trust Him for the rest.
Christoph von Schmid (The Basket of Flowers: A Tale for the Young)
My responsibility is to obey, to surrender my heart and to yield myself to the will of God. It is in the process of obedience that we gain understanding. You can’t get the peace that passes understanding until you give up your right to understand.
Bill Johnson (Manifesto for a Normal Christian Life)
So the end of the matter is this: Live for God. Obey the Scriptures. Think of others before yourself. Be holy. Love Jesus. And as you do these things, do whatever else you like, with whomever you like, wherever you like, and you’ll be walking in the will of God.
Kevin DeYoung (Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God's Will)
Christian ethics is not a matter of discovering what's going on in the world and getting in tune with it. It isn't a matter of doing things to earn God's favor. It is not about trying to obey dusty rulebooks from long ago or far away. It is about practicing, in the present, the tunes we shall sing in God's new world.
N.T. Wright (Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense)
It is when we are at our darkest hour, when we can see no evidence that God loves us or that he is even there to listen to our prayers, much less answer them...and yet, we still obey. It is then that the devil is reminded that his cause is lost.
Tom King
The heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 ... obeyed by faith ... obedience is the pathway to holiness ... no one will become holy apart from a life of faith. Faith enables us to claim the promises of God, but it also enables us to obey the commands of God.
Jerry Bridges (Holiness Day by Day: Transformational Thoughts for Your Spiritual Journey)
Don’t worry when you meet opposition for obeying God. Worry when you don’t have opposition, because you’re probably not obeying God.
Craig Groeschel (Altar Ego: Becoming Who God Says You Are)
Men of Athens, I honor and I love you, but I will obey the god rather than you and as long as I draw breath and am able, I shall not cease to practice philosophy, to exhort you and in my usual way to point out to any one of you whom I happen to meet.
Plato (The Trial and Death of Socrates (Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo))
It's interesting that in the Bible, in the book of Ecclesiastes, the only practical advice given about living a meaningful life is to find a job you like, enjoy your marriage, and obey God. It's as though God is saying, Write a good story, take somebody with you, and let me help.
Donald Miller
Main Scripture: We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV Linked Science Concept: When you objectively observe your own thinking with the view to capturing rogue thoughts, you in effect direct your attention to stop the negative impact and rewire healthy new circuits into your brain.
Caroline Leaf (Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health)
I want to tell you a growing conviction with me, and that is that as we obey the leadings of the Spirit of God, we enable God to answer the prayers of other people. I mean that our lives, my life, is the answer to someone’s prayer, prayed perhaps centuries ago. It is more and more impossible to me to have programmes and plans because God alone has the plan, and our plans are only apt to hinder Him, and make it necessary for Him to break them up. I have the unspeakable knowledge that my life is the answer to prayers, and that God is blessing me and making me a blessing entirely of His sovereign grace and nothing to do with my merits, saving as I am bold enough to trust His leading and not the dictates of my own wisdom and common sense.
Oswald Chambers
By accepting God's love for us, we fall in love with Him, and only then do we have the fuel we need to obey.
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
Obedience is the virtue that determines whether a person is either a servant or a rebel. Life of integrity is built on obedience of God's statutes and nothing else.
Israelmore Ayivor
Do the gods of different nations talk to each other?...Is there some annual get-together where they compare each other's worshippers? Mine will bow their faces to the floor and trace woodgrain lines for me, says one. Mine will sacrifice animals, says another. Mine will kill anyone who insults me, says a third. Here is the question I think of most often: "Are there any who can honestly boast, My worshippers obey my good laws, and treat each other kindly, and live simple generous lives?
Orson Scott Card (Children of the Mind (Ender's Saga, #4))
Spiritual maturity is not reached by the passing of the years, but by obedience to the will of God. Some people mature into an understanding of God’s will more quickly than others because they obey more readily; they more readily sacrifice the life of nature to the will of God.
Oswald Chambers (Bringing Sons Into Glory and Making All Things New)
You cannot prove to yourself that you love God by examining your feelings toward Him. They are indefinite and they fluctuate. But just as far as you obey Him, just so far, depend upon it; you love Him. It is not natural to us sinful, ungrateful beings to prefer His pleasure to our own or to follow His way instead of our own way, and nothing, nothing but love of Him can or does make us obedient to Him.
Elizabeth Payson Prentiss (Stepping Heavenward)
Dear fatal name! rest ever unreveal'd, Nor pass these lips in holy silence seal'd. Hide it, my heart, within that close disguise, Where mixed with Gods, his lov'd idea lies: O write it not, my hand - the name appears Already written - wash it out, my tears! In vain lost Eloisa weeps and prays, Her heart still dictates, and her hand obeyes.
Alexander Pope (Eloisa to Abelard)
God does not demand that every man attain to what is theoretically highest and best. It is better to be a good street sweeper than a bad writer, better to be a good bartender than a bad doctor, and the repentant thief who died with Jesus on Calvary was far more perfect than the holy ones who had Him nailed to the cross. And yet, abstractly speaking, what is more holy than the priesthood and less holy than the state of a criminal? The dying thief had, perhaps, disobeyed the will of God in many things: but in the most important event of his life he listened and obeyed. The Pharisees had kept the law to the letter and had spent their lives in the pursuit of a most scrupulous perfection. But they were so intent upon perfection as an abstraction that when God manifested His will and His perfection in a concrete and definite way they had no choice but to reject it.
Thomas Merton (No Man Is an Island)
I need no master to punish me in order to behave as I ought. If I did, I would be no more than a child who obeys his father's rules only because he fears the whip, and not because he actually means good.
Christopher Paolini (Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle, #4))
Any problem that comes while I obey God (and there will be many), increases my overjoyed delight, because I know that my Father knows and cares, and I can watch and anticipate how He will unravel my problems.
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
I am no Christian. These days it does no good to confess that, for the bishops and abbots have too much influence and it is easier to pretend to a faith than to fight angry ideas. I was raised a Christian, but at ten years old, when I was taken into Ragnar’s family, I discovered the old Saxon gods who were also the gods of the Danes and of the Norsemen, and their worship has always made more sense to me than bowing down to a god who belongs to a country so far away that I have met no one who has ever been there. Thor and Odin walked our hills, slept in our valleys, loved our women and drank from our streams, and that makes them seem like neighbours. The other thing I like about our gods is that they are not obsessed with us. They have their own squabbles and love affairs and seem to ignore us much of the time, but the Christian god has nothing better to do than to make rules for us. He makes rules, more rules, prohibitions and commandments, and he needs hundreds of black-robed priests and monks to make sure we obey those laws. He strikes me as a very grumpy god, that one, even though his priests are forever claiming that he loves us. I have never been so stupid as to think that Thor or Odin or Hoder loved me, though I hope at times they have thought me worthy of them.
Bernard Cornwell (Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories, #3))
Our obedience is God's pleasure when it proves that God is our treasure. This is good news, because it means very simply that the command to obey is the command to be happy in God. The commandments of God are only as hard to obey as the promises of God are hard to believe. The Word of God is only as hard to obey as the beauty of God is hard to cherish.
John Piper (The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God's Delight in Being God)
No obstacles are insurmountable when God commands and we obey.
Wilford Woodruff
No obstacles are insurmountable when God commands and we obey.
Heber J. Grant
Leadership is influence—nothing more, nothing less. If you are being salt and light as Jesus commanded, then you have begun to obey God’s call to leadership.
John C. Maxwell (Maxwell Leadership Bible, Revised and Updated)
When fanatics say, “Obey our religious laws even if you’re not a believer,” the immediate response must be to break whatever religious laws they are talking about.
David Silverman (Fighting God: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World)
I read the Bible and know little of its history, but the human beings who wrote it were instruments of Divine Power, and Jesus forged a far stronger bond than the ten commandments: love. Birds and monkeys, or any of God's creatures, obey their instincts and merely do what they're programmed to do. In the case of the human being, things are more complicated because we know about love and its traps.
Paulo Coelho
Why does anyone do anything? Belief. A belief that they are right and just in their actions. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac, because he believed that God had commanded it. To kill your son is unthinkable. A crime. But if you are acting in the belief that your God, your supreme deity whom you must obey, has demanded it of you, is it still a crime?
Libba Bray (The Diviners (The Diviners, #1))
When we don't understand and don't agree with the way life has gone, we are to bow before God and once again confess that we can't understand His wisdom. In faith, we are to accept His wisdom, His Word, and His workings, trusting in Him and obeying His commands.
Elizabeth George
Jesus did not die just to save us from the penalty of sin, nor even just to make us holy in our standing before God. He died to purify for Himself a people eager to obey Him, a people eager to be transformed into His likeness.
Jerry Bridges (Transforming Grace: Living Confidently in God's Unfailing Love)
Science spotlights three dimensions of nature that point to God. The first is the fact that nature obeys laws. The second is the dimension of life, of intelligently organized and purpose-driven beings, which arose from matter. The third is the very existence of nature. But it is not science alone that guided me. I have also been helped by a renewed study of the classical philosophical arguments.
Antony Flew (There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind)
We live in what one writer has called the "age of sensation."' We think that if we don't feel something there can be no authenticity in doing it. But the wisdom of God says something different: that we can act ourselves into a new way of feeling much quicker than we can feel ourselves into a new way of acting. Worship is an act that develops feelings for God, not a feeling for God that is expressed in an act of worship. When we obey the command to praise God in worship, our deep, essential need to be in relationship with God is nurtured.
Eugene H. Peterson (A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society)
Lord Bacchus, can you hear me? Nod if you can hear me." Bacchus dropped his hands and nodded. "You have never killed a Druid all by yourself, and you never will. Only with hordes of Bacchants and Roman legionnaires and the aid of Minerva have you ever managed to slay a single one of us. Your lackeys may get me eventually, and I know that I will never be able to slay you, but admit to yourself now that you, alone, will never prove my equal. The earth obeys me, son, not some petty god of grape and goblet." I switched to English for a postscript, "So suck on that, bitch.
Kevin Hearne (Hammered (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #3))
Yes, it is God who works in you. And, yes, there is work for you to do. Yes, the Spirit empowers you to do the work. And, yes, you do the work.
Francis Chan
But all the things that God would have us do are hard for us to do -- remember that -- and hence, he oftener commands us than endeavors to persuade. And if we obey God, we must disobey ourselves; and it is in this disobeying ourselves, wherein the hardness of obeying God consists.
Herman Melville
All God's revelations are sealed to us until they are opened to us by obedience. You will never get them open by philosophy or thinking. Immediately you obey, a flash of light comes. Let God's truth work in you by soaking in it, not by worrying into it. Obey God in the thing He is at present showing you, and instantly the next thing is opened up. We read tomes on the work of the Holy Spirit when... five minutes of drastic obedience would make things clear as a sunbeam. We say, "I suppose I shall understand these things some day." You can understand them now: it is not study that does it, but obedience. The tiniest fragment of obedience, and heaven opens up and the profoundest truths of God are yours straight away. God will never reveal more truth about Himself till you obey what you know already. Beware of being wise and prudent.
