My two-year old often teaches me about obedience.
Recently my copper-topped two (I call him Red) and his brother were enjoying their nightly bath. My boys soaked and poured and relaxed in their warm tub and were perfectly happy, thank you, to probably spend the rest of the night right there. But alas, it was close to bedtime (and Momma was weary). I gently asked Red to stand up and get out of the bath. In protest, he launched a hefty tantrum right there in the tub. Feet flailed, water flew, ducky rode rough waves and my little boy screamed, “NO! I want to obey! I want to obey!”
The similarities of his idea of obedience and my idea of obedience slapped me in the forehead. It took me a minute to recover. How often, I wonder, do I shout “I want to obey!” at God—and genuinely think I do—but ignore His call because it might mean the awkwardness of stepping out of the warm, stagnant water of what I’ve always done or where I’ve always served? Sometimes obedience means that we must follow a new command. We can’t always stay in the warm, comforting bathtub.
The thing about God’s call is that He rarely asks us to serve people or in places or in tasks that are easy or comfortable. We see the uncomfortable call in Scripture over and over. God called Abram to leave everything behind and travel to an unknown place. God called uncertain Moses to a high-profile, conflict-laden leadership position. God called Esther to leave her home for position as Queen, where she faced the possibility of death in order to fulfill God’s plan. God called Mary to bear His Son—untold blessing came in a package of scorn and isolation. God called Saul into Paul, who in obedience endured shipwrecks, imprisonment, hunger and beatings.
God used all these people to generate His great works; they received the blessing of serving the King of Kings and experiencing closeness with Omniscient Almighty, but they each had to be obedient to step out of their cozy bubble baths of normal life.
Obedience isn’t just about being used by God, though. If it were, it would be easy for me to simply tell God ‘I don’t really want that job, but thanks for asking.’ No. As I explained as simply as possible to a Red warmly bundled in his giraffe towel on my lap, obedience shows love.
John 14:21 says, “He who obeys my command, he is the one who loves Me.”
Obedience is love in action. Obedience is proof to God that our claims of love aren’t empty words. When my children joyfully obey, I sense their love and respect for me in ways their words can’t express. I imagine that God’s heart feels as full when I trust Him enough to step willingly into that to which He has called me.
Is God calling you out of the bathtub? Has He been asking you to do something that doesn’t come naturally? Is He laying a place or a person on your heart that brings discomfort?
Sister, let me encourage you to obey. Prayerfully consider the call. Demonstrate your love for your Lord by showing Him you want to follow His request. Step out of your warm bath, wrap yourself in prayer and courage from above, and then walk in faith towards obedience.
“Those who know my commands and obey them are the ones who love me, and my Father will love those who love me. I will love them and will show myself to them.” John 14:21
By: Evelyn Rennich, Smallish