A friend of mine drove her aging grandmother to her doctor’s appointment where a regimen of several different colored pills were prescribed. Each pill was vitally important for her overall health. You can imagine my friend’s frustration when several weeks later, looking in her grandmother’s pill box, she noticed that all the white ones had been left behind. “Nana! Why aren’t you doing what the doctor said?” The octogenarian replied, “I don’t like the white ones.”
I can totally relate . . . how about you? How many times in our Christian walk do we want to only take the ones that slide down the easiest? God calls us to obedience in many areas, but how often do we just obey partially? I don’t know about you, but when I’ve asked God for direction in my life, have searched the Bible, and He has shown me some specific areas of obedience that He wants me to walk in, I often try to pick and choose which ones I’d like to obey.
God is a loving Father who cares about the choices we make and where we put our focus—not because He is controlling, but because He sees the entire big picture of our lives. He sees when the enemy is stealing our time and our affections, He sees when a habit is forming that will later bring us heartache, and He sees who we’re in relationship with, either for our betterment or our destruction. God wants to be Lord over our entire lives. Just like when I would tell my kids, “Don’t play in the street AND don’t put your hand on the hot stove,” at times we just want to obey part of the instructions.
Even when His instructions just SEEM little . . . as the serpent and Eve negotiated and reasoned, “Surely He didn’t mean I can’t just take one bite? How about just a lick?” Complete obedience. Not because we are robots, but because our loving Father really does know best and has our best interest in mind. Sometimes His directions can be brushed off as a little thing. We justify our actions with, Oh who cares? Every other Christian I know is okay with watching that, listening to that, spending time on that . . .”
We are each individuals whom the Lord is dealing with and maturing in different areas at different times, so we must stay focused on what is written in black and white in His word and then listen to what His Holy Spirit inside of us is leading us to do and not to do. We are a holy people—a chosen generation—set apart to be salt and light in this world. We are called to look different than the world. How will this world know that we are His disciples? By our love. Our love for each other and our compassion and love for them. Loving the unbeliever is not conforming to what the world says is right.
Our God is a holy God who has called His people out of darkness into His marvelous light! He loves us, sent His Son to die for us, and wants us to enjoy our lives that He came to give us abundantly. Part of enjoying this abundant life is keeping our hands off the stove AND the other loving instructions He has given us. Can we challenge each other? Is there any God-given instruction, no matter how small, that we would just like to ignore? I want to encourage us . . . obedience has rewards!