By Charity Pence
This Week’s Verse: Exodus 23: 22-23, “But if you indeed obey His voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries. For my Angel will go before you.” (NKJV)
Devotion: Recently, I had an idea to do something and I brought it up to my husband. When he did not respond, I asked him what he thought. His reply was that I was going to do whatever I wanted so it did not matter what he thought. I am ashamed to admit he has said that to me before. His words really bothered me this time, though. However, I was not bothered by him speaking those words to me. I know he would agree that for the most part, we are very good at discussing things and making decisions together. I have never had a problem with authority either so why was I bothered?
Then a question formed in my mind. Do I do that to God? Do I ask Him what I should do and then do what I want regardless of what God tells me? My answer shamed me even more. Deuteronomy 5:29 says, “Oh that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever.” This verse assures me that I am to obey God. So why is it so hard to do what He commands?
We know in our heart when God is trying to teach us something. I have long felt that God has been trying to teach me obedience. God would tell me to do something and I would always say in return, “Why?” or “That doesn’t make sense.” What He was telling me to do seemed so trivial that I could not help but wonder what the point was. I would like to give you an example.
Something that God has made me do repeatedly is change hangers when I am putting laundry away. I would put a shirt on a hanger and God would tell me to take the shirt off and use a different hanger. (In case you are wondering, I have never actually heard a voice so I am not crazy, I do not think. But feel free to laugh if you would like!)
Sometimes I would obey. Sometimes I would refuse. Why did it matter what hanger I used? After many, many lessons, I finally realized this: if I cannot do something as small and insignificant as change a hanger without questioning God, how can God expect me to do something bigger? After all, the purpose of obedience is to do as told without questioning. In 1 Samuel 15:23, Samuel tells Saul, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.” Disobedience to God has some pretty harsh consequences. Thankfully, God has not given up on me and continues to give me lessons.
Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive me for the times I have refused to obey Your voice. Continue to shape me so that I am willing to do Your will. Help me to understand the consequences of being obedient and the consequences of being disobedient. Thank you for not giving up on me. I love You, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Applications: God desires for us to respond to His voice alone. This week, make it a point to recognize when God is giving you the opportunity to be obedient.
Deuteronomy 6:18, “And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may be well with you, and that you may go in and possess the good land of which the Lord swore to your fathers.” (NKJV)
Amos 5:4, “For thus saith the Lord unto the house of Israel, seek ye me, and ye shall live.” (KJV)
Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” (KJV)