I am learning so much about my walk with God from having a two-year-old. I get pretty excited when our day plans include something amazing and fun for her. She loves being outside, going swimming, playing at the park, and being around her little friends. There are times when I ask her to get dressed, or put her shoes on so we can go do one of these fun activities and she stubbornly responds with a “NO DRESS! NO SHOES!” Or she runs in the opposite direction.
I know I have thrown this same defiance at God.
“NO LOVE! NO FORGIVENESS! They HURT ME!”
“I WANT IT, IT’S MINE!”
“I DON’T WANT TO DO IT *THAT* WAY!”
Not to compare all of us, who are super-mature Christians, to a toddler, but. . . well…
I have a consuming desire lately to study, meditate, and check my life and attitudes in the area of obedience. What is truly gnawing at my heart concerning obedience to God, and his Word, is this: When we choose to turn away from the Word of God spoken into our lives, we become deceived.
Deception means that we believe something that is not true.
When we turn away from the truth of God’s Word we begin to believe that God does not have anything to say to us about how we live. Hopefully you know that is not true.
Another false belief I’ve seen overtake people that turn away from God’s Word is that ‘I can worship God on my terms.’ This is the kind of worship that “makes up” for disobedience in one area, by really “nailing it” in another. But. It. Just. Doesn’t. Work. This. Way.
Let me explain by looking at these verses in James 1 from The Message:
 If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it.  Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves.  Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way,  adrift at sea, keeping all your options open. James 1:5-8, The Message Paraphrase
Let me put it this way: You are talking to God about your financial situation. Things are hard. There are more bills than income. You pray for God’s wisdom and blessing. Oddly enough, a thought comes up in your heart,
“Begin tithing 10% of your income to your church. And stop stealing pens from work.“
Wow, cool! Was that God? Then you start thinking…– was that God? – I thought God’s voice would sound different – I thought God’s instructions had to be prefaced with ‘Thus saith the Lord’ – Even if I could, I don’t think I should give 10% – I’ll just volunteer in the nursery this week – it’s **just** a pen -maybe God’s answer is for me to take that extra job on Sunday mornings…
Here is what just happened. You asked God for wisdom in a situation. You heard God’s voice speaking to you. The instruction you received lined up with God’s Word. Yet, you chose not to obey. You talked yourself out of obedience, possibly even using a really spiritual-sounding argument. These verses in James describe this person as being adrift at sea, keeping all options open.
The point in verse 6 is this: Ask. Believe. Do. Without a second thought is the way The Message translates this. The NIV says, “believe and not doubt.” The Greek word we translate as doubt means to separate, to make a distinction, to prefer and also speaks of a person who is inconsistent and hesitant.
We really make this harder than it needs to be. Hearing God’s voice is not difficult. God loves to give you wisdom for your life. His instruction, his Word to you always comes with the ability to obey and follow his instructions. Our job is simply to quickly obey.
Obey before doubt can rise up.
Obey while the Word is fresh in your heart and mind.
Obey before your flesh figures out it’s getting the short-end of the stick.
Disobedience in one area will open up you up to deception in every area.
It can be uncomfortable when God’s instructions to us require making the decision to put others first, to deny ourselves, to love the unlovely, to change an unhealthy habit or behavior, or to worship God with the first and best in every area of life.
When we run from God’s wisdom, or tell God ‘no’ we will miss out on opportunities to be a blessing, to be blessed, to grow, to learn, and ultimately to be ‘that person’ that God knows He can use to touch the lives others. When He wants to move in this way, you never know what He might be up to. Imagine, your little act of obedience, revealing God’s love, could open up a human heart to His Love forever.
Stay tuned for more thoughts on obedience in the future!
Thanks for reading!