Slow Obedience is No Obedience

Around two years ago I became a parent, and since that time I’ve learned more lessons than I can count. Much of what I’ve learned has been difficult to accept, mostly because as I attempt to raise a helpless little human, my own selfishness is brought to the surface. Ouch.

Without question one of the biggest and most impactful lessons I’ve learned pertains to obedience. In trying to teach my son the importance of quick obedience I use phrases like “to delay is to disobey” or “slow obedience is no obedience,” but how many times do I delay in my obedience to God?

How many times have I prayed that God would change my heart, but then I don’t take any action? I know the right thing to do yet I don’t do it. The Christian life doesn’t involve simply lounging in a comfy chair with a little umbrella in our drink while we wait for God to change us or to change our situation. No, as believers we are to obey God’s Word. Immediately. Whether we feel like it or not. We must will to do God’s will (John 7:17). We must quickly repent of our disobedience and focus our eyes upon Christ.

In her book, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, Rosaria Butterfield says: “Repentance requires greater intimacy with God than with our sin. How much greater? About the size of a mustard seed. Repentance requires that we draw near to Jesus, no matter what. And sometimes we all have to crawl there on our hands and knees.”

Oftentimes we don’t understand why we are having to endure a particular trial, and wallowing in self-pity sounds a lot easier than obedience to God’s Word. But our feelings will change only after we have obeyed. “Obedience comes before understanding” (Butterfield). May we never presume upon God’s grace. We must rely upon His grace to carry us through life, but that doesn’t mean we just wait for God to give us more grace before we take action. He has already given us everything we need in Christ. We must take action, we must deny ourselves, we must follow God’s Word, and God will graciously change us into the likeness of Christ as we seek to follow and obey Him.


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