So, this Sunday's readings are:
(opt1) Joel 2:23-32 and Psalm 65 • (opt2) Jeremiah 14:7-22 and Psalm 84:1-7 • (Epistle) 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18 • (Gospel) Luke 18:9-14
We are told in Scripture that Jesus learned obedience in the things he suffered. One point is that Jesus did nothing wrong nor sinned, so his suffering was something that happened due to living in a cursed world (see Rom8.20f).
Check here for a great resource on our Cosmos's Curse answersingenesis
The perfect person suffered, so shall we do anything less? He bore our sins, which means we don't suffer as punishment from God the Father for our sins. God instead disciplines us during suffering so that we become more like Jesus, so we individually and corporately become his perfected Bride one fine day.
God's discipline is in the form of discipleship, not as a corporeal discipline (and hopefully our parents supplied both forms of discipline in us as we grew up, much to our earlier dismay). For if God the Father is not disciplining us then we just suffer, and that is wasted opportunity on our part. Our obedience is to tune our ears to hear what God's Spirit is saying to our new nature.
That insight hit me hard, for I may have grasped that earlier but then glossed it over much to my loss in relationship to God as well as his people, and even my relations with the earthlings who are still baptized under their own Sin. So LORD willing, I will step forward on whatever ground I walk, consistently in the same direction, to arrive at obedience since I do wish to please God, don't you?
As we see in the readings quite clearly obedience to God's will is critical, not just recommended. And while we are each accountable for our own situation, our communal activities also weigh on us even if we (as Caleb and Joshua did) act in faith obediently while everyone else disobeys. So, do we come being critical of others as if we are superior, or do we seek to dwell in the tent of the Lord with all humility? There is peace awaiting us who are chosen to be in the house of the Lord forever. And as his Kingdom citizen-ambassadors, we call out to others in hopes they will be reconciled to God.
We seek not only the Kingdom come, we pray and act for the goodwill and well-being of the land in which our tents are pitched. If we are partisans may it only be together as members living in the domain of light and not by bickering, hatred, slander, maligning of character, gossipping, divisive politics and such as befits those who do the will of their father, Satan. There is no worldly cause that rises to the level of obedience to God's will, nor an allegiance greater than to our King. From God's mouth to our ears. Any leader/Caesar is not our Lord, for there is only one LORD and he is Christ Jesus. If we harbor hatred towards others, how is the love of God in us?
May God shine his countenance upon you and give you peace.