Does my attitude really matter if I am being obedient? Last year, the overall lesson that God was working in my life was obeying no matter what. Obedience led to me quitting my job and moving across the world to teach English to South Korean students. Obedience led me to giving away most of my possessions and going abroad. Obedience led to me coming back to the US early. Obedience led to a place I didn’t really didn’t want to live in. Obedience led to my mother living with me. Obedience led to me learning to serve. Obedience has led to some of the best moments in my life, even though I didn’t always realize it at the time. Let me emphasis the word some because sometimes obedience just wasn’t great.
I reluctantly quit my job concerned about the financial ramifications only to find that life in South Korea was amazing. I planned on staying forever (or at least until the presidential hoopla was over). When He called me home early, I reluctantly packed my bags to go home with the thought of just 12 months and then going back. I had it all planned out. I’m pretty sure every time that happens, God chuckles a bit.
In my small group it recently came up that I talk about my desire to be abroad a lot and that would have been that except the Holy Spirit began to convict me. I think reluctance obedience is obedience and it’s a good thing that God will reward. We’re called to be obedient:
“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all of his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.” – Deuteronomy 28:1
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” – John 14:15
“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” – Luke 11:28
So yes, I obviously believe that we are called to be obedient no matter what BUT we should also be examining our hearts and our attitudes towards what we’re being called to obey. God doesn’t ask us to obey because He wants us to be unhappy or to “miss out”. He calls us to obey because He knows the master plan and what we need to be doing to live to our full potential.
Looking at my heart has shown me that my reluctance is closely related to my comfort level. If I am settled and comfortable and obeying brings change, I am reluctant no matter how small the order may be. I’m so busy looking behind me that I fail to see what’s in front of me. I’m Lot’s wife who when the angels told them to leave also warned them:
“Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley.” – Genesis 19:17.
I think those are pretty clear instructions but Lot’s wife couldn’t resist. She was obeying and was leaving but…
“But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” – Genesis 19:26
Looking back cost Lot’s wife her life. One longing glance to her home and her comfort zone led to her demise. It’s a valuable lesson to be learned. I think we need to focus on wholeheartedly obeying and stop looking back! Living in the past means we’re not focused on the present and the future like we should be. God wants to teach us and show us but if we’re always longing for what was, then we’re only shortchanging ourselves and where He’s called us to obey. Be a forward thinker like Paul, who was always on the move. If Paul was looking back, he probably wouldn’t have been the Paul we know. After the first boat wreck, he might’ve sworn never to go on a boat again or the first time he was imprisoned, he might’ve said that he would preach but maybe not as loudly as before.
Friends, I urge you not just to promise to obey the Lord but to promise to joyfully obey and stop looking back! It’s not going to be easy but I know that it will be a game changer.
Are you struggling with reluctance in a specific area of your walk with the Lord? Please comment below and let us know what you think and/or if there are some more biblical examples we could use! As always, we pray this blesses you and helps you in your walk ❤