Oswald Chambers
I learned that faith isn’t about knowing all of the right stuff or obeying a list of rules. It’s something more, something more costly because it being present and making a sacrifice. Perhaps that’s why Jesus is sometimes called Immanuel - “God with us.” I think that’s what God had in mind, for Jesus to be present, to just be with us. It’s also what He has in mind for us when it comes to other people.
Bob Goff (Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World)
Everything happens for a reason. Wait on God and trust in Him. He wants the best for us. He wants to take us from glory to glory, and from victory to victory.
Germany Kent
You obey not to get God’s attention, but because you have been the object of his attention since before the world began.
Paul David Tripp (New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional)
Believers obey Christ as the one whom our obedience is accepted by God. Believers know all their duties are weak, imperfect, and unable to abide in God's presence. Therefore they look to Christ as the one who bears the iniquity of their holy things, who adds incense to their prayers, gathers out all the weeds from their duties and makes them acceptable to God.
John Owen (Communion with God)
The ultimate good of the gospel is seeing and savoring the beauty and value of God. God’s wrath and our sin obstruct that vision and that pleasure. You can’t see and savor God as supremely satisfying while you are full of rebellion against Him and He is full of wrath against you. The removal of this wrath and this rebellion is what the gospel is for. The ultimate aim of the gospel is the display of God’s glory and the removal of every obstacle to our seeing it and savoring it as our highest treasure. “Behold Your God!” is the most gracious command and the best gift of the gospel. If we do not see Him and savor Him as our greatest fortune, we have not obeyed or believed the gospel.
John Piper (God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God's Love as the Gift of Himself)
If God were to remove all evil from our world (but somehow leave human beings on the planet), it would mean that the essence of 'humanness' would be destroyed. We would become robots. Let me explain what I mean by this. If God eliminated evil by programming us to perform only good acts, we would lose this distinguishing mark - the ability to make choices. We would no longer be free moral agents. We would be reduced to the status of robots. Let's take this a step further. Robots do not love. God created us with the capacity to love. Love is based upon one's right to choose to love. We cannot force others to love us. We can make them serve us or obey us. But true love is founded upon one's freedom to choose to respond.
Billy Graham (Hope for Each Day: Words of Wisdom and Faith)
I wonder, then, why the last thing Jesus told us was to go into the world, making disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey all that He commanded? You'll notice that he didn't add, 'But, hey, if that's too much to ask, tell them to just become Christians- you know, the people who get to go to heaven without having to commit to anything'.
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
Not many would fault the modern church for being unloving these days, but unloving is exactly what we are. For if we truly loved God, we would obey Him (John 14:21). If we truly loved the church, we would labor to keep it unstained and unmolested by this world (James 1:27). And if we truly loved the lost, we would introduce them to the God of the Bible who is able to save their souls, and not the pitiful god of our own making who is having a hard time saving anything at all (Psalm 50:21).
Eric Ludy (The Bravehearted Gospel: A Life Consumed with the Power of Christ)
This pre-eminence is something [men] have unjustly arrogated to themselves. And when it's said that women must be subject to men, the phrase should be understood in the same sense as when we say we are subject to natural disasters, diseases, and all the other accidents of this life: it's not a case of being subjected in the sense of obeying, but rather of suffering an imposition, not a case of serving them fearfully, but rather of tolerating them in a spirit of Christian charity, since they have been given to us by God as a spiritual trial.
Moderata Fonte (The Worth of Women: Wherein Is Clearly Revealed Their Nobility and Their Superiority to Men)
Our Heavenly Father doesn’t count to three when He gives us a command. It is not a sin to disobey God when He counts to three; it is simply a sin not to obey God. And delayed obedience is disobedience.
Voddie T. Baucham Jr. (Family Driven Faith (Paperback Edition with Study Questions ): Doing What It Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk with God)
All married couples should examine themselves periodically and ask, “What have we done with the resources God has given us? How are we handling His blessings? Are we spending our money wisely? Have we progressed over the past year? Are we moving in the direction God wants us to go? Are we obeying His will? Is He pleased with our management? What does He want us to do next?” These are important questions for growing in stewardship.
Myles Munroe (The Purpose and Power of Love & Marriage)
He had theologically redefined the Christian life as something active, not reactive. It had nothing to do with avoiding sin or with merely talking or teaching or believing theological notions or principles or rules or tenets. It had everything to do with living one’s whole life in obedience to God’s call through action. It did not merely require a mind, but a body too. It was God’s call to be fully human, to live as human beings obedient to the one who had made us, which was the fulfillment of our destiny. It was not a cramped, compromised, circumspect life, but a life lived in a kind of wild, joyful, full-throated freedom—that was what it was to obey God.
Eric Metaxas (Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy)
The Jews understand that the blessing of wealth was dependant upon obedience to the law and covenant. The laws in the Torah, if followed, would bring blessings.5 The Tanakh says, “How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands…they themselves will be wealthy.” (NLT, Psalm 112:1, 3) "If they listen and obey God, they will be blessed with prosperity throughout their lives.” (NLT, Job 36:11)
H.W. Charles (The Money Code: Become a Millionaire With the Ancient Jewish Code)
Love one another, forgive one another, work as unto God, let the peace of Christ reign in your hearts. Make it your ambition to lead quiet lives. Obey. Greet one another with a holy kiss. No one will argue with that.
Rich Mullins (The World as I Remember It: Through the Eyes of a Ragamuffin)
Have faith to keep all the commandments of God, knowing that they are given to bless His children and bring them joy. [You] will encounter people who pick which commandments they will keep and ignore others that they choose to break. I call this the cafeteria approach to obedience. This practice of picking and choosing will not work. It will lead to misery. To prepare to meet God, one keeps all of His commandments. It takes faith to obey them, and keeping His commandments will strengthen that faith.
Russell M. Nelson
Was that all her religious beliefs had ever been then, a set of precepts so deeply inculcated in her that they became automatic, even instinctive? Hear the word God, think He. See the misery of humankind, blame Eve. Obey your parents, be a good girl, vote Trinity Party, never sit with your legs apart. Don't question, just do as you're told.
Hillary Jordan (When She Woke)
If God is good, and if He wants us to subdue this planet, and if He wants us to obey the Great Commission and conquer this world for Christ, and if He tells half the human race that they're in charge of tending the home, it follows from this that the home is actually one of the most strategic and important tools by which the world will be won.
Rebekah Merkle
The man that believes will obey; failure to obey is convincing proof that there is not true faith present. To attempt the impossible God must give faith or there will be none, and He gives faith to the obedient heart only. Where real repentance is, there is obedience; for repentance is not only sorrow for past failures and sins, it is a determination to begin now to do the will of God as He reveals it to us.
A.W. Tozer (Man: The Dwelling Place of God)
The enemy: Will you obey... even in this 'ridiculous' little detail? You, with God's grace: I will obey... even in this 'heroic' little detail.
Josemaría Escrivá (Camino)
But now what? Why, now comes my master, takes me right away from my work, and my friends, and all I like, and grinds me down into the very dirt! And why? Because, he says, I forgot who I was; he says, to teach me that I am only a nigger! After all, and last of all, he comes between me and my wife, and says I shall give her up, and live with another woman. And all this your laws give him power to do, in spite of God or man. Mr. Wilson, look at it! There isn't one of all these things, that have broken the hearts of my mother and my sister, and my wife and myself, but your laws allow, and give every man power to do, in Kentucky, and none can say to him nay! Do you call these the laws of my country? Sir, I haven't any country, anymore than I have any father. But I'm going to have one. I don't want anything of your country, except to be let alone,--to go peaceably out of it; and when I get to Canada, where the laws will own me and protect me, that shall be my country, and its laws I will obey. But if any man tries to stop me, let him take care, for I am desperate. I'll fight for my liberty to the last breath I breathe. You say your fathers did it; if it was right for them, it is right for me!
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
Why is it so hard to get people to study the Scriptures? Common sense tells us what revelation commands: 'Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God'--'Search the Scriptures'--'Be ready to give to every one a reason of the hope that is in you.' These are the words of the inspired writers, and these injunctions are confirmed by praising those who obey the admonition. And yet, for all that we have the Bible in our houses, we are ignorant of its contents. No wonder that so many Christians know so little about what Christ actually taught; no wonder that they are so mistaken about the faith that they profess.
William Wilberforce (Real Christianity)
We are apt to imagine that if Jesus Christ constrains us and we obey Him, He will lead us to great success; but He does not. If our Lord has ever constrained you, and you obeyed Him, what was your dream of His purpose? Never put your dream of success as God’s purpose for you; His purpose may be exactly the opposite.
Oswald Chambers (God's Workmanship and He Shall Glorify Me)
You will be what you "will" to be; Let failure find its false content In that poor word, "environment", But spirit scorns it, and is free. It masters time, it conquers space; It cowes that boastful trickster, Chance, And bids the tyrant Circumstance To uncrown, and fill a servant's place. The human will, that force unseen, The offspring of a deathless Soul, Can hew a way to any goal, Though walls of graite intervene. Be not impatient in delay But wait as one who understands; When spirit rises and commands Then God is ready to obey.
James Allen
No sooner do we believe that God loves us than there is an impulse to believe that He does so, not because He is Love, but because we are intrinsically lovable. The Pagans obeyed this impulse unabashed; a good man was "dear to the gods" because he was good. We, being better taught, resort to subterfuge. Far be it from us to think that we have virtues for which God could love us. But then, how magnificently we have repented! As Bunyan says, describing his first and illusory conversion, "I thought there was no man in England that pleased God better than I." Beaten out of this, we next offer our own humility to God's admiration. Surely He'll like that? Or if not that, our clear-sighted and humble recognition that we still lack humility. Thus, depth beneath depth and subtlety within subtelty, there remains some lingering idea of our own, our very own attractiveness. It is easy to acknowledge, but almost impossible to realize for long, that we are mirrors whose brightness, if we are bright, is wholly derived from the sun that shines upon us. Surely we must have a little--however little--native luminosity? Surely we can't be quite creatures? - The Four Loves
C.S. Lewis
Do you know what my daughter's nurse told her today? "In a girl's voice lies temptation - a known fact. Eloquence in a woman means promiscuity. Promiscuity of the mind leads to promiscuity of the body." She doesn't believe it yet, but she will. She'll grow up just like her mother. Marry, raise children and honor her family. Spend her youth in needlepoint and rue the day she was born a girl. And when she dies, she'll wonder why she obeyed all the rules of God and Country for no biblical hell could ever be worse than a state of perpetual inconsequence.
Margaret F. Rosenthal (The Honest Courtesan: Veronica Franco, Citizen and Writer in Sixteenth-Century Venice)
Our modern world defined God as a ‘religious complex’ and laughed at the Ten Commandments as OLD FASHIONED. Then, through the laughter came the shattering thunder of the World War. And now a blood-drenched, bitter world — no longer laughing — cries for a way out. There is but one way out. It existed before it was engraven upon Tablets of Stone. It will exist when stone has crumbled. The Ten Commandments are not rules to obey as a personal favor to God. They are the fundamental principles without which mankind cannot live together. They are not laws — they are The Law.
