Laughter rings through the neighborhood. A ball flies as preschool hands try to master catching and throwing. The ball rolls into the street, and off they go after it.
But they don’t see the car.
And the car can’t see them.
You command “Stop!” in your sharpest, most urgent parental voice, and the small sneakers skid to a halt on the sidewalk as the car whizzes by.
Do what you are told when you are told.
We aimed for this goal as we raised our children, knowing there would be times when they would need to obey without question.
Delayed obedience, we taught, was disobedience.
Yet often when convicted by a verse of Scripture or prompted by a sermon, I delay too.
I put it off.
Sometimes I fight a mental battle. Other times, I’m flooded with the seemingly urgent, and I forget. Delay turns into indifference, and I delete the conviction as easily as email.
When it comes up again—and you know it will—I cringe. Oh yeah, that.
John tells us in 1 John 2:3-6, “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”
Spiritual growth doesn’t happen without obedience. God is gracious, but He is also pretty cut and dried. Just as my child’s level of obedience reveals much about his relationship with me, my level of obedience reveals much about my relationship with Jesus.
While Jesus points to a direct link between our love for Him and our obedience, He also shows us the perks. The benefits. The sugar that helps the medicine go down when flesh is fighting hard against spirit.
“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him . . . Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.’” (John 14:21, 23 NIV)
Be aware, warfare may have a hand in delay. My children try to distract me from the issue at hand and the follow-through of their consequences. (Anyone else deal with this?) The enemy will also distract me in an effort to delay or prevent my obedience, bringing a stutter-stop to my spiritual growth.
Give your spiritual growth a boost. Make obedience a matter of urgency. Don’t delay. Obey today.
What step of obedience have you put off?
Why? What’s the hold up?
When have you obeyed promptly and been rewarded?
What have you missed because of delay?
Immediate obedience. No questions. No buts. Do what you are told when you are told. Click to tweet.
Delayed obedience is disobedience. Click to tweet.
Delay turns into indifference; I delete the conviction as easily as email. Click to tweet.
Don’t delay. Obey today. Click to tweet.