July 7, 2020
Spiritual Strength Training

by Rev. Erin Noh, Associate Pastor
If you follow my statutes and keep my commandments and observe them faithfully, I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.” 
Leviticus 26:3-4
I remember watching the movie Karate Kid on television for the first time in the 90’s. When Mr. Miyagi agreed to help Daniel learn karate to face against a group of bullies, Daniel was given a long list of chores that seem unrelated to karate, such as waxing a car, sanding a floor, painting a fence as part of his training. Daniel soon became frustrated at the teacher for not giving karate lessons not knowing that Mr. Miyagi has been teaching him karate the entire time. The “wax-on, wax-off” scene showed the repetitive movements of waxing a car and painting a fence functioned as conditioning exercises in karate moves. I think there is an important lesson here. There is wisdom in doing things with obedience without knowing why.
 
Just like physical strength can be developed by consistent practice, our spiritual strength can also be developed through trials, tests, and disciplines. Needless to say, it requires a strong self-discipline and obedience reading the Old Testament chapters daily. We have fourteen people participating in the 100-day Old Testament Reading Challenge and the group finished reading the book of Leviticus last week. Leviticus is known as a book of rules toward the tribe of Levi. The theme of Leviticus is holiness. We find God speaking about how his people are to be holy because they belong to him. God gives rule after rule, asking Israelites to obey instructions on how to maintain holiness by moral and ceremonial purity. Toward the end of Leviticus, God says blessings will follow obedience. There is reward for obedience and punishment for disobedience. If you obey, I will protect you from all dangers. If you obey, I will bless you with guidance, wisdom, protection, and so much more.

There can be times when we don’t agree with God or understand where God is going with our life. Perhaps we hesitate to obey God because we fear the consequences of our decision.  We sometimes seek comfort and security outside of God without realizing it. Obedience is an attitude of the heart. We trust that when we choose to obey, God will bless us. God’s greatest blessings can often come as a result of our willingness to do something that is very insignificant. Has God been challenging you to do something? As you pray this week, ask God to reveal any areas of disobedience in your life. Receive His perspective and a life of obedient faith. We can find peace and joy in our heart from obedience. 
Lord, teach me to walk in obedience to Your ways. Help me to obey You so that I can dwell in the confidence and peace of knowing I am living Your way. May Your light in me shine through brightly to others, so that You may be glorified. Amen. 
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009
770-751-0033 www.alpharettapres.com