Cecil B. DeMille
True worship is revealed by who we obey, not who we sing to.
John Bevere (Good or God?: Why Good Without God Isn't Enough)
Obeying the will of God takes priority over satisfying cultural expectations.
Tony Evans (Oneness Embraced: Through the Eyes of Tony Evans)
The great test of life is to see whether we will hearken to and obey God's commands in the midst of the storms of life. It is not to endure storms, but to choose the right while they rage. And the tragedy of life is to fail in that test and so fail to qualify to return in glory to our heavenly home. . . . "It will take unshakable faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to choose the way to eternal life. It is by using that faith we can know the will of God. It is by acting on that faith we build the strength to do the will of God. And it is by exercising that faith in Jesus Christ that we can resist temptation and gain forgiveness through the Atonement.
Henry B. Eyring
If you believe in science, like I do, you believe that there are certain laws that are always obeyed. If you like, you can say the laws are the work of God, but that is more a definition of God than a proof of his existence.
Stephen Hawking (Brief Answers to the Big Questions)
It is just the old way--that of obedience. If you have ever seen the Lord, if only from afar--if you have any vaguest suspicion that the Jew Jesus, who professed to have come from God, was a better man, a different man--one of your first duties must be to open your ears to His words and see whether they seem to you to be true. Then, if they do, to obey them with your whole strength and might. This is the way of life, which will lead a man out of its miseries into life indeed.
George MacDonald (The Marquis' Secret)
The man who comes to a right belief about God is relieved of ten thousand temporal problems, for he sees at once that these have to do with matters which at the most cannot concern him for very long; but even if the multiple burdens of time may be lifted from him, the one mighty single burden of eternity begins to press down upon him with a weight more crushing than all the woes of the world piled one upon another. That mighty burden is his obligation to God. It includes an instant and lifelong duty to love God with every power of mind and soul, to obey Him perfectly, and to worship Him acceptably.
A.W. Tozer (The Knowledge of the Holy)
There is something in human pride that can stand big troubles, but we need the supernatural grace and power of God to stand by us in the little things. The tiniest detail in which we obey has all the omnipotent power of the grace of God behind it. When we do our duty, not for duty’s sake, but because we believe that God is engineering our circumstances in that way, then at the very point of our obedience the whole superb grace of God is ours.
Oswald Chambers (Our Brilliant Heritage)
Then you do not belong here. Death holds no sweetness in this house. We are not warriors, nor soldiers, nor swaggering bravos puffed up with pride. We do not kill to serve some lord, to fatten our purses, to stroke our vanity. We never give the gift to please ourselves. Nor do we choose the ones we kill. We are but servants of the God of Many Faces." "Valar dohaeris." All men must serve. "You know the words, but you are too proud to serve. A servant must be humble and obedient." "I obey. I can be humbler than anyone." That made him chuckle. "You will be the very goddess of humility, I am sure. But can you pay the price?" "What price?" "The price is you. The price is all you have and all you ever hope to have. We took your eyes and gave them back. Next we will take your ears, and you will walk in silence. You will give us your legs and crawl. You will be no one's daughter, no one's wife, no one's mother. Your name will be a lie, and the very face you wear will not be your own.
George R.R. Martin (A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5))
Every hour be firmly resolved... to accomplish the work at hand with fitting and unaffected dignity, goodwill, freedom, justice. Banish from your thoughts all other considerations. This is possible if you perform each act as if it were your last, rejecting every frivolous distraction, every denial of the rule of reason, every pretentious gesture, vain show, and whining complaint against the decrees of fate. Do you see what little is required of a man to live a well-tempered and god-fearing life? Obey these precepts, and the gods will ask nothing more (II.5).
Marcus Aurelius (The Emperor's Handbook)
The refining of our characters is very essential to God’s plan for our lives. God cannot use a proud woman (or man). Being taken through a preparation process presses and purges out impurities of the heart and spirit, such as pride, rebellion, selfishness, and bitterness, so that we can be pliable in the hands of the Lord to follow His lead to fulfill our purposes. We can’t be an effective vessel with baggage weighing on us, effecting our ability to hear and obey God.
Michelle McClain-Walters (The Esther Anointing: Becoming a Woman of Prayer, Courage, and Influence)
A major theme for Bonhoeffer was that every Christian must be "fully human" by bringing God into his whole life, not merely into some "spiritual" realm. To be an ethereal figure who merely talked about God, but somehow refused to get his hands dirty in the real world in which God had placed him, was bad theology. Through Christ, God had shown that he meant us to be in this world and to obey him with our actions in his word. So Bonhoeffer would get his hands dirty, not because he had grown impatient, but because God was speaking to him about further steps of obedience.
Eric Metaxas (Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy)
We must also remember that in every little village-god and every little superstitious custom is that which we are accustomed to call our religious faith. But local customs are infinite and contradictory. Which are we to obey, and which not to obey? The Brāhmin of Southern India, for instance, would shrink in horror at the sight of another Brahmin eating meat; a Brahmin in the North thinks it a most glorious and holy thing to do—he kills goats by the hundred in sacrifice. If you put forward your custom, they are equally ready with theirs. Various are the customs all over India, but they are local. The greatest mistake made is that ignorant people always think that this local custom is the essence of our religion.
Swami Vivekananda (The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 3)
If all emotions are common coin, then what is unique to the good man? To welcome with affection what is sent by fate. Not to stain or disturb the spirit within him with a mess of false beliefs. Instead, to preserve it faithfully, by calmly obeying God – saying nothing untrue, doing nothing unjust. And if the others don’t acknowledge it – this life lived in simplicity, humility, cheerfulness – he doesn’t resent them for it, and isn’t deterred from following the road where it leads: to the end of life. An end to be approached in purity, in serenity, in acceptance, in peaceful unity with what must be.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
Know this: I, Mercurius, have here set down a full, true and infallible account of the Great Work. But I give you fair warning that unless you seek the true philosophical gold and not the gold of the vulgar, unless you heart is fixed with unbending intent on the true Stone of the Philosophers, unless you are steadfast in your quest, abiding by God’s laws in all faith and humility and eschewing all vanity, conceit, falsehood, intemperance, pride, lust and faint-heartedness, read no farther lest I prove fatal to you. For I am the watery venomous serpent who lies buried at the earth’s centre; I am the fiery dragon who flies through the air. I am the one thing necessary for the whole Opus. I am the spirit of metals, the fire which does not burn, the water which does not wet the hands. If you find the way to slay me you will find the philosophical mercury of the wise, even the White Stone beloved of the Philosophers. If you find the way to raise me up again, you will find the philosophical sulphur, that is, the Red Stone and Elixir of Life. Obey me and I will be your servant; free me and I will be your friend. Enslave me and I am a dangerous enemy; command me and I will make you mad; give me life and you will die.
Patrick Harpur (Mercurius: The Marriage of Heaven and Earth)
Because we know ourselves. Because others obey us as though we were gods, and we know we’re not. We see the fragility of our own power, and through it we see the fragility of every other link. What if the Spectrum suddenly refused my orders? Not hard to imagine, when you consider the scheming and lust for power it takes to become a Color. What if a general suddenly refuses his satrap’s orders? What if a son refuses his father’s orders? What if that first link in the Great Chain of being—Orholam Himself—is as empty as every other link before him? Seeing the weakness of each link, we think the Great Chain itself is fragile: surely at any moment it will burst if we don’t do everything in our power to hold it together.
Brent Weeks (The Black Prism (Lightbringer, #1))
We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged, obeying certain laws, but we understand the laws only dimly. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations.
Albert Einstein
 When Jesus drives something home to you through His Word, don’t try to evade it. If you do, you will become a religious impostor. Examine the things you tend simply to shrug your shoulders about, and where you have refused to be obedient, and you will know why you are not growing spiritually. As Jesus said, “First . . . go . . . .” Even at the risk of being thought of as fanatical, you must obey what God tells you.
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
Whenever the conviction of God’s Spirit comes there is the softening of the whole nature to obey; but if the obedience is not instant there will come a metallic hardening and a corrupting of the guidance of God.
Oswald Chambers
The warrior of light knows the importance of intuition. In the midst of battle, he does not have time to think of the enemy's blows, and so he uses his instinct and obeys his angel. in times of peace, he deciphers the signs that God sends him. People say, "He's mad." Or, "He lives in a fantasy world." Or even, "How can he possibly believe in such illogical things?" But the warrior knows that intuition is God's alphabet and he continues listening to the wind and talking to the stars.
Paulo Coelho
Pure, unadulterated, consistent love for God and pure, unadulterated, consistent love for others is the summation of all the law God has given us in both the Old and New Testaments. Of course, the problem is that we never obey these simple commands. We always love ourselves more than we love God or others. We are always erecting idols in our hearts and worshipping and serving them. We are always more focused on what we want and how we might get it than we are on loving Him and laying down our life for others. The law does show us the right way to live, but none of us obeys it. Not for one millisecond. Even though our children cannot and will not obey God's law, we need to teach it to them again and again. And when they tell us that they can't love God or others in this way, we are not to argue with them. We are to agree with them and tell them of their need for a Savior.
Elyse M. Fitzpatrick (Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus)
What's a „culture“? Look it up. „A group of micro-organisms grown in a nutrient substance under controlled conditions“. A squirm of germs on a glass slide is all, a laboratory experiment calling itself a society. Most of us wrigglers make do with life on the slide; we even agree to feel proud of that „culture“. Like slaves voting for slavery or brains for lobotomy, we kneel down before the god of all moronic micro-organisms and pray to be homogenized or killed or engineered; we promise to obey.
Salman Rushdie (The Ground Beneath Her Feet)
Out of the trees wild people stepped forth, gods Fauns and Satyrs and Dwarfs. Out of the river rose the river god with his Naiad daughters. And all these and all the beasts and birds in their different voices, low or high or thick or clear, replied: "Hail, Aslan. We hear and obey. We are awake. We love. We think. We speak. We know.
C.S. Lewis (The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #6))
We quickly learn that God is more interested in our holiness than in our comfort. He more greatly delights in the integrity and purity of his church than in the material well-being of its members. He shows himself more clearly to men and women who enjoy him and obey him than to men and women whose horizons revolve around good jobs, nice houses, and reasonable health. He is far more committed to building a corporate “temple” in which his Spirit dwells than he is in preserving our reputations. He is more vitally disposed to display his grace than to flatter our intelligence. He is more concerned for justice than for our ease. He is more deeply committed to stretching our faith than our popularity. He prefers that his people live in disciplined gratitude and holy joy rather than in pushy self-reliance and glitzy happiness. He wants us to pursue daily death, not self-fulfillment, for the latter leads to death, while the former leads to life. These essential values of the gospel must shape our praying, as they shape Paul’s. Indeed, they become the ground for our praying (“For this reason . . . I pray”): it is a wonderful comfort, a marvelous boost to faith, to know that you are praying in line with the declared will of almighty God.
