Submission and Obedience


I was on my way to town along a quiet narrow tree-lined road. In the opposite lane stood a large black-feathered bird pulling flesh off the carcass of a young raccoon. I slowed and so did the car approaching from the opposite direction. The bird, a vulture, carefully walked to the shoulder of the road and I drove past his 'meal.' Then the car in the other lane skirted the carnage and drove on, also.

As unappealing as roadkill sounds for a meal, that bird was being faithful to his stomach, but more so to the purpose for which God created him. It wasn't soaring in the blue like an eagle. It wasn't hunting for earthworms in the soil like a robin does nor was it trying to outdo the song of a mockingbird.

No, it was cleaning the environment of dead flesh that would otherwise soon be rotting with a putrid odor, drawing flies that would leave maggots behind to make the scene even more repulsive and germ-laden. That bird was not dressed in brilliantly-colored feathers to draw attention to its beauty. He was clad much like a funeral director in drab black.

What a picture that bird was of my role as a true follower of Jesus Christ and lover of God. I must be faithful to what God has shown me is my role on this earth. It's not to compete with another believer for notice or position of importance. It's not to draw attention to myself and what I am doing, but rather to let Jesus be Jesus through me by death to myself.

I am to occupy until Jesus comes. What that means is that I must use each day to its fullest to BE what God wants me to BE: the image of Christ in me. I must be dead to my own ambitions and wishes, to my possessions and talents, so that my focus is the will of God being done in and through me. And that death has to be more than an intellectual assent to the truth, but be the real essence of my relationship with God through the Holy Spirit.

Believe it or not, that character relationship entails freeing the world of the ugliness and putridness of sin by winning others to Jesus, too. II Corinthians 2:15-16 says that "...we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life."

My life, your life as a true believer, should be inundating this old world with the fragrance of Jesus Christ that overwhelms the odor of sin. And as we are that fragrance because of the Holy Spirit permeating our lives, we are very much involved with the roadkill slain by temptation and sin. Jesus even said, " My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work." Yes, the devil's roadkill! We were the devil's roadkill before Jesus redeemed us and now we must rescue others like we were.

What does 'finishing that work' look like for His disciples? Summed, it is the Great Commission, wherein Jesus said further, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

That vulture made me appreciate more deeply the importance of my fulfilling what God has appointed me to do and to let others do the same thing freely and completely. It is then that Christ's body is wholly functioning as it ought to!

God bless that vulture! Let's redeem sin's roadkill as we reclaim lost souls for Jesus and spread the Good News of the Gospel! Let bringing sin's roadkill to Jesus be our meat, too!

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Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®
© Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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