We are all frail and fragile children who sin a great deal in our disobedience, but who also manage to sin a great deal in our best obedience as well. Discovering this truth and growing to love it can be one of the most powerful and joyful motivations for change that God ever invented, but it seems that few Christians today ever get there. They have such a hard time giving up their great expectations for themselves and other, and they are left spinning aimlessly in circles of fear and shame as they try desperately to impose those expectations on the recalcitrant world around them.
Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philippsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 81
Where disobedience flourishes, it is not the fault of too much grace but rather of our failure to grasp the depth of God’s one-way love for us in the midst of our transgressions and greed. Grace and obedience are not enemies, not by a long shot.
– Tchividian, Tullian; One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World; David Cook Publishers; copyright 2013; Kindle Edition; Location 1410
It is easy to use th phrase “God’s will for my life” as an excuse for inaction or disobedience. It’s much less demanding to think about God’s will for your future than it is to ask Him what He wants you to do in the next ten minutes. It’s safer to commit to following Him someday instead of this day.
– Chan, Francis; Forgotten God: Reversing the Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit; David C. Cook Publishers; Colorado Springs, CO; copyright 2009; p. 120
In light of Jonah’s earlier disobedience, what could possibly be more stunning to him – or more humbling – than to be so promptly recommissioned with his earlier assignment? And what could possibly be more gracious of God than to offer him this second chance? After all, it wasn’t guaranteed. As H. L. Ellison cautions, we should not so easily “take ‘the second time’ for granted, as we are all too ready to do. There are many examples in the Scriptures of no second chance.”
– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 83
It is time for us Christians to face up to our responsibilities for holiness. Too often we say we are “defeated” by this or that sin. No, we are not defeated; we are simply disobedient! It might be well if we stopped using the terms “victory” and “defeat” to describe our progress in holiness. Rather we should use the terms “obedience” and “disobedience”. When I say I am defeated by some sin, I am unconsciously slipping out from under my responsibility. I am saying something outside of me has defeated me. But when I say I am disobedient, that places the responsibility for my sin squarely on me. We may, in fact, be defeated, but the reason we are defeated is because we have chosen to disobey. We have chosen to entertain lustful thoughts, or to harbor resentment, or to shade the truth.
We need to brace ourselves up, and ot realize that we are responsible for our thoughts, attitudes, and actions. We need to reckon on the fact that we died to sin’s reign, that it no longer has any dominion over us, that God has united us with the Holy Spirit to work in us. Only as we accept our responsibility and appropriate God’s provisions will we make any progress in our pursuit of holiness.
– Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness, Navpress, copyright 1978, page 84-85
Failure to believe what God says is the foundation of all sin. Once the truth of God is set aside, we have nothing to restrain us from doing what is right in our own eyes. Doing our “own thing” is the very essence of disobedience. And when we keep our attention focused on what is right in our own eyes, we cannot possibly be committed to pleasing God.
– R.C. Sproul, Knowing God, copyright 1988, page 98