Bible translators who work with languages that are not yet put into writing often struggle to find the right word or phrase to convey the correct meaning of a portion of Scripture. One worker hunted long to find a way to translate the word obedience into the tribal language he was recording but had no success.One day, the translator was going for a walk; and he whistled for his dog to come with him. The dog immediately ran to its owner. An old tribal man who saw what happened said to the missionary, "Your dog is all ear."
The missionary immediately knew he had the exact phrase to express obedience.
Are you "all ear" when it comes to obeying God? Let's look at some lessons about obedience and disobedience today.
ReceiveRead this from Luke 5:4-8 (ESV):
"And when [Jesus] had finished speaking, he said to Simon, 'Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch' And Simon answered, 'Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.' And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, 'Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.'"
Jesus ran an "obedience school" for His disciples. He wanted them to learn to trust Him absolutely in every area of life. Peter hadn't been a disciple very long. He was weary from a night of unsuccessful fishing, and he felt he knew far more about fishing than Jesus did. But Jesus told him, "Go back out there on the water and try again."
Peter revealed his reluctance as he replied, "OK, Master, if you say so."
When the boats almost sank from the weight of the fish, Peter realized how sinful his attitude had been. He fell on his knees and said, "Lord, don't have anything more to do with this sinful man!"
ReflectIt's pretty irritating when your dog doesn't come the first or second time you call, isn't it? And you might say that it's downright infuriating when the dog just totally ignores you and keeps on doing its own thing when you call!
If a person willfully disobeys God, that is one thing; if he or she delays or reluctantly obeys God, that is another. But do you see how both attitudes show lack of faith?
Here is a Bible record of a person who willfully disobeyed God: Read 1 Kings 11:4-11.
- Who was the person who disobeyed?
- What did he do that angered God?
- How many times had God told him not to do what he did?
- What was the outcome of this person's disobedience?
- What did God want Moses to do (Exodus 3:10)?
- What was Moses' first response to God's order (Exodus 3:11)?
- What was Moses' second response (Exodus 4:1)?
- What was his third response to God's order (Exodus 4:10)?
- What was Moses' fourth reaction to God's command (Exodus 4:13)?
- What was God's response to Moses' continuing reluctance to obey (Exodus 4:14-17)?
RespondIs God revealing anything to you these days that you ought to be doing but are delaying to do because of your lack of faith? Is there any area of your life where you are willfully disobeying Him?
Read Matthew 21:28-31 to see something Jesus had to say about willful disobedience and reluctant, delayed obedience.
Determine that you will no longer delay. Take the first step today to be obedient to GodBy Back to the Bible Ministries
My Comments: At every moment of our lives God is speaking to us. Not usually like Jesus did with Peter or the Father did with Abraham and Moses yet He speaks. In our hearts, things that are going on, doors that close, confirmations by the body of believers, yet always by His Word (2 Timothy 3:16, all scripture is God breathed). His Son who is called the Word of God (remember He spoke the world into being and when He walked the earth He spoke His Fathers truth to all and especially taught the Apostles who taught and teach us today by the word they penned. Often people will say to me, "God doesn't speak to me," or "How do I know it is God telling me what to do?" or even, "I thought it was God telling me to do this." Yet they do not check it out with the Word of God to see if it measures up.
For instance a friend of mine and I were in a cult and she was told to go to coffee or she could go to coffee with a guy. She took that to mean she was to marry him. It was a disastrous marriage and ended in divorce. We did not truly know the Lord in those days yet had we then we would have been able to search the Word of God and see nothing like that in the Bible and would have concluded that was not the right choice. I with my fiancé, when I was in my late teens, decided we could say some words of marriage and God would bless our union. We were wrong even if we thought, "Well, people in the old days and in the Bible just said they were married so we can." If we had read the Word of God we would have seen that was not the way God had it set up.
Well, that is just a bit about listening to the Lord and checking out what we think we are hearing. Until I was made righteous through the blood of the Lamb by accepting His sacrifice, I did not have a reliable Pastor or godly person in my life to go to who would give me true Biblical advice yet I did have the power of prayer and His Word and if I had trusted Him and sought answers from Him through His Word, He would have guided me and I would not have made so many wrong choices.
The most obedient thing we can do first is to accept His gift of salvation that is offered through the Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, believe He died and rose again on the third day (this is the Gospel of Jesus). Jesus took away our sin and only He can make us pure. Only He can bring us up into the light and refresh us with the living waters. Only He can bring the light into our lives. Only He can forgive our sins because He paid the price for us by being sin for us and taking our punishment.
