The word “why” is a frequently used one in our home these days. With a little one and two teenagers, it just seems to be the normal response a large majority of the time. And as a child, I am sure my parents thought the exact same thing and during those years I always swore that I would never utter the phrase “because I said so” to my children. Truth be told, I have heard that statement roll off of my tongue exceedingly more than I think my parents ever said it. And while I do believe in explanations, obedience is obedience –explanation or not.
In life, I believe there are moments to teach, moments to learn –but sometimes the answer is still just “because I said so”. And those times are normally attributed to the reality that I’ve already learned the hard lesson that I’m trying to protect them from or maybe I can see the big picture while they are only seeing a sliver of it. As a mom, I want the best for my children –and sometimes that simply means telling them no and not giving them what they want. The years behind me have gifted me the knowledge that they do not yet possess –but one day they will.
Yet even with the moments where I pointed my kiddos in the right direction with a long explanation or a short, direct answer –there have still been times when they made a choice to experiment with their independence and disobediently go the opposite direction. Those moments, for the most part, played out exactly as I had predicted and the remnants of the decision were the unfortunate consequences. And just like the three that my husband and I are raising, I still realize daily that there is no negotiating in obedience.
“Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." Genesis 12:1-3
God gave Abram instructions to leave his country and his family and go to the land which He would show Him. I often wonder if Abram stood and held his hands in confusion asking the question “why”? Though God gave Him an explanation for the big picture of the "why", the details of the journey just required simple obedience on Abram’s part and the promise that God would guide Him along the way. So, Abram went but instead of leaving his people, he took his nephew Lot with Him. Abram would realize rather quickly the frustration that this addition would add. Partial obedience is still disobedience.
You can look all throughout the Bible and see the results that the disobedience by God’s people has brought forth. It began with God’s first human creations in the Garden of Eden and continues to this day. God gives us a plan, purpose, and a promise and yet we question and compromise on how we think we should walk the path that He has set before us. So, we make our own rules and our own ways and then we sit back and wonder why our lives lack JOY. And the “whys” continue.
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21
And like Abram who loved God, but failed at times to walk in faithful obedience –God’s plan never failed. His partial obedience may have caused hardships in his life and a delay in God’s promise. But God’s promise remained. God used Abraham to make a great nation. God blessed him and made his name great so that he would be a blessing to others. God blessed all of the families of the earth through Abraham. Could Abram have arrived at this point quicker if he had walked in full obedience? Possibly –of that, we do not know. What we do know is that he would have avoided the unnecessary hardships and the Joy of the Lord would have presented itself in abundance.
I would encourage you today to examine your life and ask God to show you the areas that you are not walking in full obedience and then ask Him for the strength to surrender those areas to you and open your eyes to the path that He has placed in front of you. We aren’t promised the answers to all of our questions –truth be told we couldn’t understand them even if He laid it all out in front of us. He is Holy and perfect and we are not, He sees what we can’t and He knows the things that we don’t and he understands the things that our earthly minds can’t comprehend.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
You see the lamp doesn’t light the entire path. It actually only gives you the ability to see the few steps right in front of you. But as you move forward so does the light. This is what God asks of us –Take one step towards Him and allow Him to direct your path as you go. You don’t need the big picture you just need to walk in obedience day by day, moment by moment, and step by step. This is the path where true Joy exists.
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