June 10, 2007

Just Say Yes!

God and I have been talking a lot about obedience lately. Mine, not His. Or, more accurately put, my LACK of obedience. When Paul talked about "working out our salvation" (Phil. 2:12), he wasn't kidding. It's hard work. Not to mention the "fear and trembling" part. I've been doing enough of that lately. This topic of obedience makes me squirm in my seat. (Interestingly enough, Paul also mentions obedience in that verse. Hmmm....)

When I started preparing for Sunday School this week, of course the lesson was on obedience! The Holy Spirit spoke so clearly to me, it's been what my friend Donna would call a "frying pan experience". He must've whacked with me a cast iron skillet, because it's left quite an impression!

This week, I'm going to focus my blogging time on what He's taught me about obedience, based primarily on Deuteronomy 4. I'll be using the outline He gave me for the Sunday School lesson. I need to memorialize what He's told me, for my own good even if not for anyone else's.

#1 - Obedience isn't Easy, but it IS Simple.

Hear now, O Israel, the decrees and laws I am about to teach you.
Follow them so that you may live and may go in & take possession of the land
that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you.
Do no add to what I command you & do not subtract from it,
but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.
--Deuteronomy 4:1-2

Moses has gathered the Israelites together to give them his "farewell speech". He knows he's about to put the mantle of leadership onto Joshua's shoulders. He wants to share some parting words of wisdom. Deuteronomy 4 is devoted to obedience. Moses, whose own disobedience kept him from the Promised Land, is imploring the Israelites to follow God's commands.

We are called to do the same.

So many times, I don't want to obey. I would rather question God. Or ask Him to compromise with me. I'm ashamed to say, there have been times I've pretended I didn't hear Him. Or worse, I just dug in my heels and refused to do what He commanded. It looked too hard, or I was afraid of being called foolish.

Perhaps you're the same way. Do you often give the excuse, "You just don't know what God's asking of me."

Does it matter?

There should be no argument, no negotiating, and no delay. Obedience is simple.

Obedience is simple because His Word is clear. We don't have to wonder what He wants from us. There are no gray areas. His instruction manual is very detailed, and specifically sets out how we are to live.

Obedience is simple because He is trustworthy. We can obey without fear that He's going to put us in a situation that's anything other than what's best for us. Often my earthly eyes can't see "best" the way He can. Yet if I trust in Him completely, there should be no question that I will obey Him.

Obedience is simple because He enables us to obey. If He tells me to do something I can't do, I can know that He can do it through me.

Sometimes, it's down right hard to obey God. We think about how others will react. We don't trust that He can bring it to pass. We're just stubborn. Our disobedience hinders our fellowship with God. It keeps us from entering the Promised Land. And it affects our testimony.

That's where we'll pick up tomorrow.

Because of Jesus,


Julie said...

God and I have had many little chats about obedience also lately. Some times it is so hard.

I enjoyed my visit to your blog.

PEZmama said...

Well I am bookmarking so I can come back to for the next installment. God has been talking to me about holiness lately and it's become clear how closely this relates to my willingness to obey.

Anonymous said...

This is my second encounter with something on obedience in three days...maybe I better pay attention. : )