D.A. Carson (A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers)
Discipline brings freedom. The purpose of meditation is to enable us to hear God more clearly. Meditation is listening, sensing, heeding the life and light of Christ. This comes right to the heart of our faith. The life that pleases God is not a set of religious duties; it is to hear His voice and obey His word. Meditation opens the door to this way of living. To pray is to change. All who have walked with God have viewed prayer as the main business of their lives. For those explorers in the frontiers of faith, prayer was no little habit tacked on to the periphery of their lives; it was their lives. It was the most serious work of their most productive years. Prayer – nothing draws us closer to the heart of God. Fasting must forever centre on God. More than any other Discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us. The most difficult problem is not finding time but convincing myself that this is important enough to set aside the time. Disciplines are not the answer; they only lead us to the Answer. We must clearly understand this limitation of the Disciplines if we are to avoid bondage. Humility, as we all know, is one of those virtues that is never gained by seeking it. The more we pursue it the more distant it becomes. To think we have it is sure evidence that we don’t. Anybody who has once been horrified by the dreadfulness of his own sin that nailed Jesus to the Cross will no longer be horrified by even the rankest sins of a brother.’ If worship does not propel us into greater obedience, it has not been worship. To stand before the Holy One of eternity is to change.
Richard J. Foster (Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth)
I learned that faith isn't about knowing all the right stuff or obeying a list of ruled. It's something more, something more costly because it involves being present and making a sacrifice. Perhaps that's why Jesus is sometimes called Immanuel - 'God with us.' I think that's what God had in mind, for Jesus to be present, to just be with us. It's also what He has in mind for us when it comes to other people.
Bob Goff (Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World)
There is, then, a great gulf between the understanding that God accepts us because of our efforts and the understanding that God accepts us because of what Jesus has done. Religion operates on the principle “I obey—therefore I am accepted by God.” But the operating principle of the gospel is “I am accepted by God through what Christ has done—therefore I obey.
Timothy J. Keller (The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism)
destines them to eternity. He therefore, I believe, wants them to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself, and to that point of time, which they call the Present. For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity. Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have an experience analogous to the experience which [God] has of reality as a whole; in it alone freedom and actuality are offered them. He would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity or with the Present--either meditating on their eternal union with, or separation from, Himself, or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure.
C.S. Lewis
CONSORTING WITH ANGELS I was tired of being a woman, tired of the spoons and the pots, tired of my mouth and my breasts, tired of the cosmetics and the silks. There were still men who sat at my table, circled around the bowl I offered up. The bowl was filled with purple grapes and the flies hovered in for the scent and even my father came with his white bone. But I was tired of the gender of things. Last night I had a dream and I said to it . . . "You are the answer. You will outlive my husband and my father." In that dream there was a city made of chains where Joan was put to death in man's clothes and the nature of the angels went unexplained, no two made in the same species, one with a nose, one with an ear in its hand, one chewing a star and recording its orbit, each one like a poem obeying itself, performing God's functions, a people apart. "You are the answer," I said, and entered, lying down on the gates of the city. Then the chains were fastened around me and I lost my common gender and my final aspect. Adam was on the left of me and Eve was on the right of me, both thoroughly inconsistent with the world of reason. We wove our arms together and rode under the sun. I was not a woman anymore, not one thing or the other. 0 daughters of Jerusalem, the king has brought me into his chamber. I am black and I am beautiful. I've been opened and undressed. I have no arms or legs. I'm all one skin like a fish. I'm no more a woman than Christ was a man.
Anne Sexton (The Complete Poems)
Giving, not getting, brings to full bloom the Christmas spirit. Enemies are forgiven, friends remembered, and God obeyed. The spirit of Christmas illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in people than things. To catch the real meaning of the “spirit of Christmas,” we need only drop the last syllable, and it becomes the “Spirit of Christ.
Thomas S. Monson
The hall is a place to wait in, a place from which to try the various doors, not a place to live in. For that purpose the worst of the rooms (whichever that may be) is, I think, preferable. It is true that some people may find they have to wait in the hall for a considerable time, while others feel certain almost at once which door they must knock at. I do not know why there is this difference, but I am sure God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait. When you do get into your room you will find that the long wait has done you some kind of good which you would not have had otherwise. But you must regard it as waiting, not as camping. You must keep on praying for light; and, of course, even in the hall, you must begin trying to obey the rules which are common to the whole house. And above all you must be asking which door is the true one; not which pleases you best by its paint and panelling. In plain language, the question should never be: 'Do I like that kind of service?' but 'Are these doctrines true: is holiness here? Does my conscience move me towards this? Is my reluctance to knock at this door due to my pride, or my mere taste, or my personal dislike of this particular door-keeper?' When you have reached your own room, be kind to those who have chosen different doors and to those who are still in the hall. If they are wrong they need your prayers all the more; and if there are your enemies, then you are under orders to pray for them. That is one of the rules common to the whole house.
C.S. Lewis
For the man in the street, the philosophies of opposites, particularly Good and Evil, have served as a torture chamber, a crucifix made from metaphor. Thrust into a world which views him as the property of Gods and States and overwhelmed by an unrepayable debt, the metaphysics of slavery and the facts of pain, pleasure and death; bolstered by science, whose theorists have become the whores of the state, man is now informed that he is ill. The proof of this is his refusal to submit completely. The world debt is due to his saying 'no' to total slavery. He will not obey. We are at War, and man is the enemy. The question is: Who is on the other side?
Christopher S. Hyatt (Rebels and Devils: The Psychology of Liberation (Revised) (Revised))
1. Myth: Without God, life has no meaning. There are 1.2 billion Chinese who have no predominant religion, and 1 billion people in India who are predominantly Hindu. And 65% of Japan's 127 million people claim to be non-believers. It is laughable to suggest that none of these billions of people are leading meaningful lives. 2. Myth: Prayer works. Studies have now shown that inter-cessionary prayer has no effect whatsoever of the health or well-being of the subject. 3. Myth: Atheists are immoral. There are hundreds of millions of non-believers on the planet living normal, decent, moral lives. They love their children, care about others, obey laws, and try to keep from doing harm to others just like everyone else. In fact, in predominantly non-believing countries such as in northern Europe, measures of societal health such as life expectancy at birth, adult literacy, per capita income, education, homicide, suicide, gender equality, and political coercion are better than they are in believing societies. 4. Myth: Belief in God is compatible with science. In the past, every supernatural or paranormal explanation of phenomena that humans believed turned out to be mistaken; science has always found a physical explanation that revealed that the supernatural view was a myth. Modern organisms evolved from lower life forms, they weren't created 6,000 years ago in the finished state. Fever is not caused by demon possession. Bad weather is not the wrath of angry gods. Miracle claims have turned out to be mistakes, frauds, or deceptions. We have every reason to conclude that science will continue to undermine the superstitious worldview of religion. 5. Myth: We have immortal souls that survive death. We have mountains of evidence that makes it clear that our consciousness, our beliefs, our desires, our thoughts all depend upon the proper functioning of our brains our nervous systems to exist. So when the brain dies, all of these things that we identify with the soul also cease to exist. Despite the fact that billions of people have lived and died on this planet, we do not have a single credible case of someone's soul, or consciousness, or personality continuing to exist despite the demise of their bodies. 6. Myth: If there is no God, everything is permitted. Consider the billions of people in China, India, and Japan above. If this claim was true, none of them would be decent moral people. So Ghandi, the Buddha, and Confucius, to name only a few were not moral people on this view. 7. Myth: Believing in God is not a cause of evil. The examples of cases where it was someone's belief in God that was the justification for their evils on humankind are too numerous to mention. 8. Myth: God explains the origins of the universe. All of the questions that allegedly plague non-God attempts to explain our origins still apply to the faux explanation of God. The suggestion that God created everything does not make it any clearer to us where it all came from, how he created it, why he created it, where it is all going. In fact, it raises even more difficult mysteries: how did God, operating outside the confines of space, time, and natural law 'create' or 'build' a universe that has physical laws? We have no precedent and maybe no hope of answering or understanding such a possibility. What does it mean to say that some disembodied, spiritual being who knows everything and has all power, 'loves' us, or has thoughts, or goals, or plans? 9. Myth: There's no harm in believing in God. Religious views inform voting, how they raise their children, what they think is moral and immoral, what laws and legislation they pass, who they are friends and enemies with, what companies they invest in, where they donate to charities, who they approve and disapprove of, who they are willing to kill or tolerate, what crimes they are willing to commit, and which wars they are willing to fight.
Matthew S. McCormick
Religion, by its very nature as an untestable belief in undetectable beings and an unknowable afterlife, disables our reality checks. It ends the conversation. It cuts off inquiry: not only factual inquiry, but moral inquiry. Because God's law trumps human law, people who think they're obeying God can easily get cut off from their own moral instincts. And these moral contortions don't always lie in the realm of theological game-playing. They can have real-world consequences: from genocide to infanticide, from honor killings to abandoned gay children, from burned witches to battered wives to blown-up buildings.
Greta Christina
Contrast toxic religion with the pure gospel. Religion is all about what I do. The gospel is all about what Jesus has done. Religion is about me. The gospel is about Jesus. Religion highlights my efforts to do what is right. The gospel highlights what Christ has already done. Religion lures me to believe that if I obey God, he will love me. But the gospel shows me that because God loves me, I get to obey him. Religion puts the burden on us. We have to do what is right. A relationship with Christ puts the burden on him. And because of what he did for us, we get to do what is right. Instead of an obligation, our right living is a response to his gift. Giving Christ our whole lives is the only reasonable response to such love. There nothing more we need to do. Nothing...
Craig Groeschel (Soul Detox: Clean Living in a Contaminated World)
God ordered Abraham to make a burnt offering of his longed-for son. Abraham built an altar, put firewood upon it, and trussed Isaac up on top of the wood. His murdering knife was already in his hand when an angel dramatically intervened with the news of a last-minute change of plan: God was only joking after all, 'tempting' Abraham, and testing his faith. A modern moralist cannot help but wonder how a child could ever recover from such a psychological trauma. By the standards of modern morality, this disgraceful story is an example simultaneously of child abuse, bullying in two asymmetrical power relationships, and the first recorded use of the Nuremberg defence: 'I was only obeying orders.' Yet the legend is one of the great foundational myths of all three monotheistic religions.
Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)
Catholicism - all the perversions of Christianity - is not a faith of love. It is a faith of fear. Obey, be good, toe the line, and heaven is yours, the first prize in the lottery of eternity. Disobey, react, cut the lifeline, and never-ceasing damnation is the booby prize. The dogma is, love the only god and you shall be safe. Fail in that love and he will not rescue you, not until you crawl and apologize and fawn before the altar. What kind of a religion demands such indignity?
