Heuristic Obedience

Adam Russell’s message yesterday at the Campbellsville Vineyard was heuristic. It was one of those that make a series of light bulbs light up one after another in your head. Click! Click! Click!

“Heuristic” is a word I learned in graduate school. Webster’s definition is “involving or serving as an aid to learning, discovery, or problem-solving.” It’s a word I most often heard used to describe articles or books that inspired extended discussions, that generated new ideas and new directions.

That’s what Adam’s preaching did for me yesterday. It was heuristic. Especially the insight about obedience. “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love,” Jesus said. Tough to swallow, Adam said.  What does obedience have to do with love? His answer is one that set off a lot of light bulbs for me. It’s a gateway. It’s the door leading into the Father’s love.

Adam used the example of the prodigal son. Did he know, experience his father’s love when he was languishing in the pig pen? No. He had to go back to his father’s house, and that’s where he found it. To go back means to repent. To repent is to obey God. The prodigal’s obedience was the gateway to experiencing his father’s love again. Not that his father didn’t love him while he was in the pig pen. Of course he did. But the boy was cut off from feeling it, knowing it, abiding in it, until he obeyed his dad and went back home.

The lightbulb that went off for me was this: obedience is submission. It’s what human beings haven’t wanted to so since Eden and still don’t, but it’s an absolute requirement for creatures who want to fellowship with their Creator. And as I know from giving up and going back time after time (He’s not counting, but I am), submission is walking into the Father’s waiting arms. His loving, waiting arms. It’s something I need to do every day.

Praise God for His mercy and grace and love. For waiting with His arms extended, not to grab and punish, but to embrace and comfort and restore. Wow! There is none like You! Praise God.

Thank you, Adam.