Although my parents would classify me as an obedient child, for the most part away, I missed out on the most important part of obedience: doing the task quickly. I recall a speaker tell of two children, one who agreed to do the task asked and the other who bucked at the idea and said he would not do it. The first, although eagerly said yes, never got around to doing the thing asked; the second, actually ended up doing what was asked even though initially had said no; then the speaker asked which was the obedient child? Of course the answer was the one that did as he was told. That would be a good summary of me as a child. If I did disagree, I still ended up doing it in the end. While I was obedient, it was not at its purest level.
Growing up as such I have trained myself to obey, but with delay. I believe this has caused me undo grief. The Lord what’s our obedience when asked, not when it’s convenient or on my timetable. Plus I’ve noticed that when the prompting of the Spirit is involved, I have a harder time discerning between Him and I because of my delay. Rather then jumping to the task, I immediately pose an obstacle.
Thus, over the years I’ve come to realize the importance of instant obedience and wish I’d learned this quality as a child. I struggle with two things regarding this issue regularly: discerning the promptings of the Lord apart from my own voice and ideas and following His instruction immediately. Both I believe can be traced back to my childhood and my refusal to learn instant obedience to my parents.
As a disclaimer, when I say instant obedience I’m referring to it in the proper context. We are not obligated to obey those that are not our God given authorities as outlined in Scripture and there may be times when we must respectfully decline to. Nor am I encouraging the obedience of God given authority when they tell us to sin or in any way instruct us to defy or deny God or God’s laws. When such occurs, it is the Christian’s duty and responsibility to respectfully refuse to obey and suffer the consequences that may follow. First we are to obey God, then we are to obey our God given earthly authorities: parents, government, church leaders just to name a few. Again, I cannot stress enough, when the two oppose each other, Christians must choose God over man, even if that man is a parent. If one’s parent tell them to lie and say the parent is not home, the child must choose to obey God and not lie rather than the parent in that case. I stress this strongly because it may not be long before this choice becomes necessary in these United States and Christians will be forced to choose between God and state or God and job.
The more I learn and the closer I seem to become to the Lord, the more I see that I’m farther and farther away that I’d ever imagined. I’m grateful that our relationship with Him is based on grace. He gives us what we need, when we need it and He’s faithful to show us our faults if we really want Him to.
I want to come to a place that when He says jump, I jump instead of asking how high first. And if He wants me to jump higher, He’ll let me know.