“All who love me will do what I say” (John 14:23)
Why is being obedient so difficult for us? Our society seems to have this “nobody is going to tell me what I can and cannot do” attitude. In fact, I believe that attitude controls most of the anger we see in our nation over the issues we find ourselves fighting about.
So, do we carry that rebellious attitude over when it comes to obeying God? Is obeying him easy for us, or is it a struggle? Now grant it, God has asked some of his servants to do some wild and crazy things. He asked Abraham to leave the comforts of home and travel to a literal nowhere land. A land Abe had never seen nor read about in any travel brochure. Then God asked Abraham to sacrifice his own son. And we can’t forget God asking Moses to deliver a vast multitude of people from the hands of an evil Pharoah who had enslaved them, and lead them to a land that again, was not in any travel brochure. Seems God has a penchant for leading his people into the unknown and unchartered. These may be incidents in the bible that we are familiar with. We heard about them in Sunday School when we were children, or listened to preachers illustrate them in their sermons. We have almost become overly familiar with these biblical stories.
So, allow me to share with you some additional biblical accounts you may not be as familiar with. Did you know that God asked Isaiah to walk around for three whole years naked and barefoot? Like that wasn’t an embarrassment for God’s prophet. Or here’s one for you. Have you ever heard the story of how God told Jeremiah to go out and buy some new undies, and then ordered him to wear them without washing them for an extended period-of-time? Then once they were in a disgusting state, God ordered Jeremiah to go and hide them in the cleft of a rock near the Euphrates. Strange and bizarre requests for obedience from such a Holy God as we serve.
Years ago, God put on my heart to go visit a lady and tell her about Christ. I made excuses and didn’t go. The next day her daughter found her dead on her living room floor. A few years later as I was packing to go on a trip, God put on my heart to stop what I was doing and go next door and tell my neighbor about Christ. That time I obeyed, and my neighbor received Jesus as her Savior. Which of these incidents do you think pleased God the most?
Has God ever asked you to do something that seemed a little off kilter, strange, odd, or perhaps didn’t fit into your plans and schedule? How did you respond to his prompting? That question may be one of the most important questions any of us will ever answer. The reason is because when God asks us to do something, what we do next will reveal what we believe about Him.