Obedience. This has been a theme on my heart.
After finishing my Christmas Bible reading plan, I prayed about where I should go next in my morning time with God. He directed me to the beginning. So, to Genesis I went.
As I have been reading these stories that I thought I knew so well from children’s picture Bibles, the theme of obedience rings loudly!
Adam was disobedient. The result- creation falls, sin entered the world.
Noah was obedient. “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him (Gen 6:22).” He built a huge boat, he gathered the animals, then at the appropriate time, he went inside the ark with his wife, sons, and their wives to wait for seven days before the rain was sent. Could you even imagine waiting seven days after all that work… I would be anxious. I would be worried I heard wrong, or hopeful God would change His mind… Oh, I am very glad Noah was obedient… not sure that I could have done all that…
And now I am reading about Abraham. Yes, he was obedient and counted as righteous too. But you know what?- He still messed up. He trusted God and moved with his wife and nephew, Lot, and set out to the Land of Canaan. BUT then when famine comes, his faith was apparently shaken as he decided to go to Egypt and lie about Sarai being his wife saying she is my sister causing affliction on Pharaoh and his house.
(That’s as far as I am in Genesis right now, but we all know that Abraham becomes the father of many nations after waiting an extremely long time to have his son, Isaac.)
I hear these stories, and I am inspired to be obedient. I am inspired to follow God wherever He may lead. But then I realize, these biblical figures were people too. They had fears, doubts, and questions too. But they also had TRUST. They trusted the Lord. Were they perfect? Absolutely not!
As I was reflecting on this obedience concept I started thinking about my own home. It’s my son’s job to take out the trash. If I call him while I am in the middle of cooking dinner to take out the trash, I expect him to come. If he doesn’t come, I yell louder. If he still doesn’t come, I will ask the next closest kid to do it, so I can continue on with my task of making dinner.
Slow obedience is disobedience.
If my son heard me, but kept playing his game… I would be upset with him.
If my son didn’t hear me because the noise was too loud, I would understand but I would also need that job completed.
I don’t think this is all that different from our obedience to God. If God calls you to something, you should act. If you’re distracted by the noise in your life, you may not hear him. If you continually do not answer, God will accomplish His will by another means.
We are blessed to work with Him, not the other way around.
The question is- are you not hearing Him, responding slowly, or taking that leap of faith when you get the prompting???
I’ll say it again, slow obedience is disobedience.
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus calls a man to follow Him. His response is, “Let me go bury my father first (Luke 9:59).” There are many theories as to why this man made the request, but the bottom line is he said, “Sure, but first my will not yours.”
He didn’t say no… he had honorable intentions, but… but his obedience was slow obedience. When Jesus says “come” you should “come.”
“Still another said, `I will follow You, Lord; but first let me bid farewell to my family.’ Then Jesus declared, `No one who puts his hand to the plow and then looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’… (Luke 9:61-62)”
Jesus has the answer. If God calls you to do His work, put your hand on the plow and keep going. Do not go back to your old life, move forward to where God is leading.
I am not sure who needs this message, but I know it has been placed on my heart for a reason.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.… (Proverbs 3:5-6).”