In the eleventh century, King Henry III of Bavaria became tired of his responsibilities as king, the pressures of international politics, and the mundane worldliness of court life. It’s said he made an application to Prior Richard at a local monastery to be accepted as a contemplative and spend the rest of his life in prayer and meditation.
Prior Richard responded, ‘Your Majesty, do you understand that the pledge here is one of obedience? That it will be hard, since you have been a king?’
Henry said, ‘I understand. The rest of my life I will be obedient to you, as Christ leads you.’
Prior Richard said, ‘Then I will tell you what to do. Go back to your throne and serve faithfully in the place where God has put you.’
After Henry died, this statement was written in his honour: ‘The king learned to rule by being obedient.’
Today, and every day, you have these decisions to make:
(1) Live by your own impulses, or live according to the instructions God has given you in His Word.
(2) Go according to your own best thinking, or submit yourself to the rule and the leading of the Holy Spirit who lives within you.
When you think about it, the answer is clear! Obeying God leads to peace, progress, protection, and promotion. His Word says, ‘If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.’ Note the words ‘willing and obedient’. Obedience is an act of your will, not a reflex of your emotions. So this year—do what God says, for He has good things in mind for you.