None of us are "good," though we often think we are because of the teachings of the world. We say things like, " I have done everything I can to make peoples lives better so I am good" or "I have always been there for everyone so I am good" or "I have never hurt anyone" or "I pray all the time" or "I'm not as bad as that person who....(you fill in the blanks)" or "I have kept all of the commandments (John 2:10 keep them all or Romans 10:9-13 accept Christ's righteousness because only He has ever kept the full commandments of the law and Mark 12:29 Jesus said, "Hear o Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.")" or "I have never broken the law (They are usually talking about man's law)" or well you get the idea none of us are good, none of us are sinless. Only Christ was and only He kept the full law of God His Father and ours. Jesus' commandment (and He only spoke the Word of the Father) John 13:34/35 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." And Romans 13:8-10 Owe no one anything except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments (some are listed)...are summed up in this word: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no wrong to a neighbor, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."
All of this is to say keeping all the laws of the Old Testament Commandments are impossible that is why Jesus came and He fulfilled the Law and why we are to Love God and Love our Neighbor. If we listen obediently we will Love even when it is seemingly impossible or circumstances seem to make it feel impossible. I can only speak from my experiences. Some I have already written about and you may read over my comments on earlier postings on the blog. Some others the Lord walked through the fire with me on are: children running away or going to jail, early pregnancies, divorces, children in drugs and alcohol and being beat or raped, losing a child to SIDS, 4 miscarriages, losing my first Grandson (He was only 27), losing my 39 year old daughter to cancer a year later and losing all of my parents and step-parents and Grandparents and most of my Aunts and Uncles (we were a very close family on all sides), my husband suffering a disease and now cancer of the liver to name a few (update my hubby and best friend went home to be with our Lord October 2012). I could have said, "This is too much, what did I do to deserve all of this or why me?" Yet it did not matter. It was not about getting rid of all pain or worrisome issues in my life. It has always been about my relationship with my heavenly Abba (Daddy). About accepting Jesus the Christ as my Savior and His living in me. About trusting in Him and faith growing in all adversity.
All my life I felt a kinship with Job and Joseph the son of Jacob, and many others in the Bible. I knew God loved me and I loved Him and with Him I could weather all storms. Sometimes I felt down and that is because I was looking to myself and not to Him, even when I said to myself I was. I acted as a child who is doing what they think the parent wants them to do (inside they are wishing they could do something else usually) and then is disappointed when things do not turn out like the child anticipated so they feel the parent doesn't love them. Well, all you parents know that is not true. We love our children so we help them to grow through the hard times of living here in this alien land called earth. We don't stop the pain or the lessons because the lessons hurt; we are there to support and let them know we love them and if they ask we go through it with them because we love them and want them to grow so they can help others (like your Grandchildren some day).
Though I often felt like Job and Joseph yet I know I and many others, are like Jonah (read the book of Jonah) we are told by the Lord to go and do something and we balk for various reasons. Jonah refused and went away from the task the Lord set for him because he did not love the people of Nineveh (nor did he love God more than his own desires or feelings). So God did a really drastic thing and Jonah ended up going there anyway yet not with love for them. Jonah continued in his hard heartedness and stubbornness and suffered time and again but the will of God prevailed and 120,000 people came to know and love the Lord God.
God can even use an unwilling person to reach others or accomplish His will yet we miss out on the blessings if we do not willingly do His will. Read about Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers who wanted to kill him at 17 and Daniel who was in slavery yet he and Joseph ruled because they trusted and had faith in the Lord God that no matter what happened to them they would be with the Lord God as long as they did His will and not their own.
Are you "all ear?" and is your obedience done out of Love for God and for others, out of faith and trust that God knows best and has yours and others best in mind? We will not see the whole picture or know the answers until God tells us. He probably will not let us know here and when we get to heaven it won't matter. When we see and hold our loved ones in our arms. When our eyes behold heaven and the heavenly courts and most of all when we see the Lamb of God and God the Father, sitting on the throne. Oh, what a glorious day and none of this pain will matter and it will be gone!
Abba, Abba, Abba our hearts cry out to You our heavenly Father who adopted us through the righteousness of Your Son Jesus. We cry to You Abba to be with us in our pain and sorrows, sufferings and trials. Help us to go through them with faith and trust. Fill us with understanding and knowledge and wisdom so we may be lights in this dark world. Help us to read and understand Your Word so we may be salt. Give us Your Love for the world and all You bring into our lives. May we trust You to take care of everything so we are anxious for nothing and joyous for what we have. As we are obedient to You Abba may our hearts be right with You. We thank You Father for all You are doing and have done and will do in our lives; for all You allow us to go through and we ask You to help us to finish the race well for Your glory and not for ours. In the name of Jesus we pray with Your Holy Spirit, Amen