Friday, August 11, 2017

Delayed Obedience is Disobedience

Some of you may not know this about me, but I am a rule follower. Some may even call me a “goody two shoes.” I have always wanted to obey my parents, my teachers, or whoever was in charge. I listened to directions, followed the rules, and did what I was told, the best I could. If I was asked to do something I would respond with ‘Yes, sir” and get right to it.
Ok, so maybe it didn’t always go down like that, but overall, I was a very obedient child. I wanted to do the right thing and I was taught that was doing whatever was asked of me, right when it was asked.

Delayed obedience is disobedience. I have been told this as a child, as a student, and have used it myself as a teacher and I’m sure I will do so, as a mom. Delayed obedience is disobedience? Maybe you are questioning this principle. But think about this.

What if a parent tells a child to take out the trash and the child responds with,
“Hmmm… I’ll think about it.”

Or perhaps a teacher tells a student to write a three-page paper and have it on her desk in an hour and the student responds with,
“Maybe, later.”

Or what if a police officer pulls you over for speeding and asks for your license and registration and you tell him, 
“I will get it to you tomorrow.”

Is this disobedience?

Now, the child could have come back four hours later and took out the trash, or maybe the student came back the next day with a three-page paper written and handed in, and maybe you did show up to the police station the next day with your license and registration to be given to the officer. Technically what was asked of everyone was completed; isn’t that obedience? Perhaps. However, I guarantee there would be consequences in every one of those situations and rightfully so. 

Delayed obedience IS disobedience, but guess what? We do this to God all the time and we don’t even blink an eye! So many times, God tells us He wants us to do something and we tell Him, “I’ll think about it.” Or “Maybe, later.” And sometimes we even say, “I’ll get back to you tomorrow about that.”

When we ask our child to do something, we expect them to do it-NOW. God, our Heavenly Father, is no different. He wouldn’t have asked you to do it, if He didn’t want it done right then. So why do we think we can get away with ignoring God and delaying our answers to Him without consequence. (Just ask Jonah how that works out. Spoiler alert: He spends three days and three nights in the belly of a fish!) 

God may ask us to do some pretty crazy things. Things you may not understand or like. He may even call us to do something ‘impossible’. But if He calls you TO IT, you need to DO IT! All in- no delay! Immediate obedience. Side note: God doesn’t NEED your obedience. Your obedience has no benefit to Him, (He can accomplish what He wants done without you) but He knows your obedience can and will benefit YOU! Your relationship with Him will deepen, your faith will be increased, and my guess is you will see miracles happen and lives changed, including your own.

So what has God told you to do that you haven’t started doing yet? Why are you delaying? God loves you and wants what is best for you and sometimes that means taking you out of your comfort zone so you can grow in Him. What are you waiting for? When He calls you to do something- do it! No hesitation, just obedience.

I want to leave you with a passage from Matthew.

Matthew 4:18-22.

18 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 19 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 20 And they left their nets at once and followed him.
21 A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too. 22 They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind.
Next time God calls me to do something, my prayer is to respond like these fishermen. Eager, excited, all in. IMMEDIATE OBEDIENCE-NO DELAY!