Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Devotional // Simple Obedience

Have you ever wondered why obedience is so important to us as parents? I mean…. stop and think about why you get irritated most often with your kids. I would bet that it likely has something to do with disobedience of some kind I mean…. why won’t they just do what we frekkin say, y’all?

Several weeks ago the boys were headed up to church with me while I got ready for our bible study that night. Jeff was coming to grab them - it was kind of a tag team it sort of night. We arrived at church, I got all my bags inside and my 13 month old and B was in tow. Now 7 years old, I feel like he can most of the time be in charge of himself, right?

Well I was wrong. We walked into our room and he had brought this little packet of goodies to sell to a few of friends that night for a fundraiser at school. So just keep in mind that he wasn’t intending to be hiding out in the classroom with me until Jeff got there. He would actually be speaking with people, mmmkay?

I reached into my bag to grab the snacks I packed - because snacks make any wait shorter - and all of a sudden I see this pink gooey stuff on B’s face. I immediately said, go wash your face in the bathroom and probably sorta kinda rolled my eyes.

A few minutes later, he was back and as I looked at his (still dirty) face, I realized that this sticky stuff was all over him. Like all down his leg, in his hair, stuck to his clothes, under his fingernails….

There may have been some yelling in church, y’all.

I got a wipe out and was scrubbing him as much as I could - as he cried because it hurt - well, yeah it hurts…. it’s STUCK to you! I very matter of factly and intentionally (and clearly) said, “you are grounded from gum until next year!!!” His eyes got wide, but I was deadly serious and he knew it.

Fast forward two days.

Two days, y’all. He bounces downstairs with a friend he has over and they’re in the kitchen talking about all things football and recess and suddenly I notice he’s chewing something.


Is that…… G U M??????

His eyes widened and he immediately threw it away and told me that he was sorry he didn’t ask me.

W H A A A A T?

No - of course, that’s not why I’m upset. After making him go “think about it” for a bit, he still couldn’t (or wouldn’t) come up with the reason I was upset he had gum. I wanted to scream IT WAS JUST TWO DAYS AGO! HOW CAN YOU NOT REMEMBER…. but I held myself back and instead took away all screen time for infinity and beyond, because that’s what we do.
It struck me hard later that I am like Brady.

God will give me instruction - or even discipline - and I will look the other way and either act like I forgot about it, or - dare I say it - actually forget about it. And it’s not just a one time thing… it’s an over and over again thing that I’ve got going on with God. It’s embarrassing when I think about it and of course, I’m sure it’s frustrating for God, right?


No, that can NOT be you rolling your eyes at Jeff…..

You are REALLY choosing to sleep later than get up and spend time with me…. A G A I N??? DID YOU NOT HEAR ME???

I just started getting this picture of God looking down at me, wide-eyed, totally shocked and infuriated all at the same time that I don’t seem to get it. That I sit there time and time again, mouth halfway opened and eyes blank and softly say… “huh???”  (you know that face)

It’s kind of like that famous passage written by Paul :: “For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like o do, but am doing the very thing that I hate.” Romans 7:15

Ughhhhh….. I’ve never been able to explain that passage out loud but I can totally relate… as I’m sure most Christians can.

Y’all, here’s what He’s gently pressing into me right now. He isn’t shocked, he’s not wide-eyed and he’s certainly not infuriated. He sees Jesus when He looks at me and is completely and utterly patient with my missteps and mess ups. He showers me with grace + mercy, KNOWING that I will never get it this side of heaven.

Over and over again in the Bible the scriptures tell us it’s about our hearts, not about our perfectness or our good-naturedness. The Bible is full of the most imperfect people, y’all… and they did amazing and powerful things with the power of an all mighty God behind them. Did God hold it against Jonah when he went the opposite way of what God told him to go?

The bible says that after Jonah cried out to the Lord in the belly of the fish and PRAISED HIS NAME, “the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up on o the dry land.” Jonah 2:10. There’s no holding it against him. There’s no second guessing the original plan He had for Jonah. He went to Nineveh. And his obedience saved a whole people group.

I will never get it all the way right. But I can put one foot in front of the other and lead my heart toward one simple act of obedience after another. It’s not always about the giant life change, y’all. It’s often about those seemingly small acts of obedience and sacrifice that end up shaping us and refining us to look more like Jesus at the end of the day than we did at the beginning.

So my question to you is this :: what is He asking you to do today that you’ve been ignoring? Think about what you’ve been brushing off that seems to be small or even silly, but you continue to feel a pressing about. What is he asking you to do…. or maybe to give up? Lord bless you if He’s asking you to give up Nashville or Scandal.

Make today the day, friend. Do it today. Choose today to obey Him. To praise Him. To sacrifice for Him. To utter His name in a crowded place where it might not be welcome. Let today be the day that you are given a spiritual breakthrough because of your obedience. Let’s do it together. Think of the firestorm small choices can bring in your life!

Praying for you all today, as I hope you will be praying for me! Trusting in Him to hold us up when the obedience gets hard and laborious!

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