Martin Booth (A Very Private Gentleman)
The holy scriptures and the spoken word of the living prophets give emphasis to the fundamental principles and doctrines of the gospel. The reason we return to these foundational principles, to the pure doctrines, is because they are the gateway to truths of profound meaning. They are the door to experiences of sublime importance that would otherwise be beyond our capacity to comprehend. These simple, basic principles are the key to living in harmony with God and man. They are the keys to opening the windows of heaven. They lead us to the peace, joy, and understanding that Heavenly Father has promised to His children who hear and obey Him.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
You and those you love will receive the word of God by obeying it. That will allow them to feel His love. That is one of the great blessings of the gift of the Holy Ghost. When we feel that love we can know that our course in life is approved of God. That is the feast of the delicious fruit described in the Book of Mormon.
Henry B. Eyring
Numerous New Testament passages teach that we need to forsake our allegiance to our original family and become adopted by God (Matt. 23:9). God commands us to look to him as our father and to have no parental intermediaries. Adults who are still holding an allegiance to earthly parents have not realized their new adoptive status. Many times we are not obeying the Word of God because we have not spiritually left home. We feel we still need to please our parents and their traditional ways of doing things rather than obey our new Father (Matt. 15:1–6). When we become part of God’s family, obeying his ways will sometimes cause conflict in our families and sometimes separate us (Matt. 10:35–37). Jesus says that our spiritual ties are the closest and most important (Matt. 12:46–50). Our true family is the family of God.
Henry Cloud (Boundaries: When To Say Yes, How to Say No)
Ruxandra pulled the blanket down just far enough to see the two girls shut the door behind them, stuff something under it to block any light, and throw a blanket over the shutters. A flint sparked one, twice, and a taper flared to life, lighting the faces of her friends. Adela was a short blonde whose breasts pushed against her nightdress and were the despair of the nuns’ attempts to instill modesty. Her parents had sent her to the convent in desperate hopes to keep her from scandal. And between her sweet, round face and her ability to lie shamelessly, she almost managed to make the nuns believe they were being successful. Valeria was slim and dark, a mischief-maker whose pranks had gotten her in trouble more than once. They were both her lovers. Adela called it practice for when they had husbands. Valeria called it wonderful. The nuns declared it a sin in no uncertain terms. And while Ruxandra did her best to obey the nuns in most matters, and to turn her thoughts to God and do his good work, she could not stop loving the girls. From the moment she’d first held Adela’s hand, she’d known that, whatever else their feelings were for each other, they were too sweet to be sinful.
John Patrick Kennedy (Princess Dracula (Princess Dracula #1))
people begin coming to God once they stop being religious, because there is only one master of the human heart—Jesus Christ, not religion. But “Woe is me” if after seeing Him I still will not obey (Isaiah 6:5, also see verse 1). Jesus will never insist that I obey, but if I don’t, I have already begun to sign the death certificate of the Son of God in my soul. When I stand face to face with Jesus Christ and say, “I will not obey,” He will never insist. But when I do this, I am backing away from the recreating power of His redemption. It makes no difference to God’s grace what an abomination I am, if I will only come to the light. But “Woe is me” if I refuse the light (see John 3:19–21).
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
Why does anyone do anything? Belief. A belief that they are right and just in their actions. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac, because he believed that God had commanded it. To kill your son is unthinkable. A crime. But if you are acting in the belief that your God, your supreme deity whom you must obey, has demanded it of you, is it still a crime?” “Yes,” Will said. Dr. Poblocki smiled. “I know you do not believe, Will. But imagine for a moment that you believe fervently that this is truth. In this framework, your actions are justified. Glorified, even. They are inculpatus—without blame.
Libba Bray (The Diviners (The Diviners, #1))
When salvation has taken place in the life of someone under the sovereign hand of God, they are set free from the penalty of sin and its power. In a body without the Spirit, sin is an unshakable king under whose dominion no man can flee. The entire body, with its members, affections, and mind all willfully submit themselves to sin’s rule. But when the Spirit of God takes back the body that He created for Himself, He sets it free from the pathetic master that once held it captive and releases it into the marvelous light of its Savior. It is then able to not only want God, but it is actually able to obey God. And isn’t that what freedom is supposed to be? The ability to not do as I please, but the power to do what is pleasing.
Jackie Hill Perry (Gay Girl, Good God: The Story of Who I Was, and Who God Has Always Been)
Immortal existence.. Sometimes Living is not such an easy task.. Being here or there.. The spirit is the same.. Only changes the place where shows.. Here, the make-up is of meat.. There is infinite LIGHT.. In the flesh, or out of it , what does order is what thinks and what creates.. Each thought, a vibration.. Each action, a reaction.. That doesn't change with the death of the body.. Because actually nobody dies.. We are immortal divine existences.. Believing or not.. So many lives.. So many experiences.. So many faces.. So many dreams.. To each life new opportunities.. New learnings.. The soul Request.. Thirsty to experiment, feels, develop, evolve, grow and so it goes.. The spirit Obeys.. Enters and exit the perishable bodies.. Gets right and misses.. rehearses, Conquers and proceeds.. The spirit is a gift of the architect of the universe for the benefit of all.. It's light.. it's love.. it's eternal.. In the Astral or in the Earth.. There is to educate the thought and to clean the energies around yourself.. Gives some work to do that spiritual maintenance, but it is worthwhile. It is Light that cleans the Light! So never forget you are imperishable consciousness.. May a light circle involves and illuminate each soul.. Much light and love in each heart that pulses in the heart of the whole.. Namaste, Dave
Dave Zebian
I am a Christian because I have seen the love of God lived out in the lives of people who know Him. The Word has become flesh and I have encountered God in the people who have manifested (in many “unreasonable” ways) His Presence; a Presence that is more than convincing—it is a Presence that is compelling. I am a Christian, not because someone explained the nuts and bolts of Christianity to me, but because there were people who were willing to be nuts and bolts, who through their explanation of it, held it together so that I could experience it and be compelled by it to obey.
Rich Mullins (The World as I Remember It: Through the Eyes of a Ragamuffin)
EPILOGUE This course is a beginning, not an end. Your Friend goes with you. You are not alone. No one who calls on Him can call in vain. Whatever troubles you, be certain that He has the answer, and will gladly give it to you, if you simply turn to Him and ask it of Him. He will not withhold all answers that you need for anything that seems to trouble you. He knows the way to solve all problems, and resolve all doubts. His certainty is yours. You need but ask it of Him, and it will be given you. You are as certain of arriving home as is the pathway of the sun laid down before it rises, after it has set, and in the half-lit hours in between. Indeed, your pathway is more certain still. For it can not be possible to change the course of those whom God has called to Him. Therefore obey your will, and follow Him Whom you accepted as your voice, to speak of what you really want and really need. His is the Voice for God and also yours. And thus He speaks of freedom and of truth. No more specific lessons are assigned, for there is no more need of them. Henceforth, hear but the Voice for God and for your Self when you retire from the world, to seek reality instead. He will direct your efforts, telling you exactly what to do, how to direct your mind, and when to come to Him in silence, asking for His sure direction and His certain Word. His is the Word that God has given you. His is the Word you chose to be your own. And now I place you in His hands, to be His faithful follower, with Him as Guide through every difficulty and all pain that you may think is real. Nor will He give you pleasures that will pass away, for He gives only the eternal and the good. Let Him prepare you further. He has earned your trust by speaking daily to you of your Father and your brother and your Self. He will continue. Now you walk with Him, as certain as is He of where you go; as sure as He of how you should proceed; as confident as He is of the goal, and of your safe arrival in the end. The end is certain, and the means as well. To this we say “Amen.” You will be told exactly what God wills for you each time there is a choice to make. And He will speak for God and for your Self, thus making sure that hell will claim you not, and that each choice you make brings Heaven nearer to your reach. And so we walk with Him from this time on, and turn to Him for guidance and for peace and sure direction. Joy attends our way. For we go homeward to an open door which God has held unclosed to welcome us. We trust our ways to Him and say “Amen.” In peace we will continue in His way, and trust all things to Him. In confidence we wait His answers, as we ask His Will in everything we do. He loves God’s Son as we would love him. And He teaches us how to behold him through His eyes, and love him as He does. You do not walk alone. God’s angels hover near and all about. His Love surrounds you, and of this be sure; that I will never leave you comfortless.
Foundation for Inner Peace (A Course in Miracles)
As she watched while Gabriel sorted through the medicine spoons, she decided to take the bull by the horns. "You probably already know this," she said bluntly, "but I love you. In fact, I love you so much that I don't mind your monotonous handsomeness, your prejudice against certain root vegetables, or your strange preoccupation with spoon-feeding me. I'm never going to obey you. But I'm always going to love you." The declaration wasn't exactly poetic, but it seemed to be what he'd needed to hear. The spoons clattered on the table. In the next moment, he sat on the bed and gathered her against his chest. "Pandora," he said huskily, holding her against his violently thumping heart. "I love you more than I can bear. You're everything to me. You're the reason the earth turns and morning follows night. You're the meaning of primroses and why kissing was invented. You're the reason my heart beats. God help me, I'm not strong enough to survive without you. I need you too much... I need you...
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
Favourable Chance, I fancy, is the god of all men who follow their own devices instead of obeying a law they believe in. Let even a polished man of these days get into a position he is ashamed to avow, and his mind will be bent on all the possible issues that may deliver him from the calculable results of that position. Let him live outside his income, or shirk the resolute honest work that brings wages, and he will presently find himself dreaming of a possible benefactor, a possible simpleton who may be cajoled into using his interest, a possible state of mind in some possible person not yet forthcoming. Let him neglect the responsibilities of his office, and he will inevitably anchor himself on the chance that the thing left undone may turn out not to be of the supposed importance. Let him betray his friend's confidence, and he will adore that same cunning complexity called Chance, which gives him the hope that his friend will never know. Let him forsake a decent craft that he may pursue the gentilities of a profession to which nature never called him, and his religion will infallibly be the worship of blessed Chance, which he will believe in as the mighty creator of success. The evil principle deprecated in that religion is the orderly sequence by which the seed brings forth a crop after its kind.
George Eliot (Silas Marner)
But we inherit a whole system of desires which do not necessarily contribute God's will but which, after centuries of usurped autonomy steadfastly ignore it. If the thing we like doing is, in fact, the thing God wants us to do, yet that is not our reason for doing it; it remains a mere happy coincidence. We cannot therefore know that we are acting at all, or primarily, for God's sake, unless the material of the action is contrary to our inclination or (in other words) painful and what we cannot know that we are choosing, we cannot choose. The full acting out of the self's surrender to God therefore demands pain: this action, to be perfect, must be done from the pure will to obey in the absence, or in the teeth, of inclination. How impossible it is to enact the surrender of the self by doing what we like...
C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
Come here, he said. Rebeca obeyed. She stopped beside the hammock in an icy sweat, feeling knots forming in her intestines, while Jose Arcadio stroked her ankle with the tips of his fingers, then her calves, then her thighs, murmuring: Oh, little sister, little sister. She had to make a supernatural effort not to die when a startlingly regulated cyclonic power lifted her up by the waist and despoiled her of her intimacy with 3 slashes of its claws and quartered her like a little bird. She managed to thank God for having been born before she lost herself in the inconcievable pleasure of that unbearable pain...
Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
The task of liturgy is to order the life of the holy community following the text of Holy Scripture. It consists of two movements. First it gets us into the sanctuary, the place of adoration and attention, listening and receiving and believing before God. There is a lot involved, all the parts of our lives ordered to all aspects of the revelation of God in Jesus. Then it gets us out of the sanctuary into the world into places of obeying and loving ordering our lives as living sacrifices in the world to the glory of God. There is a lot involved, all the parts of our lives out on the street participating in the work of salvation.
Eugene H. Peterson (Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading (Spiritual Theology #2))
[Christians] must become, must be known as, the people who don't hold grudges, who don't sulk. We must be the people who know how to say "Sorry," and who know how to respond when other people say it to us. It is remarkable, once more, how difficult this still seems, considering how much time the Christian church has had to think about it and how much energy has been spent on expounding the New Testament, where the advice is all so clear. Perhaps it's because we have tried, if at all, to do it as though it were just a matter of obeying an artificial command--and then, finding it difficult, have stopped trying because nobody else seems to be very good at it either. Perhaps it might be different if we reminded ourselves frequently that we are preparing for life in God's new world, and that the death and resurrection of Jesus, which by baptism constitute our own new identity, offer us both the motivation and the energy to try again in a new way.
N.T. Wright (Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense)
Those of us who are in tune with nature and animals know it is our way of life, Bram. There is a connection to all living things, a vibration of Life. Animals were not given a power of choice. A lion does not try and eat legumes, nor an elephant meat. We believe the best way to communicate with nature, God, is through a liaison: the animals..... Nature hears one voice and obeys it. That is why ten or ten thousand birds may rise from the surface of a lake at the same time and yet never touch one another. Man only hears his own voice. He constantly bumps into another. Even his voice mirrors his erratic walk, jealousy, hate, ego, pride, lying, cheating. He makes his own judgements and falls prey to his greed. Remember, the moon is reflected on one drop of water as is the entire ocean-- so it is with God. He is reflected ins each living thing-- in a grain of sand as the entire shore, one star as the whole universe. Each animal as in all creatures. -Jagrat
Ralph Helfer (Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived)
The key to contagious grace—the grace that allows the margins to move to the center, the grace that commands you to never fear the future, the grace that reveals that what humbles you cannot hurt you if Jesus is your Lord—that grace is ours when we do what Mary says to do in this scene. She says to the servants (and the Holy Spirit says to us): “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5). Simple, right? No. We cannot will ourselves into the deep obedience that God requires. We can’t obey until we ourselves have received this grace and picked up our cross. We can’t obey until we have laid down our life, with all our false and worldly identities and idols. We can’t obey until we face the facts: the gospel comes in exchange for the life we once loved. But when we die to ourselves, we find the liberty to obey. As Susan Hunt explains, “When God’s grace changes our status from rebel to redeemed, we are empowered by his Spirit to obey him. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom. 12:2) into his likeness (2 Cor. 3:18). Joyful obedience is the evidence of our love for Jesus (John 14:15).”2
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World)
The assertion that religion is a tool for preserving social order and for organising large-scale cooperation may vex many people for whom it represents first and foremost a spiritual path. However, just as the gap between religion and science is smaller than we commonly think, so the gap between religion and spirituality is much bigger. Religion is a deal, whereas spirituality is a journey. Religion gives a complete description of the world, and offers us a well-defined contract with predetermined goals. ‘God exists. He told us to behave in certain ways. If you obey God, you’ll be admitted to heaven. If you disobey Him, you’ll burn in hell.’ The very clarity of this deal allows society to define common norms and values that regulate human behaviour. Spiritual journeys are nothing like that. They usually take people in mysterious ways towards unknown destinations. The quest usually begins with some big question, such as who am I? What is the meaning of life? What is good? Whereas many people just accept the ready-made answers provided by the powers that be, spiritual seekers are not so easily satisfied. They are determined to follow the big question wherever it leads, and not just to places you know well or wish to visit. Thus for most people, academic studies are a deal rather than a spiritual journey, because they take us to a predetermined goal approved by our elders, governments and banks.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow)
If there is a secret, a carefully guarded secret, to human happiness, it is that one expressed in a seventeenth-century catechism that says, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.” The secret to happiness is found in obedience to God. How can we be happy if we are not obedient? How can we be obedient if we do not know what it is we are to obey? Thus the top and the tail of it is that happiness cannot be fully discovered as long as we remain ignorant of God’s Word.
R.C. Sproul (Knowing Scripture)
For we must Consider that we shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us; so that if we shall deal falsely with our god in this work we have undertaken and so cause him to withdraw his present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword through the world, we shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of god and all professors for Gods sake; we shall shame the faces of many of gods worthy servants, and cause their prayers to be turned into Curses upon us till we be consumed out of the good land whether we are going: And to shut up this discourse with that exhortation of Moses that faithful servant of the Lord in his last farewell to Israel Deut. 30. Beloved there is now set before us life, and good, death and evil in that we are Commanded this day to love the Lord our God, and to love one another to walk in his ways and to keep his Commandments and his Ordinance, and his laws, and the Articles of our Covenant with him that we may live and be multiplied, and that the Lord our God may bless us in the land whether we go to possess it: But if our hearts shall turn away so that we will not obey, but shall be seduced and worship other Gods our pleasures, and profits, and serve them, it is propounded unto us this day, we shall surely perish out of the good Land whether we pass over this vast Sea to possess it.
John Winthrop
I asked for strength that I might achieve; I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey. I asked for health that I might do greater things; I was given infirmity that I might do better things. I asked for riches that I might be happy; I was given poverty that I might be wise. I asked for power that I might have the praise of men; I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God. I asked for all things that I might enjoy life; I was given life that I might enjoy all things. I got nothing that I asked for but everything that I had hoped for. Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered, I am, among all men, most richly blessed
Unknown Confederate Soldier
Remember again the principle: We will never be over those things that God has set under us until we learn to be under those things that God has placed over us. There is strength through surrender. Are you under the Word of God? Is the Bible your mandate for life? Are you loving it, reading it, obeying it, and living it? Are you consciously filled with the Holy Spirit? Have you yielded every part of the temple of your body to him? Are you grieving him in any way? Are you graciously submitting to those human authorities that God has set over you: in the home, in the church, in civil government, and in the workplace? Have you made Jesus Christ the absolute Lord over everything in your life?
Adrian Rogers (The Incredible Power of Kingdom Authority: Getting an Upper Hand on the Underworld)
Disillusioned words like bullets bark As human gods aim for their marks Made everything from toy guns that sparks To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark It's easy to see without looking too far That not much Is really sacred. While preachers preach of evil fates Teachers teach that knowledge waits Can lead to hundred-dollar plates Goodness hides behind its gates But even the President of the United States Sometimes must have To stand naked. An' though the rules of the road have been lodged It's only people's games that you got to dodge And it's alright, Ma, I can make it. Advertising signs that con you Into thinking you're the one That can do what's never been done That can win what's never been won Meantime life outside goes on All around you. Although the masters make the rules For the wise men and the fools I got nothing, Ma, to live up to. For them that must obey authority That they do not respect in any degree Who despite their jobs, their destinies Speak jealously of them that are free Cultivate their flowers to be Nothing more than something They invest in. While some on principles baptized To strict party platforms ties Social clubs in drag disguise Outsiders they can freely criticize Tell nothing except who to idolize And then say God Bless him. While one who sings with his tongue on fire Gargles in the rat race choir Bent out of shape from society's pliers Cares not to come up any higher But rather get you down in the hole That he's in. Old lady judges, watch people in pairs Limited in sex, they dare To push fake morals, insult and stare While money doesn't talk, it swears Obscenity, who really cares Propaganda, all is phony. While them that defend what they cannot see With a killer's pride, security It blows the minds most bitterly For them that think death's honesty Won't fall upon them naturally Life sometimes Must get lonely. And if my thought-dreams could been seen They'd probably put my head in a guillotine But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only.
Bob Dylan
The most common argument used against church discipline is that it is unloving and judgmental. In rebuttal, we merely need to point to the teachings of our Lord, who commanded such a practice. If we are unloving in obeying the command, was He unloving in giving it? Although we are not to judge with critical and censorious attitudes, we are commanded to judge and even expel if necessary.28 If in the consummation of all things we are going to judge angels, are we not now able to judge matters pertaining to the church and her well-being?29 Our boasting in a love that refuses to confront unrepentant sin is not good. Do we not understand that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?30 Are we demonstrating love toward God when we allow sin to run rampant in the church so that God’s name is blasphemed among unbelievers?31 Are we demonstrating love toward our brothers in Christ when we allow them to be destroyed by habitual sin, or are we demonstrating self-love and refusing to enter into conflict for the sake of self-preservation?
Paul David Washer (The Gospel Call and True Conversion (Recovering the Gospel Book 2))
I asked God for strength that I might achieve. I was made weak that I might learn to obey. I asked for health that I might do greater things. I was given infirmity that I might do better things. I asked for riches that I might be happy. I was given poverty that I might be wise. I asked for power that I might have the praise of men. I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God. I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. I was given life that I might enjoy all things. I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for. Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered. I am, among all men, most richly blessed.
Chester Nimitz
God has made provision for our sin in Christ. So when we struggle to believe and obey, we should run to Him, not from Him--the opposite of our pattern, in contradiction to our feelings? Why? Because He already knows! See the gospel just keeps changing everything. The cross should continually testify to us that God fully knew we would need to be justified. Therefore, unconfessed sin is actually the foolish decision to run away from our healing and growth rather than toward it. We hang on to things we believe will satisfy us, thinking we need those more than what God offers to provide. But how can we rejoice in and worship the majesty of a loving and forgiving God if in practice we don't believe He loves and forgives, if in practice we don't believe the gospel? How can our churches rejoice and worship corporately when our collective energy is expended carrying around the saddle of unconfessed sin and shame? When people walk in honesty about their fears, shortcomings, and needs--not in thoughtless disobedience but in grace-based freedom and forgiveness--they reveal a deep understanding of the gospel. To confess our sins to one another is to violently pursue our own joy and the glory of God...and to exponentially increase our rejoicing and worship, both individually and corporately.
