A Simple Obedience – So Simple, Yet So Not Easy

Lately I’ve been struggling on how to more quickly obey without any delay.  I think it comes from being a parent.  So often, one of my children will choose to obey…eventually.  It’s that “eventually” that gets under my skin and I think has begun to make me question how often I do that with God.  You know, some circumstance that God allows to test us & show us that we can simply say “yes” and get it done right away but we wait, dragging our feet to turn in the direction of obedience.

Recently I was asked to stand and be counted among people who think that men should marry women, not men, and that women should marry men, not women.  I was asked to speak my opinion on the matter at a Cuyahoga County Council meeting.  I had reluctantly agreed.  I agreed because so much of this issue is so clear throughout the Scripture.  I was reluctant because I knew that this issue is often decided by legislators before it gets to public debate. (I guess that reveals my lack of faith in democratic government as it currently operates or perhaps what I think of democratic government when many legislators are not Holy Spirit-filled servant leaders.)

So yesterday evening, I delayed my departure from the church building.  I had a meeting that I had intended to leave before it was finished so I could get downtown to the Cuyahoga County Council meeting.  As the time came for me to go, I stayed!  God was pulling at me but in my humanness I wanted to stay right where I was and not go to the Council meeting.  Just as the church meeting was starting to end, I received a text message from someone I told about the Council meeting with one word in it, “Praying.”  Conviction tore through my heart.  When the church meeting was over, I knew I couldn’t delay any longer…I almost ran out of the church building and left without asking anyone to pray for me even though I desperately wanted to ask them to pray.

I found a parking place across the street from the Justice Center, walked acorss the street & up the steps, praying with each step.  Going through the metal detectors, I struck up a conversation with the rude Sheriff who was sizing me up.  I chatted him up about some other Sheriffs who I had played basketball with & it turned out he knew them so he softened toward me quite a bit.  I thanked him & walked on.

Entering the Council Chamber, I signed in, completed a form asking to speak to Ordinance 02011-0042, and asked where on the agenda they were.  They were already in the public comment and almost at the end of their list of people who had asked to speak to the issue.  Even as he took the paper, I wanted to take it back but instead moved to a seat near to those I knew were in favor of the Ordinance.

Opening my Bible, I prayed for confirmation of what to say.  I had many good thoughts on the issue but several days prior God put it on my heart to only share Scripture with little to no commentary.  My mind was reeling as I put book marks by various passages and tried to think through what I would say with each.  Then I heard a voice speak the Name of Jesus and call the act of same-gender sex a sin!  My heart leaped as I the person had previously provided a strong argument against the issue prior to confessing Christ.  In my mind & spirit, I heard “just Scripture, just My Words; not yours.”

I got the passages about sexual perversion and one is crouched in repentance but love needs to be heard.  Right!  Got it!

But the presenting issue is about health care, right Lord?  Okay where?  Okay!

Appeal to those who know ME.  Okay.

…and the last public speaker is Juri Ammari…

(REALLY!  THANK YOU JESUS!)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Proverbs 3.5-8

 

Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” John14.21

…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4.8

9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 12 “Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 1 Corinthians 6.9-12

 

(You can watch the whole thing here.)

 

 

 

 

 

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