We have a little saying around our house that we use with our daughter Eleanor, “Obey right away without delay”. She has heard this so often, especially when she was in her three year old phase, that she could finish our sentence for us. We have been working very hard at teaching her the importance of obedience. We would explain to her why it was important to obey mommy and daddy, and we have had to teach her on occasion what results in disobedience.
Eleanor obviously still disobeys from time to time, but for the most part she is now a very obedient child. And the best part is that she’s respectfully obedient. Hopefully that will last to her teenage years 😉
So my four year old has obedience down pretty good; hummmmm……….and then there’s me………
I like to call myself determined, my husband however would call me stubborn. And at times I guess I can be somewhat stubborn in my obedience to God. Oh sure I give plenty of excuses, but my main ones are: what if that’s me and not God speaking; I will when ___________; let me just get the house cleaned first!
The first excuse is the main one I fall to quite often. I do not want to do anything God has not called me to do, but I have allowed myself to take that uncertainty of hearing from God and have allowed it to cancel out some of the things I know are from God. It took me three years to obey God in starting this very blog. Oh sure I tried to start it several times, but I faltered on my commitment.
My women’s group at church has been doing a study on Jonah. It’s called: Jonah, Navigating a Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer. This is an awesome study if you’re looking for something to do with a group. This study has thrown the idea of disobedience in my face for the last four weeks. If you know anything about the story of Jonah then you know that he disobeyed God in going to Nineveh and therefore was swallowed up by a great fish and resided in the belly of that fish for three days.
Jonah 1:2 says, “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before me.”
Well Jonah did arise and go, but in the completely opposite direction from where God was sending him. Priscilla Shirer points out in her study that, “it’s easy for us to impersonate obedience.”
People are great at deceiving others and themselves. It’s easy to go to church, to talk about what God is showing you and asking you to do as if you’re trying to move in that direction. Others might buy it. And in some areas of disobedience it’s not that you’re hiding something, but maybe just not doing something God has put on your heart time and again. For example, God could be asking you to tell someone about Jesus, and you come up with excuse after excuse to disobey. We don’t label it as disobedience, oh no we put a much better feeling excuse on it like: I’m still growing in the Lord; God’s still working on me; I’m still praying over it.
Maybe your area of disobedience isn’t involved in discipling, maybe it’s giving up alcohol or quitting smoking, or breaking up with a guy, or putting up blocks on your internet. Whatever it is obedience can be VERY hard.
We can’t do these things on our own, that’s why God has put His Spirit in us to empower us!
We need to connect our hearts with God’s. We need to connect our minds with His truth. We need to give all the excuses and fears over to the one who can take them from us and give us back strength, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, kindness, faithfulness and self-control.
What is it that you have been disobeying God on? What has He been speaking to your heart about that you need to stand up and do? God is a god of second, third, twenty-fifth chances. Jonah knows that well. In Jonah 3:1 it says, “Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time”.
God is there waiting on you. Go to Him again in obedience.
God Bless! Have a great week!