Matt Chandler (Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centered Church)
It is now time for us to ask the personal question put to Jesus Christ by Saul of Tarsus on the Damascus road, ‘What shall I do Lord?’ or the similar question asked by the Philippian jailer, ’What must I do to be saved?’ Clearly we must do something. Christianity is no mere passive acquiescence in a series of propositions, however true. We may believe in the deity and the salvation of Christ, and acknowledge ourselves to be sinners in need of his salvation, but this does not make us Christians. We have to make a personal response to Jesus Christ, committing ourselves unreservedly to him as our Savior and Lord … At its simplest Christ’s call was “Follow me.” He asked men and women for their personal allegiance. He invited them to learn from him, to obey his words and to identify themselves with his cause … Now there can be no following without a previous forsaking. To follow Christ is to renounce all lesser loyalties … let me be more explicit about the forsaking which cannot be separated from the following of Jesus Christ. First, there must be a renunciation of sin. This, in a word, is repentance. It is the first part of Christian conversion. It can in no circumstances be bypassed. Repentance and faith belong together. We cannot follow Christ without forsaking sin … Repentance is a definite turn from every thought, word, deed, and habit which is known to be wrong … There can be no compromise here. There may be sins in our lives which we do not think we could ever renounce, but we must be willing to let them go as we cry to God for deliverance from them. If you are in doubt regarding what is right and what is wrong, do not be too greatly influenced by the customs and conventions of Christians you may know. Go by the clear teaching of the Bible and by the prompting of your conscience, and Christ will gradually lead you further along the path of righteousness. When he puts his finger on anything, give it up. It may be some association or recreation, some literature we read, or some attitude of pride, jealousy or resentment, or an unforgiving spirit. Jesus told his followers to pluck out their eye and cut off their hand or foot if it caused them to sin. We are not to obey this with dead literalism, of course, and mutilate our bodies. It is a figure of speech for dealing ruthlessly with the avenues along which temptation comes to us.
John R.W. Stott (Basic Christianity)
The presence of God compelled human[s] to quest for an ideal. They had to strive for something to win God's blessing.... Nietzsche feared that with God's passing even that striving would stop. No one would think it worthwhile to try to overcome himself. People who would live happily with their own limitations.... Worse was life in which humanity had lost all interest in ideals. This was the world epitomized by "The Last Man." This creature hops and blinks on the Earth's crust, small and self-seeking, lives with the most pitiable credo: `One still works, for work is a form of entertainment. But one is careful lest the entertainment be too harrowing. One no longer becomes poor or rich: Both require too much exertion. Who still wants to rule? Who obey? Both require too much exertion.' The Last Man has his `little poison now and then: That makes for agreeable dreams'; he is cautious, self-absorbed, noncommittal.... What happens now and in the future if our most intelligent students never learn to strive to overcome what they are?
Mark Edmundson
Sympathies and antipathies . . . Human friendships can very quickly become a club of mediocrities, enclosed in mutual flattery and approval, preventing people from seeing their inner poverty and wounds. Friendship is then no longer a spur to grow . . . Scott Peck talks of pseudo-communities. These are where people pretend to live community. Everybody is polite and obeys the rules and regulations. They speak in platitudes and generalities. But underlying it all is an immense fear of conflict, a fear of letting out the monsters. If people start truly to listen to each other and to get involved, speaking from their guts, their anger and fears may rise up and they might start hitting each other over the head with frying pans. There are so many pent-up emotions contained in their hearts that if these were to start surfacing, God knows what might happen! It would be chaos. But from that chaos, healing could come. . . They discover that they have all been living in a state of falsehood. And it is then that the miracle of community can happen!
Jean Vanier (Community And Growth)
People who are religious should be glad, since not everyone is blessed with the ability to believe in a higher order. You don't even have to live in fear of eternal punishment; the concepts of purgatory, heaven and hell are difficult for many people to accept, yet religion itself, any religion, keeps a person on the right path. Not the fear of God, but upholding your own sense of honor and obeying your own conscience. How noble and good everyone could be if, at the end of each day, they were to review their own behavior and weigh up the rights and wrongs. They would automatically try to do better at the start of each new day and, after a while, would certainly accomplish a great deal. Everyone is welcome to this prescription; it costs nothing and is definitely useful. Those who don't know will have to find out by experience that "a quiet conscience gives you strength!
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
The Jews have a saying worth remembering: "Whoever doesn't teach his son some trade or business, teaches him to be a thief." As soon as ever I can, I will make my children apprehensive of the main end for which they are to live; that so they may as soon as may be, begin to live; and their youth not be nothing but vanity. I will show them, that their main end must be, to, acknowledge the great God, and His glorious Christ; and bring others to acknowledge Him: and that they are never wise nor well, but when they are doing so. I will make them able to answer the grand question of why they live; and what is the end of the actions that fill their lives? I will teach them that their Creator and Redeemer is to be obeyed in everything, and everything is to be done in obedience to Him. I will teach them how even their diversions, and their ornaments, and the tasks of their education, must all be to fit them for the further service of Him to whom I have devoted them; and how in these also, His commandments must be the rule of all they do. I will sometimes therefore surprise them with an inquiry, "Child, what is this for? Give me a good account of why you do it?" How comfortably shall I see them walking in the light, if I may bring them wisely to answer this inquiry. -A Father's Resolutions, www.spurgeon.org/~phil/mather/resolvd...
Cotton Mather
God sends his Son – here lies the only remedy. It is not enough to give man a new philosophy or better religion. A Man comes to men. Every man bears an image. His body and his life become visible. A man is not a bare word, a thought or a will. He is above all and always a man, a form, an image, a brother. And thus he does not create around him just a new way of thought, will and action but he gives us the new image, the new form. Now in Jesus Christ this is just what has happened. The image of God has entered our midst, in the form of our fallen life, in the likeness of sinful flesh. In the teaching and acts of Christ, in his life and death, the image of God is revealed. In him the divine image has been re-created here on earth. The Incarnation, the words and acts of Jesus, his death on the cross, all are indispensable parts of that image. But it is not the same image as Adam bore in the primal glory of paradise. Rather, it is the image of one who enters a world of sin and death, who takes upon himself all the sorrows of humanity, who meekly bears God’s wrath and judgment against sinners, and obeys his will with unswerving devotion in suffering and death, the Man born to poverty, the friend of publicans and sinners, the Man of sorrows, rejected of man and forsaken of God. Here is God made man, here is man in the new image of God.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Cost of Discipleship)
Oh, My God..." Even as he saw the face and heard that voice say "Crow..." he was throwing himself backward out of the shaft. Then the top of the elevator car blew out and the air was filler with shrapnel, everybody hit the deck, and crow grabbed his crossbow, yelling, "Get back! It's him, the vampire!" But it was too late. The vampire rose with the grip of a single beautiful hand, almost levitating toward them, his power and eyes and smile and terrible beauty so alien but so familiar, so pale but so solid, so horrible but so magnetic. And he came closer and closer. "Get back," ordered crow, and the Team started to obey. "Too late," the vampire said, halting them with the voice. "You've let me get too close." Crow raised his crossbow all the way then saied: "Hold it there." The thing laughed and said, "Are you joking?" "Stop!" said Crow. And the vampire smiled and showed his big teeth and said: "Stop me...
John Steakley
A true natural aristocracy is not a separate interest in the state, or separable from it. It is an essential integrant part of any large body rightly constituted. It is formed out of a class of legitimate presumptions, which taken as generalities, must be admitted for actual truths. To be bred in a place of estimation; to see nothing low and sordid from one’s infancy; to be taught to respect one’s self; to be habituated to the censorial inspection of the public eye; to look early to public opinion; to stand upon such elevated ground as to be enabled to take a large view of the wide-spread and infinitely diversified combinations of men and affairs in a large society; to have leisure to read, to reflect, to converse; to be enabled to draw the court and attention of the wise and learned wherever they are to be found;—to be habituated in armies to command and to obey; to be taught to despise danger in the pursuit of honor and duty; to be formed to the greatest degree of vigilance, foresight and circumspection, in a state of things in which no fault is committed with impunity, and the slightest mistakes draw on the most ruinous consequence—to be led to a guarded and regulated conduct, from a sense that you are considered as an instructor of your fellow-citizens in their highest concerns, and that you act as a reconciler between God and man—to be employed as an administrator of law and justice, and to be thereby amongst the first benefactors to mankind—to be a professor of high science, or of liberal and ingenuous art—to be amongst rich traders, who from their success are presumed to have sharp and vigorous understandings, and to possess the virtues of diligence, order, constancy, and regularity, and to have cultivated an habitual regard to commutative justice—these are the circumstances of men, that form what I should call a natural aristocracy, without which there is no nation.
