Be obedient. I’ll never forget the words as they were said to me, or the person who said them. They are words that have stuck with me.
And obedience has pretty much been so simple for me. God leads, I follow. He says come, I’ll say how fast? It’s usually that simple for me. There are times that I wrestle with what He wants me to do, but the desire is always there.
For me obedience has felt a life style. I mean, you decide to follow Jesus, your life is His.
It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I realized that obedience is a choice. It seems so silly that this realization hit me as hard as it did, because I have always believed in free will. But the weight of the gift of choice and free will hit me.
I was laying in bed. It had been a hard couple weeks, and I had just gotten some news that you never really want to get. I was attempting to be still while falling asleep. And just like God, in the darkness He whispered to my weary heart.
You can walk away if you want. You don’t have to follow.
This seemed like a weird time for Him to speak this, but He had my attention. These are the times, though, when He usually brings on the heavy conversations, in the dark. For me, it is probably because what He speaks in the good times, I so easily question when it is hard.
And life had thrown us curve balls. When that happens I want to run away. I want to run from the things that are hard, and I want to run from everything else as well.
I was questioning everything that I knew to be true, and asked God “why?” a lot. Looking back I think that because of everything going on, obedience kind of felt like chains instead of freedom.
So while laying there, I asked Him what His best was for me, and He showed me a picture of me standing at a fork in the road. One road lead to a quick dead-end, and the other lead to a bright light.
Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! Deuteronomy 30:19
He reminded me that I have a choice. To follow, or not. And that is what a good Father does. He offers the choice, because He wants us to choose what He has before us because He loves us. He wants us to follow, but follow out of love for Him.
When thinking of obedience I always remember what happened after Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt where they had been enslaved. God parted the Red Sea, and provided for them as Moses lead them through the wilderness to Mount Sinai where He established the Mosaic Covenant with them. The 10 Commandments were the beginning of this covenant that was conditional. If the Israelites kept His commands, He would give them in return the land of Canaan. The Promised Land. But again, the blessing of the Promised Land was conditional on their obedience.
The One Who Calls You Is Faithful. 1 Thessolonians 5:24
God had proven that He was faithful. He led them out of slavery, by parting the Red Sea. He provided for them in the wilderness. And He made the covenant with them. The covenant was one of blessing. He promised they would be able to conquer the land of the indigenous Canaanites.
However when Moses sent a group of 12 men to see the task that was before them, 10 of them reported back that although the land was overflowing with milk and honey, the people were powerful, and the city was large and fortified. And the 10 men who believed the task was impossible, outweighed the 2 who believed that God would do what He said He would.
When you remember what He has done, you remember who He is.
When the Israelites refused to go on because they believed in the opinions of man instead of the promise of God, they were condemned to remain in the desert until most of the generation that left Egypt passed away. The only 2 allowed to enter the Promised Land were the 2 men that believed that God would do what He said He would. Joshua and Caleb.
This historical account of what happened to God’s people has always made me sad. They missed out on the blessing because they forgot who God was. You forget who God is, when you forget what He has done. When you forget what He has done, obedience can feel like a curse.
But when you remember what He has done, you remember who He is. Faithful. Good. Love. Constant. Everlasting.
Let me be clear. I don’t believe we should be obedient to receive blessing. We should be obedient because He is good, and He is faithful.
However, obedience is a gift. It is a gift that brings joy if we choose to follow where He leads. It is a gift that brings freedom. It is a gift where we can experience His faithfulness and love.
He has set before you a path. However, out of love, He has also set before us the choice to follow. And so out of love, ask Him what His best is for you. And when He answers, what will you choose?