For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to memorize Romans 8. About a month ago, I followed through, and it’s just been so good for my spirit. This season is one of follow through for me, and it comes down to obedience.
I’ve often heard that when you are unclear of the Lord’s direction, just go back to the last thing He asked you to do and obey. Sometimes the next thing…… is the thing you meant to do but left on the starting block with good intentions.
Often it seems like a small thing. The person you needed to call. That apology you meant to make. The neighbor you keep meaning to reach out to. We can minimize these nudges as meaningless or unimportant. They aren’t.
Sometimes it’s bigger and you enter a season of stretching. Recently, for me, it has been both. Regardless, there is one thing I keep learning about obedience: the longer you wait, the harder it will be.
There is a difference between willingness and follow-through, and God wants both. The prophet Isaiah offered the nation of Judah prosperity and blessing that was conditional. The blessing required willful obedience.
“If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land.” (Isaiah 1:19)
The word used in the Hebrew for “willing” is only used in the same manner one other time in Scripture. Every other mention of this word includes a negation in the Hebrew, which would signify the opposite of volunteer. Here is what that means for us: God doesn’t want to have to talk us into an obedient heart.
King David speaks of a time in Psalm 32 when his strength was sapped as in the heat of summer because he waited so long to repent of his sin. When he confessed and found mercy, he expressed a response from the Lord to his heart….and to ours.
“Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.” (vs. 9)
Hear that? Don’t wait so long next time, David. Come to me swiftly – obey quickly. I am FOR you.
He promises to instruct David and watch over him. That’s the promise we all want. The good promises of God are found on the other side of repentance and obedience. As I’m intentional about asking God to direct me to take any action He would have me take, I’m also praying for the courage and strength to obey…and do so quickly.
May our willingness to obey meet with action out of love for a God who wants the very best for us.