Edmund Burke
The other wives and I talked together one night about the possibility of becoming widows. What would we do? God gave us peace of heart, and confidence that whatever might happen, His Word would hold. We knew that 'when He Putteth forth His sheep, He goeth before them.' God's leading was unmistakable up to this point. Each of us knew when we married our husbands that there would never be any question about who came first -- God and His work held held first place in each life. It was the condition of true discipleship; it became devastatingly meaningful now. It was a time for soul-searching, a time for counting the possible cost. Was it the thrill of adventure that drew our husbands on? No. Their letters and journals make it abundantly clear that these men did not go out as some men go out to shoot a lion or climb a mountain. Their compulsion was from a different source. Each had made a personal transaction with God, recognising that he belonged to God, first of all by creation, and secondly by redemption through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ. This double claim on his life settled once and for all the question of allegiance. It was not a matter of striving to follow the example of a great Teacher. To conform to the perfect life of Jesus was impossible for a human being. To these men, Jesus Christ was God, and had actually taken upon Himself human form, in order that He might die, and, by His death, provide not only escape from the punishment which their sin merited, but also a new kind of life, eternal both in length and in quality. This meant simply that Christ was to be obeyed, and more than that, that. He would provide the power to obey
Elisabeth Elliot (Through Gates of Splendor)
I don’t know how I didn’t see it for so many years of Bible reading, but I didn’t.  Paul didn’t teach the Gentiles not to follow the law, he didn’t teach people not to have their sons circumcised (in fact he himself had Timothy circumcised in Acts 16:3).  And Paul himself kept the law.  Otherwise, James would have been telling Paul to lie about what he was doing.   So we traded Christmas for Sukkot, the true birth of Messiah during the Feast of Tabernacles, which is a shadow picture of Him coming back to reign for a thousand years.  When we keep that feast, we are making a declaration that we believe He was, is, and is coming.  We keep Yom Kippur, which is a declaration that we believe that Yeshua is the salvation of the nation of Israel as a whole, that “all Israel shall be saved.”  We keep Yom Teruah, the day of Trumpets, which occurs on “the day and hour that no man knows” at the sighting of the first sliver of the new moon during the 7th biblical month of Tishri.  We traded Pentecost for Shavuot, the prophetic shadow picture of the spirit being poured out on the assembly, as we see in the book of Acts,  just as the law was given at Mt Sinai to the assembly, which according to Stephen was the true birth of the church (Acts 7:38) – not in Jerusalem, but at Sinai. We also traded Easter for Passover, the shadow picture of Messiah coming to die to restore us to right standing with God, in order to obey Him when He said, “from now on, do this in remembrance of Me.”  We traded Resurrection Sunday for First Fruits, the feast which served as a shadow of Messiah rising up out of the earth and ascending to be presented as a holy offering to the Father.  In Leviticus 23, these are called the Feasts of the LORD, and were to be celebrated by His people Israel forever, not just the Jews, but all those who are in covenant with Him. Just like at Mt Sinai, the descendants of Jacob plus the mixed multitude who came out of Egypt.    We learned from I John 3:4 that sin is defined as transgression of the law.  I John 1:10 says that if we claim we do not sin we are liars, so sin still exists, and that was written long after the death of the other apostles, including Paul.  I read what Peter said about Paul in 2 Peter 3:15-16 – that his writings were hard to understand and easily twisted.  And I began to see that Peter was right because the more I understood what everyone besides Paul was saying, the more I realized that the only way I could justify what I had been doing was with Paul’s writings.  I couldn’t use Yeshua (Jesus), Moses, John, Peter or any of the others to back up any of the doctrines I was taught – I had to ignore Yeshua almost entirely, or take Him out of context.  I decided that Yeshua, and not Paul, died for me, so I had to
Tyler Dawn Rosenquist (The Bridge: Crossing Over Into the Fullness of Covenant Life)
Most people cannot stand being alone for long. They are always seeking groups to belong to, and if one group dissolves, they look for another. We are group animals still, and there is nothing wrong with that. But what is dangerous is not the belonging to a group, or groups, but not understanding the social laws that govern groups and govern us. When we're in a group, we tend to think as that group does: we may even have joined the group to find "like-minded" people. But we also find our thinking changing because we belong to a group. It is the hardest thing in the world to maintain an individual dissent opinion, as a member of a group. It seems to me that this is something we have all experienced - something we take for granted, may never have thought about. But a great deal of experiment has gone on among psychologists and sociologists on this very theme. If I describe an experiment or two, then anyone listening who may be a sociologist or psychologist will groan, oh God not again - for they have heard of these classic experiments far too often. My guess is that the rest of the people will never have had these ideas presented to them. If my guess is true, then it aptly illustrates general thesis, and the general idea behind these essays, that we (the human race) are now in possession of a great deal of hard information about ourselves, but we do not use it to improve our institutions and therefore our lives. A typical test, or experiment, on this theme goes like this. A group of people are taken into the researcher's confidence. A minority of one or two are left in the dark. Some situation demanding measurement or assessment is chosen. For instance, comparing lengths of wood that differ only a little from each other, but enough to be perceptible, or shapes that are almost the same size. The majority in the group - according to instruction- will assert stubbornly that these two shapes or lengths are the same length, or size, while the solitary individual, or the couple, who have not been so instructed will assert that the pieces of wood or whatever are different. But the majority will continue to insist - speaking metaphorically - that black is white, and after a period of exasperation, irritation, even anger, certainly incomprehension, the minority will fall into line. Not always but nearly always. There are indeed glorious individualists who stubbornly insist on telling the truth as they see it, but most give in to the majority opinion, obey the atmosphere. When put as baldly, as unflatteringly, as this, reactions tend to be incredulous: "I certainly wouldn't give in, I speak my mind..." But would you? People who have experienced a lot of groups, who perhaps have observed their own behaviour, may agree that the hardest thing in the world is to stand out against one's group, a group of one's peers. Many agree that among our most shameful memories is this, how often we said black was white because other people were saying it. In other words, we know that this is true of human behaviour, but how do we know it? It is one thing to admit it in a vague uncomfortable sort of way (which probably includes the hope that one will never again be in such a testing situation) but quite another to make that cool step into a kind of objectivity, where one may say, "Right, if that's what human beings are like, myself included, then let's admit it, examine and organize our attitudes accordingly.
Doris Lessing (Prisons We Choose to Live Inside)
Todd wrapped his arm around her. They stood together in silent awe, watching the sunset. All Christy could think of was how this was what she had always wanted, to be held in Todd's arms as well as in his heart. Just as the last golden drop of sun melted into the ocean, Christy closed her eyes and drew in a deep draught of the sea air. "Did you know," Todd said softly, "that the setting sun looks so huge from the island of Papua New Guinea that it almost looks like you're on another planet? I've seen pictures." Then, as had happened with her reflection in her cup of tea and in her disturbing dream, Christy heard those two piercing words, "Let go." She knew what she had to do. Turning to face Todd, she said, "Pictures aren't enough for you, Todd. You have to go." "I will. Someday. Lord willing," he said casually. "Don't you see, Todd? The Lord is willing. This is your 'someday.' Your opportunity to go on the mission field is now. You have to go." Their eyes locked in silent communion. "God has been telling me something, Todd. He's been telling me to let you go. I don't want to, but I need to obey Him." Todd paused. "Maybe I should tell them I can only go for the summer. That way I'll only be gone a few months. A few weeks, really. We'll be back together in the fall." Christy shook her head. "It can't be like that, Todd. You have to go for as long as God tells you to go. And as long as I've known you, God has been telling you to go. His mark is on your life, Todd. It's obvious. You need to obey Him." "Kilikina," Todd said, grasping Christy by the shoulders, "do you realize what you're saying? If I go, I may never come back." "I know." Christy's reply was barely a whisper. She reached for the bracelet on her right wrist and released the lock. Then taking Todd's hand, she placed the "Forever" bracelet in his palm and closed his fingers around it. "Todd," she whispered, forcing the words out, "the Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and give you His peace. And may you always love Jesus more than anything else. Even more than me." Todd crumbled to the sand like a man who had been run through with a sword. Burying his face in his hands, he wept. Christy stood on wobbly legs. What have I done? Oh, Father God, why do I have to let him go? Slowly lowering her quivering body to the sand beside Todd, Christy cried until all she could taste was the salty tears on her lips. They drove the rest of the way home in silence. A thick mantle hung over them, entwining them even in their separation. To Christy it seemed like a bad dream. Someone else had let go of Todd. Not her! He wasn't really going to go. They pulled into Christy's driveway, and Todd turned off the motor. Without saying anything, he got out of Gus and came around to Christy's side to open the door for her. She stepped down and waited while he grabbed her luggage from the backseat. They walked to the front door. Todd stopped her under the trellis of wildly fragrant white jasmine. With tears in his eyes, he said in a hoarse voice, "I'm keeping this." He lifted his hand to reveal the "Forever" bracelet looped between his fingers. "If God ever brings us together again in this world, I'm putting this back on your wrist, and that time, my Kilikina, it will stay on forever." He stared at her through blurry eyes for a long minute, and then without a hug, a kiss, or even a good-bye, Todd turned to go. He walked away and never looked back.
Robin Jones Gunn (Sweet Dreams (Christy Miller, #11))
Women have complained, justly, about the behavior of “macho” men. But despite their he-man pretensions and their captivation by masculine heroes of sports, war, and the Old West, most men are now entirely accustomed to obeying and currying the favor of their bosses. Because of this, of course, they hate their jobs — they mutter, “Thank God it’s Friday” and “Pretty good for Monday”— but they do as they are told. They are more compliant than most housewives have been. Their characters combine feudal submissiveness with modern helplessness. They have accepted almost without protest, and often with relief, their dispossession of any usable property and, with that, their loss of economic independence and their consequent subordination to bosses. They have submitted to the destruction of the household economy and thus of the household, to the loss of home employment and self-employment, to the disintegration of their families and communities, to the desecration and pillage of their country, and they have continued abjectly to believe, obey, and vote for the people who have most eagerly abetted this ruin and who have most profited from it. These men, moreover, are helpless to do anything for themselves or anyone else without money, and so for money they do whatever they are told.
Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry)
And so when the generation, which itself desired to level and to be emancipated, to destroy authority and at the same time itself, has, through the scepticism of the principle association, started the hopeless forest fire of abstraction; when as a result of levelling with this scepticism, the generation has rid itself of the individual and of everything organic and concrete, and put in its place 'humanity' and the numerical equality of man and man: when the generation has, for a moment, delighted in this unlimited panorama of abstract infinity, unrelieved by even the smallest eminence, undisturbed by even the slightest interest, a sea of desert; then the time has come for work to begin, for every individual must work for himself, each for himself. No longer can the individual, as in former times, turn to the great for help when he grows confused. That is past; he is either lost in the dizziness of unending abstraction or saved for ever in the reality of religion. Perhaps very many will cry out in despair, but it will not help them--already it is too late...Nor shall any of the unrecognizable presume to help directly or to speak directly or to teach directly at the head of the masses, in order to direct their decisions, instead of giving his negative support and so helping the individual to make the decision which he himself has reached; any other course would be the end of him, because he would be indulging in the short-sighted compassion of man, instead of obeying the order of divinity, of an angry, yet so merciful, divinity. For the development is, in spite of everything, a progress because all the individuals who are saved will receive the specific weight of religion, its essence at first hand, from God himself. Then it will be said: 'behold, all is in readiness, see how the cruelty of abstraction makes the true form of worldliness only too evident, the abyss of eternity opens before you, the sharp scythe of the leveller makes it possible for every one individually to leap over the blade--and behold, it is God who waits. Leap, then, into the arms of God'. But the 'unrecognizable' neither can nor dares help man, not even his most faithful disciple, his mother, or the girl for whom he would gladly give his life: they must make the leap themselves, for God's love is not a second-hand gift. And yet the 'unrecognizable' neither can nor dares help man, not even his most faithful disciple, his mother, or the girl for whom he would gladly give his life: they must make the leap themselves, for God's love is not a second-hand gift. And yet the 'unrecognizable' (according to his degree) will have a double work compared with the 'outstanding' man (of the same degree), because he will not only have to work continuously, but at the same time labour to conceal his work.
Søren Kierkegaard (The Present Age)
so evenly was strained their war and battle, till the moment when Zeus gave the greater renown to Hector, son of Priam, who was the first to leap within the wall of the Achaians. In a piercing voice he cried aloud to the Trojans: "Rise, ye horse-taming Trojans, break the wall of the Argives, and cast among the ships fierce blazing fire." So spake he, spurring them on, and they all heard him with their ears, and in one mass rushed straight against the wall, and with sharp spears in their hands climbed upon the machicolations of the towers. And Hector seized and carried a stone that lay in front of the gates, thick in the hinder part, but sharp at point: a stone that not the two best men of the people, such as mortals now are, could lightly lift from the ground on to a wain, but easily he wielded it alone, for the son of crooked-counselling Kronos made it light for him. And as when a shepherd lightly beareth the fleece of a ram, taking it in one hand, and little doth it burden him, so Hector lifted the stone, and bare it straight against the doors that closely guarded the stubborn-set portals, double gates and tall, and two cross bars held them within, and one bolt fastened them. And he came, and stood hard by, and firmly planted himself, and smote them in the midst, setting his legs well apart, that his cast might lack no strength. And he brake both the hinges, and the stone fell within by reason of its weight, and the gates rang loud around, and the bars held not, and the doors burst this way and that beneath the rush of the stone. Then glorious Hector leaped in, with face like the sudden night, shining in wondrous mail that was clad about his body, and with two spears in his hands. No man that met him could have held him back when once he leaped within the gates: none but the gods, and his eyes shone with fire. Turning towards the throng he cried to the Trojans to overleap the wall, and they obeyed his summons, and speedily some overleaped the wall, and some poured into the fair-wrought gateways, and the Danaans fled in fear among the hollow ships, and a ceaseless clamour arose.
Homer (The Iliad)