August 27, 2010
Just Because He Said So
"And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands." 2 John 1:6a (NIV)
"No more words, honey, we're going to be quiet for the rest of the ride home."
My four year-old daughter and my husband were out late at a church event. She's an extrovert so being around all those people had her excitedly talking non-stop on the way home. The more she talked, the more animated she became. Finally my husband issued the no-more-words decree.
"But why?" she asked.
"Because it's late and you are tired, and you need to let your body wind down to rest."
"I'm not tired at all," she insisted.
"You don't realize it but you are very tired; it's way past your 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 obedient, once she's heard our reasons. Nonetheless, in response to her questioning I'm often 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 - um, OK. Do not gossip - hum, not even in the form of a prayer request? Do not lie - you mean, not ever? What if it is a little white lie that prevents hurt feelings? Do not envy - is that 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 weren't distracted when You made me? Or when you gave me this questioning child?
God is infinitely more patient a parent than I am, 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 sure 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 also sets my questioning tendencies straight with: "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 pot 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 know Your commands and obey them. Give me the mind and obedient attitude of Christ today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
It's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know by Rachel Olsen
Win a copy of Rachel's new book "It's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know by stopping by Rachel's blog. She'd also love to pray for your ability to be obedient to God.
6 Habits of Highly Effective Christians by Brian T. Anderson & Glynnis Whitwer
Read our free P31 Woman magazine article, When God Calls, Answer Yes
Write out a declaration of intention to obey God at all costs. Pray and ask God to help you grow in obedience.
Have you been challenging the Lord lately about the way He made you? Or the task He has set before you?
Are there commands that you are struggling with obeying?
Will you 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)
2 Corinthians 9:13, "Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else." (NIV)
© 2010 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Friday, 27 August 2010.