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  • New transMission CD - Marty's Journal; Entry #3: Lead Me (or A Lesson On The 9th Doctrine of The Salvation Army)

    Doctrine # 9

    We believe that continuance in a state of salvation depends upon continued obedient faith in Christ.

    If you're around me for any length of time, you will, at some point, hear a story of some kind that involves my young family.  Many will know that I have 2 sprouting kids, Justice (6) and Grace (3).  They are the light of my life, and they continually teach me more and more about the love and character of God the Father.  As many others who have traversed this treacherous path called parenthood will know and understand, sometimes we, as parents, learn more about life from our kids than from anything else.

    One such thing in my 6 years of fatherhood is the undeniably significant area of obedience.  It seems rather simple to me (as many things often do) that obedience should be black or white in the areas of our development.  There is no gray.  You are either obedient or you are not.  You do what you're told, or you do not.  Simple, see…?  Or is it?

    In the case of my 6 year old son, our experience has been challenging as we forge our way into his adolescent years.  I have quickly learned that while I may lay the law down, he does not see it so clearly.  He has established in his young mind that perhaps there are areas that can be challenged, as if he is throwing a red flag onto the playing field.  Now, I don't think he does this on purpose. He's just trying to get his way.  But he still does.

    And so do we.  

    Our brains are actively seeking ways to accomplish and attain the end, without really trying to muddle through the means to that end.  It's kind of clever when you think about it.  (Read, "how can I get what I want without having to do the hard work?" or, "how can I do the bare minimum in order to make so-and-so happy?").  But if there's one thing I've learned in my 3-plus decades of life, it's that there are no short cuts to true obedience.  

    So it is in our relationship with our Creator-Father, Almighty God.  Sometimes we think we can cut a corner to make God happy.  But He doesn't buy it.  Nor should He.  He is sovereign (that's another Doctrine, number 2, actually) and He can see our fingers when they're crossed behind our backs.

    Here's what it comes down to, in my humble opinion: He wants it all.  Everything.  The good, the bad and everything in between.  And when God asks us to obey, He isn't setting us up for failure.  He's not lining us up for a task that He isn't absolutely convinced HE can bring us through.  So why do we think we need to take matters into our own hands?  

    And I'm not just talking about the tough areas in our lives.  He wants to have His way on the good days, just as much as He does on the immensely difficult days.  He promises us that He will lead us.  He will protect us.  He will direct us.  He will guide us.  But similar to my 6 year old, if we are unwilling to submit to authority, we can make no progress kicking and screaming.  

    Much has been said about how this plays out in our daily lives.  The bottom line, as I see it, is that if we're willing to submit to God's authority and sovereignty, He will lead us in all truth (see John 16:13).  He is for us (see Romans 8:31).  He doesn't promise roses and doughnuts on our journey (see John 16:33), but He is promising that He will give us peace.  

    Forgive me, I'm nearly finished… 

    I'm saying all of this to set up the song that I've chosen to go along with Doctrine #9.  It's called "Lead Me," and when I wrote it nearly 4 years ago, my wife and I were traveling through some of life's toughest terrain as we faced head on the scary face of a failed pregnancy.  I won't go into all the details, but one of the things that I love about this story is that on the very day that my wife had the procedure to finalize the miscarriage (DNC), she helped me write the lyrics to this song.  On our way home from the outpatient facility at Piedmont Hospital, the one thing she really wanted was a tasty treat from Starbucks.  As we tried to relax on that otherwise beautiful Monday in April, she looked across the coffee table and asked if I'd been working on any new songs.  I told her about the idea of this song and that it was musically finished, but that I needed some help with the lyrics on verse 2.  I shared my thoughts, and she suggested this idea that we're to be like obedient children, those who learn to listen to, and obey God's voice.  So we hashed out some lyrics, and by the end of the day, the song was pretty much finished.  Even though we still had the mud of life fresh on our boots, we were determined to make a decision that day to do all that we could to be obedient to God's leading, even if it meant slogging it out through the emotional mess that we eventually found our way out of, by God's GRACE.  

    Here are the words:

    I hear you calling me to a life of unquestionable character
    To be the one I know you created me to be
    You called me out of darkness, into light and so I will shine for you
    Jesus, I love you and I really want to be like you

    You, you have not forsaken me
    And I have every reason to trust You

    Lead me, Lord, I will follow
    To the lost or to the cross, my life is yours
    Lead me, Lord, I will follow
    You are the way, the truth and life
    I will follow you

    I hear you asking me to love you with unwavering faithfulness
    To be the child that learns to listen to you and obey
    You called me out of death and into life, and so I will live for you
    Jesus, I love you and I really want to be like you

    You have not forsaken me…

    I will follow you in all I say and do
    Deny myself, take up my cross and go
    I will follow you in all I say and do
    Deny myself, take up my cross…  

    Be challenged today.  Consider what it takes to be obedient to God.  He will lead you.  Through it all.

    -Marty