May 20, 2011
Because He Said So
"And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands." 2 John 1:6a (NIV)
Is there a summer camp for kids destined to become lawyers? If so, I'm ready to sign my daughter up. I'm kidding! (Mostly.) I love her dearly but she can wear me out with all her questions and challenges. She is a tweenager now but this started years ago.
About the time she turned four, she had been out past bedtime at a church event with her father. She's an extrovert so being out late around lots of other people had her really wound up and talking non-stop on the way home. The more she talked, the more animated she became. Finally my husband said, "No more words, honey, we're going to be quiet for the rest of the ride home."
"Why?" she asked.
"Because it's late and you are tired, and you need to let your body wind down and rest."
"I'm not tired at all," she insisted.
"You don't realize it but you are very tired; its past bedtime and you need to settle down."
After a moment of silence she said very matter-of-factly, "You can't know how I'm feeling."
My husband, who has a Ph.D. in communication, came through the front door saying, "Our preschooler just out reasoned me!"
She wants to understand our plans, motives, and reasons for everything. If she doesn't understand the logic of something she has a hard time accepting it. She loves us and truly wants to please us, but she wants to know why before she obeys. She's usually very obedient, once she's heard our reasons. Nonetheless, in response to her questions I'm sometimes tempted to use that infamous parental phrase: "Because I said so!"
I wonder if God ever wants to use that phrase with me?
I sometimes challenge His rules. Do not murder — check. Do not take the Lord's Name in vain — got it. Honor your father and mother — OK. Do not gossip — hum, not even in the form of a prayer request? Do not lie — You mean, not ever? Do not envy — is this even possible?
Other times I question His ways. Can't You just feed the poor by making crops grow? Why do unbelieving drug addicts conceive babies, but my own girlfriend who follows You cannot? Why didn't You give me more organizational skills if You were going to have me marry this man and do this job? Are you sure You got the formula right when You made me?
God is infinitely more patient a parent than I, and He is abounding in grace and love. He can easily handle all my questions without exasperation. But I wonder if He wishes I would just simply trust and obey — just because He is God. I know I wish I would!
The scriptures say: "Do what your king commands; you gave a sacred oath of obedience. Don't worryingly second-guess your orders or try to back out when the task is unpleasant. You're serving his pleasure, not yours. The king has the last word. Who dares say to him, 'What are you doing?' Carrying out orders won't hurt you a bit; the wise person obeys promptly and accurately." (Ecclesiastes 8:2-5, MSG)
I want to be that wise person.
The Bible further assures me of His capable hands and creative purposes saying: "But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?" (Romans 9:20-21, NIV)
Yes, He certainly does. I want to be the fancy vase but I have to trust I will find the greatest joy when I accept the purposes He 's designed me for.
So my goal today is not to question God but simply to trust and obey...even if I don't understand why and even if it's hard to do. I will accept the way that I am made and the plans that He has set before me.
Yes, I know I can take all my questions to the Lord and He will lovingly sift through them, but today I want to obey His commands in swift, willing obedience — just because He said so.
Dear Lord, help me to show my love for You and others by knowing Your commands and obeying them. Give me the mind and attitude of Christ today and help me be a woman who says "yes" to You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Pick up a copy of It's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know by Rachel Olsen and learn what God asks of His girls.
Has God tugged on your heart to help the poor and bless others in His Name, because He said so? Consider sponsoring a needy child.
Visit Rachel at her blog for more encouragement.
Pray, declaring your intention to obey God and ask for His help in this.
Have I challenged the Lord lately about the way He made me?
Or about a task He has set before me?
Are there commands I'm not obeying right now?
Will I leave this place of questioning and doubt and move forward in obedience?
Romans 6:16, "Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey — whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?" (NIV)
© 2011 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved.
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