The struggle of Obedience.
God has given us each a word or instruction that he wants us to carry out, but yet we sometimes ignore or hesitate to answer. Isaiah 55:11 states "So is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." I personally have blatantly ignored previous instructions that God has given me in the past. Since many of us are doing some sort of ministry work, we begin to think it's ok to pick and choose what we want to do from what God has asked us to do. We then begin to justify it with thoughts like "Well I’m already serving in the children's department, why do I need to write that book." or "I’m already posting bible scriptures on Instagram, why do I need to do mission trips." Those are obviously very specific examples, but you get the idea. The point is; partial obedience is still disobedience and slow obedience is also still disobedience. Bringing it back to the verse in Isaiah that was previously mentioned, when God speaks, it will get done regardless of if we answer the call or not. He will raise someone else that is more willing to take on the task, why? Because his word cannot return to him void. It must be fulfilled.
"Obedience is the key that opens every door." - C.S Lewis
Let's keep it real, obeying God is not always the easiest thing to do. I mean, you can just look in the bible and see that. But although it isn't always easy, it's one of the most important aspects of being a believer. Let's look at the example of King Saul. In 1 Samuel 15 God gave the prophet Samuel specific instructions to give to King Saul. The instructions were for King Saul to attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. (1 Samuel 15:2 This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. 3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”)
I don't know about you, but those seem like pretty clear instructions to me. Well, King Saul certainly did go attack the Amalekites, but here's the problem. He took it upon himself to spare their king, and also keep the finest cattle to offer as a sacrifice.
(7 "Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt. 8 He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. 9 But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.")
As thoughtful as that may seem, that isn't what God asked him to do. He was instructed to completely destroy EVERYTHING. Again, partial obedience is still disobedience. At this point God rejected King Saul and asked the Prophet Samuel to appoint a new King, which is where King David comes into the picture. Now just think how disobedience not only affects us, but can potentially affect our descendants. Ideally, the throne should have stayed in King Saul's bloodline, but it was all jeopardized due to him wanting to carry out his own plans.
We must ask ourselves: What makes us hesitant from doing what God has asked us to do?
The answer is different for all of us. For some of us, it is fear, uncertainty, anxiousness or just plain ole disobedience. Honestly, these are normal feelings, but the problem occurs when we allow those feelings to stop us from doing what God has asked. It’s only to think “God I am anxious, but your will be done” We serve such a gracious God that he understands. When Moses was hesitant to speak to Pharaoh regarding the Israelites because of his speech impediment, did God not meet him halfway?! God basically told him “Ok, then take Aaron, and he will translate for you.” (Exodus 7:1) Once we show that we are willing to answer the call, God will meet us where we are.
Keep in Mind:
Whatever God asks you to do, will always advance his kingdom in one way or another
It's bigger than what we see
God’s word will always be fulfilled once he speaks it. if we don't answer the call he will have to use someone else
The word obedient is defined as "Submissive to the restraint or command of authority: willing to obey"
I would encourage us all to begin to seek the face of God, so he can reveal any ways that we may have been disobedient. It may not always be easy, but it is always worth it. The reassuring part is that he will be there each and every step of the way of what he’s asked us to do.
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Obedient. InMerriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved May 18, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obedient