Thursday, September 29, 2011

Grab that umbrella!

Obedience training around my house has slipped.  Oh, let me be honest - it has fallen off the map.  My half-hearted efforts at first-time obedience and joyful obedience have resulted in a grumbling, delayed, questioning, bargaining, group of uprisers.  It's a full-fledged revolt of the "Disobedient vs. the Disenchanted".  Sometimes it is easier to let them grumble and complain rather than correct and discipline.

I know, I know.  I am doing them a disservice by allowing them to skate by.  I know the Bible tells us:
  

  • Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.




  • Colossians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord




  • Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work




  • I know too, that whenever I allow disobedience to plant a seed it will grow into a sequoia.  Quickly.  It doesn't take long for a snowball of "Can I do it in a minute?" and "I can't" to escalate into an avalanche of "I don't wanna!" and "It's not my turn!". 

    Then, guess who is angry?  Me.

    And, guess who's to blame?  Me.

    See, God gives us this giant umbrella of protection, an umbrella of obedience.  Psalm 91 tells us that He provides us with protection and safety.  He shields and shelters us.  This umbrella deflects "terrors of the night" and "dangers of the day".  It repels evil and wickedness.  His desire for each of us is that we remain beneath His Umbrella of Obedience, where we are safe.  Step out from under obedience to Him and who knows what will rain down! 

    Besides, there is something comforting about knowing that our obedience to Him gives us shelter with His feathers, shielded by His wings (Ps 91:4).  His word also tells us:  "Those who love your law have great peace and do not stumble" (Ps 119:165).  We are assured of peace, a discerning mind, sustainment of joy, becoming wiser than our enemies, being revived, and comforted in all our troubles.

    I not only want the protection of His umbrella for my children but I want and need it for myself.  I haven't been exclusive in my half-hearted attempts at obedience training with my kids.  Those lazy attitudes and delayed responses were learned from me.  How convicting and hopeful all at the same time!  If I can have such a negative impact on them, how much more of an impact can I have with the Lord behind me, supporting my desire for ALL of our obedience?!

    So, here are the New and Improved Obedience Goals:
    1. Obey the FIRST time, IMMEDIATELY - no delays or objections
    2. Obey joyfully - We'll be mimicking Chik-fil-a's response "It'll be my pleasure!".
    3. Obey in small things and big things - disobedience in small things are more likely to lead to disobedience in all things.
    4. Obey with a whole heart - using all our energy and determination
    5. Obey based on the truth of God - learning to obey without blind obedience, understanding God's truth and authority 
    Are they realistic?  Yes!  Will it be difficult and trying?  YES!  Can we do it with the Lord's grace, wisdom, and instruction?  YES!  We'll be grabbing that Umbrella of Obedience with both hands!

    "The best measure of a spiritual life is not its ecstasies but its obedience." Oswald Chambers

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