I just finished an amazing weekend retreat where I had the honor of speaking to elementary aged daughters and their mothers. I spoke on obedience and although that is not a topic people are dying to hear about we all learned a lot in the process. Obedience is for everyone whether you are 8 or 80.
We all have rules to follow regardless who we are…or who we think we are. Even if we don’t agree that God is God and His Word is holy we have laws of the land to obey. Traffic laws that we must follow to be safe, safety rules in our jobs, and you get the idea. In school the first things we learn are to be courteous and respectful of other people. Don’t touch, don’t steal, don’t tease, don’t run. Some of these rules are easy to obey all the time and others are not easy to obey ever.
While studying and preparing for these lessons I learned a lot but I was also struck by the fact that obedience is never in the act, it’s in the heart. God could have found someone else to go to Nineveh but He was working on Jonah’s heart. If Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego chickened out and bowed to the golden idol God would have used someone else’s obedient heart to get the job done. If Noah said he wasn’t a fan of cruises, God would have moved on to plan B to accomplish His will. Through these stories God was not only getting things done He was working on the hearts of these people who were doing the work.
My heart is usually not in the right place, I fear. I lose my focus and go off on tangents. Praise God he is faithful, loving and patient. Ultimately, God wants my heart. He wants my willingness to go where He says to go and to do what He says to do. Sometimes it is hard and it is usually out of my way or out of my comfort zone but I want my heart to be sold out to Him. I’m praying for an obedient heart.