God, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course. Give me insight so I can do what you tell me- my whole life one long, obedient response. (Psalm 119:33-34, The Message)
As I begin to write, I had to have a conversation with my 7 year old on obedience and respect. She has an old iPhone that she has kept up with for about 4 years now. No, she doesn’t have wireless service but she does get to use it like an iPod. I have been very impressed at her ability to keep up with it and to not break the screen.
How does this relate to obedience? Well, I had a conversation with her this morning about not walking around the house watching and listening to her “kid shows”. I explained I don’t want to hear it today. So, as I begin to write, she walks past my room with it playing. Literally – all I typed before this happened was the word obedience. I turned around and called her back and had another conversation about it. (Side note: I do like all the times she walks around the house playing and singing Hillsongs, “Oceans” at the top of her lungs!)
This week I made a step of obedience myself. I have been praying about this for over a month. Really? Yes really! I sat around for the past month and prayed whether or not I would be obedient. Sounds silly, stubborn, and disobedient – all at the same time – I know. And, yes, I do and did deserve the same conversation from Jesus that I had with my daughter this morning.
It gets better than that prayer.
I actually called one of my life-long friends from seminary. Fortunately, he didn’t answer the phone. I called looking for him to give me permission to be reasonable and logical about this thing I was praying about…. bottom line I was looking for him to tell me (without him knowing) I was looking for him to give me permission to delay my obedience. Think I will call him back today to apologize for something he has no idea he was almost a party to… Honestly, I don’t think he would have given me the permission or encouragement for me to delay my obedience.
My wife and I sat down that same night, held hands, and prayed. Immediately, I did what I had been “praying about for a month.” Two days later, God intervened in a situation to let me know He had heard me and was with me. A direct answer to another prayer that has been ongoing for the past month.
Honestly, as I sit here and contemplate this week. I can see all of the situations before me and see them all as layers connected to the same onion. Obedience is the key to the layers being able to be peeled back.
This morning I am reading Rick Warren’s daily devotional and he also is writing on this same subject! (I love how the Holy Spirit works through things I read to confirm His leading in my life). The first paragraph reads,
God smiles when we obey him wholehartedly. That means doing whatever God asks without reservation or hesitation. You don’t procrastinate and say, “I’ll pray about it.” You do it without delay. Every parent knows that delayed obedience is really disobedience.
Well, you don’t have to hit me over the head…. but I do love the confirmation of God at work in my heart and my life. For that, I am wonderfully thankful!!
Faith-filled living does require action. And, oftentimes, that action is at the center of obedience. So, today, walk in obedience and do what He is leading you to do.