As the world starts opening back up in the midst of the 2020 coronavirus outbreak, I feel like the one thing I have learned in all this time is I can obey. I listened to my husband, the governor, the president, the orders and the guidelines. I might have questioned things, and still am, but I did what I was told to do. This is not something that comes naturally to me; the Lord knows that about me.
Most people obeyed. Some even to the point of laying down fundamental freedoms. Some people not only obeyed mere recommendations, but they passionately defended their position. Some not only defended, but were compelled to try to help others come to the same conclusion by whatever means necessary. Television was full of well-known people telling us to stay home, wash our hands and practice social distancing. People took medical advice from celebrities, millionaires, and politicians as if they were top doctors in the field. People shared information as fact that came from unknown sources or that was passed through the chain of people much like the childhood game of telephone.
As I thought about all the guidelines and recommendations we have all been listening to and following, a question came welling up in my spirit. “Will you obey Me, like you have obeyed man?” It has rattled me a little, because I like to think I obey God. Yet, I know there are times when I feel His prompting and I ignore it. I question His instructions longer than I need to question. I question Him instead of taking action. I ask for other’s opinions instead of trusting His direction.
Yet in the midst of this crises, I have obeyed first and questioned during and after. Why do I not give God that same or even more respect? I know that God is for me. I know that God will not lead me to a path of destruction. I know that God has given the Holy Spirit to help me obey.
Scriptures say repeatedly that obedience to Him shows my love for Him.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. John 14:15 ESV
Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:21-26 ESV
He empowered me with the Holy Spirit so I could obey His commands. What if I stopped making excuses and just did what He tells me to do?
But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Luke 11:28 ESV
There comes a point for me where I stopped taking things I read and heard at face value, and I started looking at the original sites – whether it was government data or executive orders and where that authority came from. What if I searched out the truth from His Word, like I have searched out the truth during this season?
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 ESV
What if I loved Him, with His love language, obedience?
But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. Matthew 7:24-25
What if I took Him at His Word, like I have taken others at their word during this time? There is power in being obedient in God’s timely instructions to us. He has really been speaking to me about obedience. I have to chose to obey Him. What if when I hear His voice, I didn’t question, but radically obeyed!!! I can obey, only I can decide if I will.