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The Trick to Obedience?

I’ve been reading the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy recently and I’m always amazed by the living, breathing Word of God. I’ve read these books numerous times before and even in different translations, yet every time I open them up again I find new revelations relevant to what I’m experiencing and feeling right now.

I don’t like to give other people advice on topics that I myself am still struggling with because it makes me feel like a hypocrite. After all, what right do I have to preach to others when I still stumble and fall over these issues? That’s why I’ve really been debating whether I should share what I’ve learned from the stories of the Israelites as they made the long trek from Egypt to the Promised Land. However, I’ve come to learn that there are lessons we must learn and relearn - over and over until we get it right - sometimes we need God’s constant reminder, we have to make mistakes so that we can humble ourselves and come back to Him: the Alpha and Omega.

One such lesson for me is obedience. Every time I think I’ve got it down I realise that I actually don’t. I need God’s undying patience and mercy to help me. Moses’ story has taught me the importance of consecrating myself to God and His purpose, not allowing any other trifling issues or desires to trump that. This has been a particularly busy period of my life and one I’m sincerely enjoying, but the ruckus and swiftness of everyday life sometimes lead me to make snap decisions that I don't consult the LORD on. There were times in my life when all was calm and I had time every day to just revel in the presence of God, saturated in His wonderful love. Without the lessons I learned then, I wouldn’t be able to navigate life’s everyday problems, conundrums, joys and everything else that is thrown my way. I learned then how to put my desires and fears on hold and simply listen to what my spirit told me. Even if it was illogical, even if it was seemingly insignificant. I learned how to let God always be the final Judge.

So I thought I had mastered obedience. I was joyful, I was at peace and I felt closer to God than ever. Imagine my surprise when obstacles I thought I had overcome long ago resurfaced. In my busy routine, I began to realise my selfish will and shortsightedness was playing a role in my decision-making. I would sacrifice what I knew was right for the comfort of the now. Because I didn’t want to be burdened or uncomfortable in the present, I began ignoring that niggling feeling in the back of my mind. Of course, this inevitably led me to drift from God and His thoughts. You know the saying, “You don’t realise what you had until it’s gone”. This profoundly describes the emotions I experienced as a result. Things I used to enjoy became odious to me, I lost the satisfaction of doing whatever I wanted because I knew, as small as it may be, I was still sinning by disobeying God. Imagine the shame I felt from knowingly backsliding so far from Him. The yawning gap between where I was and where I yearned to be was frightening. Thankfully, God is always patient with His people and even when we’re disobedient He will wait for us to find our way back to Him.

I realised while reading the story of the Israelites that if it weren’t for Moses and his repentant, reverential heart toward God, the LORD might really have destroyed Israel for their frivolity and disloyal attitude. Before crossing the Jordan River to possess the Promised Land, Moses lectured the people. To summarise, he charged them to never forget who they were, where they came from and the One who had brought them that far. Something he stated repeatedly was for them to be careful and watch themselves. Deuteronomy 4:9 (NIV) says, “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” verse 15 of the same chapter reads, “...Therefore watch yourselves very carefully so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape…” Moses knew the secret to maintaining a reverential and humble attitude towards the LORD is to remember the awesome things He has done in your life and refuse to let anything or anyone take His place in your heart. The second you become too proud to listen to what He has to say, you lose His presence and with it, joy, perfect peace, hope and all God’s gifts.

For me, that’s scary. I don’t want to live hopeless and unhappy, I don’t want to have to go through turmoil and confusion before coming back to God penitently. I’d rather experience the passing discomfort of surrendering earthly pleasures and temptations so that I can please God and be close to Him. Giving up stuff you enjoy is difficult and God is always asking us to be more holy but 1 Corinthians 10:13 is reassuring in this respect, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” I think we could all benefit from Moses’ example. It’s wisdom to prevent something before it happens. The devil is always fighting to access our hearts, we must remain vigilant and guard them with utmost care so that we always trust and obey God’s commands, never becoming too proud for Him.

As I mentioned before, this is something I’ve had to learn again and again. I’ll probably never be perfect at it but it’s always beneficial to hear this message. When you find yourself tripping and falling over the temptations of this Earth, struggling to humble yourself before God, I hope that this message can encourage you to listen. God never commands you to do anything that isn’t ultimately for your benefit. Don’t let the enemy steal your joy by convincing you that God is against you. The LORD knows you inside and out, trust Him to lead you in the direction you need to go.


5 commenti

Honestly relating with each of these stories 🙌😩 I very much needed to hear this! Thank you.

Mi piace

I really needed this! Thank you!!

Mi piace

Thank you for this Mwangangye 💜 💞💞💞

Mi piace

I've always wondered what the trick to first-time obedience is and for me this is the most eye-opening solution.. I will also need to keep relearning this honestly but God will give me the grace... _AMEN.💜💜🧡💛💚💙🤎💞

Mi piace

This is really amazing. It's true reality that we have certainly got to adjust to and leave with.

Thank you darling for the insight.

Thank you .

Mi piace
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