Grow in Obedience
Numbers 20:12 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.’
1 Samuel 12:15 But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you and your king.
Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Romans 5 :19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
Romans 11:32 For God has shut up all to disobedience, that he might have mercy on all.
Ephesians 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
Titus 3:3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others, and hating one another.
Hebrews 2:2 For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution.
James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment.
Are you always obedient? I am not. Sometimes, I wonder if I heard correctly, if I really am being told to do what I think? Sometimes, I doubt, full heartedly, that I could possibly do what I’m being directed to do. I do a complete Moses or Gideon doubtful dance. ‘You can’t be asking me to do that. I am unworthy, and not at all equipped to do that. I am not so-and-so and just do not have those skills or abilities. I can’t speak well, I’m too shy, and I have no confidence, and, and, and. . . ‘
As a child, about 11-13, I was meeting a friend at one of the schools to see a play, meeting a friend who went to another school and I rarely saw any longer. She had suggested we run downtown after the play for a little while before we went in our separate directions home. When I asked for permission, my mother was firmly telling me no. When I asked why, she had no reason that I accepted—or even now can remember.
Initially, I grudgingly accepted my mother’s edict. I met my friend who was counting on us being able to walk into town and have some time to visit longer. I let myself be talked into going with her. Certainly, I was full of nervous guilt, trepidation, but I went. We had an okay time, I certainly don’t remember it being memorable and when we separated, I was anxious to get home, my mind trying to come up with reasons to be 45 minutes later than she expected. My nerves were fluttering and I was guilt ridden, but I planned to compound that guilt.
My mother drove to the street entrance just as I reached that part of my walk. Her face was full of anger, and she said, “Get in.”
I certainly did, then proceeded to lie. Besides the fact that I did not lie usually, I was not good at it, and my face and other body mechanics would shout my guilt. But I lied or tried to. Of course, my mother knew this.
Her face remained angry, but then also looked sad and disappointed. I stopped. I was shamed, and ashamed.
Punishment was doled out, but the most important thing to me was never wanting to feel that way again. It was awful.
So, I tried to be obedient from then on. I was not perfect, but I did not blatantly disobey if told not to do something. I did not volunteer information if I had done something wrong, but if confronted about an issue, I would tell the truth. As a senior, there were three of us girls who decided to start drinking Schiltz GIQ and some Boone’s Farm Apple Wine. YUCK! It was AWFUL to me. I did not like the feeling of being out of control, so I lost a lot of that evening passed out in my friend’s car.
My father, who always waited for us to get home, did not ask any questions about where I had gone, only who I had been with, which I could honestly answer. I poured some milk (which was my norm when I got home) then proceeded to the bathroom and then saying ‘good night’ I headed to my bedroom. After I said good night, he responded with, “You should probably keep one foot on the floor for the rest of the night.”
Uh-oh, I was in deep trouble. But I had not lied and would not worry about the morning; the damage and disobedience was done and I would own up to it and take my punishment. Punishment never came. My father never said a word, rightfully assuming I would avoid alcohol for a very long time. Which I did; I avoided any alcohol for years.
But, once I found Jesus, I determined to be obedient and the best person I could be, yet, now I can recognize that my hesitation to do new ventures, to delve deeper into my church, and read more and develop a deeper relationship with God. When God urged me to do something and I hesitated or did not do it, this is disobedience. I tried very hard to tell myself it was not disobedience, I was not qualified, I didn’t have time, and on and on and on. But with more reading, studying and getting closer to God, the fact had to be faced. I was being disobedient.
I now need to make some changes because I do not want to be disobedient. That is dishonoring to my Lord and King. Lord, I apologize for all the times I have sinned and been disobedient; forgive me. I pray the Holy Spirit will strengthen me when I am tasked with another opportunity to serve. You have been so patient and loving to me and I thank You for all You have done for me and ‘mybellaviews.’
Let Christ first work in you; then he will work through you.
The largest room is room for improvement.
God will give you his best as you give him your best.
What you are is God’s gift to you. What you make of yourself is your gift to God.