I often times think of the “don’t eat or fruit snack challenge” that trended a month ago and remember of Stormi Webster chanting “patience, patience” as she adorably overcomes her struggle. Then I automatically flash into myself and the struggles I’ve dealt with in adhering to God’s instructions. Especially when it seems as though He’s not looking. I wonder how we even make this stuff up, “He’s not looking”; when we know He is omnipresent and all seeing.
I feel like I have to say concerning the kids in the challenges, that while it looks like they know they’re being recorded — because they almost always look at the camera; we may never know if toddlers understand what it means to be recorded. We may never know from the majority of the clips shown, if these toddlers knew they were being watched; or if they fully comprehended the instruction; we may never know if the ones who adhered to the instruction did so by virtue of being truly obedient or because they knew they were being watched and as a result, had to be obedient.
These are just my humble “wonderings” as I sit in my little corner and as I find myself leaning more and more towards being obedient. Unlike these toddlers, I want to believe I now fully comprehend the instruction to obey after having failed a few times over. More importantly, I want to be obedient whether or not I’m being watched because that’s what God calls me to do.
It’s interesting to note how I’ve been meaning to complete and post this write up I started over a month ago… I’ve envisioned it, started writing it as an excerpt by virtue of being asked to ghost-write for a platform, stalled, continued, paused, ignored it for a bit, knowing that I’ll get to finish it up someday and at the right time. All indicators are pointing towards now being that time, including a bible study assignment I was just given, the verse of today from my devotional… and just my heart’s posture in general. God is evidently calling me to obey and so here I am Lord!
I find that we often times become irate at the word obedience and repulsed by any indication that we need to obey. Not because obedience in itself is a bad thing, but because it entails surrendering our rights or free will. Much like everything God created, the enemy has always tried to taint what obedience truly entails in his quest to get us to turn away from God, and essentially miss out on the benefits of obeying. So he uses ego to create the illusion that surrendering is for punks.
We think we know better so we disobey. We think it’s our lives and all about us so we take our rights… succumb to our desires. We think we know how so we don’t heed warnings. And soon find ourselves stumbling down a path of regret.
“but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward.” — Jeremiah 7:23-24 NIV
Contrary to our thoughts, obedience is a defense mechanism. It prevents us from having to use the phrase “had I known”, protecting us from the feeling of guilt that sure awaits us at the end of disobedience’s line; guilt that has the potential to weigh us down, keep us stuck or completely break us if we allow it.
To obey means to do what someone says, most times, someone other than us. Meaning we’d have to yield and surrender to said person’s instruction. It takes courage to yield to someone other than ourselves because it shows that we trust their ability more than we trust our capability.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” — Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
Obedience is like having a guide to our destination. A GPS Map or Sat Nav, that shows us real time traffic updates even though we can’t physically see the jams from where we’re at. So as opposed to eventually getting to the areas of gridlocks, when we obey, we have the advantage of avoiding delays or being stuck for a very long time.
“For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.” — Deuteronomy 30:16 NIV
Obeying God’s instructions takes coming to the realization that His ways are above our ways and accepting that He alone is all knowing and all seeing. We come into this reality with the help of The Holy Spirit, who once given the permission to step into our lives; teaches us all things, including how to be courageous, surrender and trust God completely in obedience.
“And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” — Ezekiel 36:27 NIV
The truth is, obedience is one of God’s many gifts to us to bring us into our inheritance. And the enemy knows this. But unless we resist the enemy’s lies, overcome our ego and allow The Holy Spirit do the work of renewing our minds, we will never see it as the gift it is. These last 2 verses in 1 Samuel 15 brutally sum it up.
“But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” — 1 Samuel 15:22-23 NLT
May The Holy Spirit shine light on areas where the enemy has deceived us into thinking obedience makes us weak for surrendering because if anything, we’re all the more strengthened, wiser and enabled to fulfill our kingdom purpose for it.