We can save ourselves so much trouble when we just obey God.
I’ve been reading about Abraham this week, and man… talk about drama! At 75 years old, he was called to leave his homeland and set out for parts unknown… then came a famine. To improve his lot (see what I did there?), he headed to Egypt and asked his wife to pose as his sister, thinking this would protect him. She did as he asked and, thanks to their lie, was taken into Pharaoh’s palace – basically as his wife, concubine, whatever… until God exposed their deceit to Pharaoh in a dream and he let her go.
Then there was Lot, who found himself captured and in need of rescue. Lot, who settled himself near the city and ended up fleeing for his life (and losing his wife in the process). Lot, who pimped out his daughters, and later was seduced by them. Ugh. Let’s just entitle this one “As the Stomach Turns”, shall we?
I keep going back to this one little (but vital) direction God gave to Abram when he first called him out of the land of Ur:
“The Lord said to Abram:
Go out from your land,
and your father’s house
to the land that I will show you.
I will make you into a great nation,
I will bless you,
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
I will curse those who treat you with contempt,
and all the peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.” (Gen. 12:1-3)
Do you see it? “Go out from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house…”
God wanted a fresh start for Abram. He told him to go – to leave his family behind, but Abram couldn’t do it. He took Lot with him. How much trouble could have been avoided if Abram had just listened to God and done what He asked.
The Lord keeps bringing me back to this again and again this week. He calls me to complete obedience… not some half-way commitment to what’s right, but a 100%, all in, radical, do whatever it takes kind of obedience… after all, partial obedience is really disobedience made to look acceptable – and it’s not.
I’m not talking about trying to earn God’s love here – we could never do that. What I’m saying is that our Father knows what’s best for us. He has given us guidelines to keep us safe… and when we wander outside the boundaries that He has prescribed, we can find ourselves in a world of hurt.
I love the way Elisabeth Elliot put it:
“Much sickness – physical, mental, and emotional – surely must come from disobedience. When the soul is confronted with an alternative of right or wrong and chooses to blur the distinction, making excuses for its bewilderment and frustration, it is exposed to infection. Evil is given the opportunity to invade the mind, the spirit, and the body and the sick person goes off to an expert who will diagnose his trouble. Sometimes the patient knows well what his trouble is and for this very reason has not consulted the Lord, fearing what He will say: Confess. Turn around. Quit that indulgence. Do not pity yourself. Forgive that person. Pay back what you owe. Apologize. Tell the truth. Deny yourself. Consider the other’s well-being. Lay down your life.”
What’s God asking you to do today? What would happen if you committed – really committed? Let’s do this thing. ❤