Thought for today; Obedience or mere excellence?
Why do we find it so easy to mix our standards, and so difficult to firmly commit to the standard of
obedience? Most likely, is it because we are use to it. That we easily tolerate mixed standard in most areas of lives,
and I think that we become numb to the reality of sin and the convicting power of the Holy Spirit….So we settle…we
don’t call it that, but we settle for second best and we call it our best, but, what would God call it?
Here is a question for you?
What’s your aim in life if your choices were excellence or obedience?
What’s the difference?
To aim for obedience is to aim for perfection, not for “excellence,” which is actually
You may be wanting to argue with me about this about this point, but, I just want you to
listen to what I am saying and read the word and then like King Josiah as he
was confronted by the words of God through the Law of Moses, rent His clothes
in shame & conviction, and being grieved by what God said. His nation that was entrusted to
him was steeped in massive idol worship,graven images, shrines and false god worship,
King Josiah got the message of God through His words and the cleansing process began, tear down the images,
brake every image, grind up into dust all molten images, tear down every shrine….He chose Obedience
rather than compromise….His ancestors had done those destestable things and he could have compromised & continued in them, but, he did not, he chose Gods ways and God’s plan.
Sometimes excellence and obedience appear to be the same… But mere excellence allows room for
mixture, and if you take coke and you add water to it and dilute it’s
components that make it coke, you get water down version of coke that taste
terrible. Why? Because you tampered with the original recipe, you messed with
the original design that made it coke.
Some businesses do this to stretch the amount of profit they get out of
each delivery… But you can tell by taste, by color and even by smell and most
people go …man this taste horrible….
Let me explain it like this…American businesses are in search of excellence we see it
all the time on billboards…. Now they could be in search of perfection, of
course rather excellence – but it seems that perfection is too costly and eats
into the profit margin. So rather than be perfect, businesses know it’s enough to seem perfect to their
customers. By stopping short of perfection, they find a profitable balance between quality and
cost…compromise…mixing of a standard…
To find this balance, they often look to their peers and competitors to discover the, “best
practices of their industry…”
To the Believer the question is this…. How far can we go and still seem perfect? By how far can we stop short?
Businesses find it profitable to stop short at the middle ground of excellence because perfection
costs too much…
But is it profitable for the Believer to stop short at the middle ground of excellence
where costs to us are low, balanced somewhere between paganism and obedience?
Not at all…
To seem perfect if that is the goal is to stop short of God’s standard of obedience.
In the spiritual realm it’s merely comfortable to seem perfect. It is never
Clearly, excellence isn’t the same as obedience or perfection. The search for excellence
leaves us overwhelmingly vulnerable to snare after snare since it allows room
The search for obedience or perfection does not.
Excellence is a mixed standard, while obedience is a fixed standard. We have to fix our eyes upon the fixed
standard and be like a bulldog and not let go of it…
Because when we don’t the next question you will be asking yourself is this;
“How far can I go and still be called a Christian?”
When the questions should be;
“How Holy can I be as a Christian?”
Has your wife ever asked you is this to tight?
And faced with hurting her feelings or being truthful (and there is a way to be truthful
and not be mean or hurtful…
We are then faced with the daunting task of what do I say?
Do I modify the truth and thereby save her feelings and I do not want her to get
Or do you seek obedience to God and be honest and tell the truth in love?
To modify truth to avoid unpleasantness surely it is okay in this instance and God would
understand because He loves my wife, right?
What would you do?
Would you modify truth?
It is for certain a lot of us can speak Christianese… and it certainly sounds excellent
to modify truth, and we can even justify it by not wanting to hurt another
You see it is one thing to know Christian truth, but it is another to live Christian
truths and values that bring us into Obedience or Perfection in and through
I know these are hard words to hear, but would you rather me be honest and upfront and
explain the word of God as He has been challenging me, which is to leave the
place of Excellence and strive for Obedience, or would you rather me to tell you
what strokes the strings of the heart and mind, and wind up in hell because of
a desire to be accepted, loved by me. I would rather speak truth and people have been mad at me
at times becuase of what I have preached or written , I have come to that place of I must obey God read what Paul wrote to Timothy.
2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come
when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they
heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
The message bible – 2 Timothy 4:3-5
You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for
solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that
tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But
you—keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the
good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.
2 Peter 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in
the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
For me you give me a man or woman that has the boldness to speak hard truths, I want all
of God I can get and I for one do not want to wind up in a lukewarm state and
for God to spew me out of His mouth, those are His words not mine…. I want to
hear Him say well done thou good and faithful servant enter in….His words not
mine…but that is my heart desire…
Churches by the thousands are preaching the Gospel of accommodation, rather than preaching
the Gospel with Pentecostal Fire and with conviction… What amazes me is that Peter preached with
fire and told it like it was and thousands were saved…. He wasn’t guarding His
words or mincing them either, he was not preaching a Gospel of accommodation;
he was preaching a Gospel of Salvation!!!
It is almost like whatever happened to “Sin” being preached and confronted in the believers
life in church, home bible study or personal study?
Peter was not concerned with being politically correct….
If anyone knew what it was like to settle for excellence it was him…. “you are one of
them as the cock crowed….” “ I don’t know what you are talking about,”“NO I am not…” “Your speech betrays you…He
began to curse and swear saying, I know not the man” And he like King Josiah when faced the the
words of God, he wept bitterly… matthew26:69-75 then read Luke 24:44-49
Key scripture here for me is verse 45 Then opened He their understanding, that they
might understand the scriptures…
Oh God open my understanding so that I too might understand the scriptures written in your
word and Obey them…Seeking Obedience in and through you….open my eyes Lord….
Help me Father God to take captive any and every thought that would tempt me to
comprise my relationship with you and your word… Let the message of the Cross
so move me that I not settle for second best, but, be determined to lay ahold
of that which is before me, pressing toward the mark of the prize of the High
Calling in Christ Jesus…
Pastor Ron Crandall