However, I venture to say that most of us at some point in our childhood had chores to do. Clean up after ourselves, clean our rooms, take out the trash, unload or load the dishwasher (or you were the dishwasher!), etc., you get the picture. We had expectations set on us. In the grand scheme of things it was meant to build our character and teach us responsibility.
Now, as with any child, when we were children we also tested those limits of responsibility. There were times we just didn't feel like doing those chores. Ok, we didn't feel like doing those chores most of time but we did them anyway ... most of the time.
Then, there were those daring days when we decided that our caregiver would just have to wait until we felt like doing our chores. I laugh to myself as I think about that statement. My loving adorable daughter is almost three - and even at her age she is already bucking the system.
There were days as a child and youth I decided things would get done if I felt like doing them - or when I felt like doing them. And, I (erroneously) thought that my parents should and would just get with my program. I cannot fully explain the repercussions I experienced from such bouts of insanity (because why else did I think I could get over on my parents and they would smile and allow it except that I was temporarily insane?) - but I will say the more and more I experienced these "repercussions" the more far and between my bouts of insanity occurred. Will anyone testify with me on that?
Eventually, I learned that it was better to obey my parents, when they said it, than to think I could do it how I wanted and when I wanted.
Now, I find myself learning this lesson all over again - but with God. Let me qualify that I am not talking about when we choose to sin instead of doing what we know is right, like lying about something instead of telling the truth. No, I mean when I am prompted to give someone a dollar that's on the street but I dismiss it and think to myself that they will misuse the money - or are scam artists. Or, when I feel as if I should call someone and check on them or encourage them and I put it off until later - and later turns into days, weeks, and perhaps months later. Or, I feel compelled to be a part of a ministry and I give one thousand reasons why I'm not gifted, talented, or knowledgeable enough to do it. Or, sometimes I just don't feel like doing it - no real explanation as to why.
As I look at my life and how it looks to others I am beginning to take a good look at my walk. I have discovered that I am more disobedient than I would like to admit. As I said, I'm not talking about the hard line do's and don'ts (though I struggle at times with that just as we all do). I'm disobedient to the Holy Spirit's leading far more often than I should be.
Case in point. A couple of weeks ago I was asked to step in and teach a class at church. So, I started to prepare. The next day, the regular teacher's schedule opened up and it was no longer necessary for me to teach. Yet, I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to still prepare to teach. I scoffed, said it wasn't necessary, it was taken care of. Well, the day of the class, I received a text from the regular teacher asking me if I was still available to teach because something came up. Sigh, had I been obedient to the Holy Spirit's leading, I wouldn't have had only 3 hours to get the lesson together.
I was prompted to write a book ... years ago. I think you know as well as I that the book isn't complete. Oh, I started it, I've researched for it, spoken to various people about it, done surveys for it ... yet it isn't complete. I have a lot of excuses as to why it is incomplete.
I've had writer's block (yet I manage to write this blog once a week).
I don't have the time (but I can find the 3 hours necessary to prepare for a class "at the last minute").
Someone else wrote something similar (but if I had been diligent my book probably would have been out first).
Disobedience. And partial obedience is still disobedience (read 1 Samuel 15).
I watched a podcast by Terri Savelle Foy that really impacted me. She said that God's love language is obedience. Check out John 14:15 (NKJV), when Jesus is speaking to His disciples the night he was arrested, "If you love me, keep my commandments." Wow..."keep my commandments" is basically saying "obey me". And don't mistake Jesus He wasn't referring to the "law". He came to fulfill the law (Matt 5:17). He was talking about following Him and not having just a religious experience. Following Him in everything, including the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
There are many things that have taken up time in my life that wasn't initiated by the Holy Spirit. And so many more things I have allowed to go to the wayside that were prompted by the Holy Spirit. I need to resolve now, not tomorrow, that I will be obedient in all things.
Not just the convenient ones.
Nor, the ones the put me in the lime light.
Not the ones that seem "good" but are not necessarily "God" ones.
I just need to be obedient.
"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 NIV)"
Just Around the Corner,