Archive for March, 2008

Obedience, Part II

I received this email from a friend several years ago. This sort of sums up my post yesterday about obedience being a journey, not a destination.  I do not know the original author, so cannot assign the due credit.

A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and God appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. So, this the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sunup to sundown, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all of his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.

Since the man was showing discouragement, the Adversary (Satan) decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the weary mind: “You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t moved.”

Thus, he gave the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man. Satan said, “Why kill yourself over this? Just put in your time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be good enough.”

That’s what the weary man planned to do, but decided to make it a matter of prayer and to take his troubled thoughts to the Lord. “Lord,” he said, “I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?”

The Lord responded compassionately, “My son, when I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all of your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push.

And now you come to Me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so? Look at yourself. Your arms and back are strong and muscled, your hands are callused from constant pressure, your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. True, you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. That you have done. Now I, my son, will move the rock.”

At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what God wants is just a simple obedience and faith in Him. By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still God who moves mountains.

When everything seems to go wrong … just P.U.S.H.

When the job gets you down . just P.U.S.H.

When people don’t react the way you think they should… just P.U.S.H.

When your money is gone and the bills are due … just P.U.S.H.

When people just don’t understand you …just P.U.S.H.

P = Pray

U = Until

S = Something

H = Happens

March 06 2008 | General | No Comments »


“This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.‘” I Samuel 15:2-3

“Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, to the east of Egypt. He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.” I Samuel 15:7-9

Saul was blatantly disobedient to God. Why did he do this? Was it vanity? Did he think that his need for “stuff” was more important than God’s need for obedience? We do not really know why he did this.

When confronted with his disobedience, Saul starts scrambling. He reminds me of the child who was being chastised for picking his mother’s favorite roses. After the damage is discovered, the child suddenly decides that he picked the roses to give to his mother.

Like Saul, we all are disobedient at times. Whether it is disobedience to a parent, to society, our employer, or God, we all experience some sort of rebellious attitude during our life. Disobedience always comes with a price. When we are disobedient to our employer, it my cost us our job. When we are disobedient with society, it may cost us our freedom. When we are disobedient with God, it may cost us everything. Saul lost his leadership position; Jonah spent three days in the belly of a great fish; Moses was not allowed into the Promised Land. What will you lose?

Dr. Bill Bright, founder of the Campus Crusade for Christ International, wrote once that “there is no place in Christian work for disobedient Christians.” This struck a chord with me one day as I was preparing for a mission trip. It made me realize that to be truly devoted to Christ, I have to live a life of obedience. This is not easy in today’s fast-paced, stress-filled world. In the heat of stress, it can be easy to lose your civil tongue, to lash out verbally in anger, and to fall victim to old habits. God does not call for us to be successful, just obedient. This does not mean that it is okay to slip into old habits. When we fail, we need to pray for forgiveness from the Lord, and ask for forgiveness from the people we have harmed.

Remember, obedience is not a destination, it is a journey.

March 05 2008 | General | No Comments »