Saturday, April 14, 2007

Mommyhood - A Lesson in Obedience

My kids are really good at obeying. (Not bragging, just saying) As parents, Mario and I feel it is very important to teach them obedience by training them how to obey. If they can obey us then it will be easier for them to obey God. Not to mention make their childhoods a lot more pleasant. We will periodically tell them to do random tasks that really do not pertain to anything we are doing just to train them to obey without question. God tells us to do things all the time that never make sense at the beginning but when the situation at hand is part of our life story, we can look back at that chapter and understand why we were told to do whatever it was. I want my kids to have that kind of obedience. And in the world today, it is important that they obey without question so they will stay safe.

When I am training my kids, God is faithful to show me how he trains me in the same way. He wants me to obey even the most strange, or illogical commands without question, for my own good. He has plans for me to prosper and if I do not obey, how can he set those plans into motion? The Israelites did not obey without serious protest and God became angry with them several times. He kept asking them why they wouldn't obey his commands. They walked around the desert for 40 years while God had to teach them how to obey him.

- My children, do not worry about food, I will feed you heavenly food every day. Do not gather more than you need today, for tomorrow I will feed you again. Except for the day before the Sabbath, gather enough for 2 days, which is the only time this food will not spoil on the next day. The ones that obeyed had no problem. The ones that didn't went hungry and I am sure complained about it.

-Noah, build a giant boat I am going to flood the earth. Noah probably asked God what a flood was. But Noah did this, at that time, very bizarre task, even thought it most likely didn't make any sense to him. Very simply, Noah obeyed.

-Abraham, take your son up to this mountain and kill him as an offering to me. Now that command took serious trust in God, to know that God knew what he was doing. Abraham obeyed. God blessed him beyond measure because he obeyed.

-Joshua, you will take this city by walking around in circles. No weapons will be needed you do not need to charge the city gates. Just walk around in circles and then blow your trumpets. Joshua, amazingly, obeyed. And the walls came tumbling down, because Joshua obeyed.

-Jesus spit in some dirt, put the mud he made on a guy's eyes and told him to go wash it off at this one specific pool. Now this to a normal person makes no sense but the guy did not wipe off the mud right away, he went to the exact pool as he was told and washed it off there. He got to see for the first time ever in his life because he obeyed.

My obedience is nowhere near that I don't think. But lately God is showing me how to obey just by trust. Thinking about it with a worldly mind makes me look nuts. Our job and our home at this point have no security, we are managing an apartment complex that is being sold, and another management company will be managing it. But I have been realizing that I never put my trust in my job or my home so that never really got me worried. What did, was knowing that I have a responsibility to my children. I am not just throwing caution to the wind for myself but my kids too. However, I am trusting in God. I know that he already has in place our next step. We just have to obey him and trust that he knows what he is doing.

Obedience takes trust, it really does. It also takes faith, which is very similar to trust - but not the same thing. Me trusting in the Lord and obeying him is yet another way I can train my kids to obey without question. This is the best lesson as it is by example. Now, I don't ask them to lift up their staff so the sea can be parted or to fill several jars with oil that seems to be coming out of nowhere because you know there wasn't that much in the first jar to begin with. I am just telling them to put their shoes on even though we aren't going anywhere. Go brush their hair even though they already did. Put this object over there for no apparent reason. Or to just do something that needs to be done without them asking "Why?" Now, here is a question. Why is it common now to have to explain every reason to a child? Children do not need to always know why; they just need to obey, "Because I said so." Noah, Abraham, the blind guy I am sure did not ask why and I know that God did not explain it to them before they obeyed.

Obedience is not on the condition of knowing why, it is to be on the condition of trusting that God (or the person in authority) knows what he is doing.

Jonah did not obey. God had to discipline him by allowing a giant fish to swallow him (yuck that is just gross!) and throwing him up on the beach (like I said-yuck) so Jonah could have a second chance at obedience. At my house, that happens. But not as gross, just an effective means of discipline to allow the kids to rethink the whole obedience thing and try again. Jonah learned his lesson. But of course, who would want to be swallowed twice. My kids usually learn their lesson the first time, but then again I don't have them swallowed by a fish.

I am learning a lesson in obedience. I know I have just scratched the very top layer of the surface on obedience. The Bible is so full of examples. The greatest example of all, Christ was obedient to the cross. If he didn't obey, I would be facing certain eternal death and so would every person who has ever walked the face of this earth.

"I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me." Genesis 22:17&18

"Although he was a son he learned obedience from what he suffered and, one made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him" Hebrews 5:8

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