Yesterday I wrote this statement towards the end of my blog: “Keeping my eyes on God and staying obedient to Him is what will keep me steadfast and patient.” Yesterday’s lesson for me was entirely on patience. Patience is a key practice of separating what is mine to do and what I need to surrender to God for it is not mine to do. Keeping my eyes on God and listening to Him is critical. The other piece to yesterday’s lesson which didn’t hit me until this morning is obedience. Today I need to address this more fully.
I started I Timothy this morning where Paul is writing to his “spiritual son” Timothy. All we know is that Timothy is young and is being discipled by Paul who is now older. Paul has learned a great deal from the time of his zealous pursuits of killing and imprisoning the Christians of the early church. He writes to Timothy outlining how to pray and for whom he should be praying. Paul also tells Timothy of his ignorant disobedience to God in his earlier years and of God’s mercy steering him into conscious obedience. It is this that hit me so squarely–conscious obedience.
There are times during the day when I don’t want to respond to a nudge God gives me. Lots of reasons may be given for this but it usually centers around being tired or focused on something else at the moment. Sometimes it is simply–God, I don’t want to do that. The fact that this too is sin hadn’t hit me as it did today. When God nudges it is because His timing is perfect. If I disobey the nudge I am putting my own timing ahead of God’s. The other part of this ties to the lesson of yesterday about patience. There are times when I want to do something and God is nudging that it is not the right time. If I choose to pursue anyway, I once again sinfully disobey.
The last thing that is becoming very clear to me is that even though we are a new creation, we still have choice. I’ve spent my life addressing the sins of abuse–hiding them, counseling about them, writing a book about them, etc. In all of this I wanted to be free of sin’s bondage. What I thought I’d have on the other side of this bondage is freedom from sin. I hadn’t thought about the fact that Earnie would still have choice to sin as a new creation. I was too focused on sins of the past. I’ve heard many older people talk the choice to sin is ever before them. Finally I understand this. I want to choose obedience to God but my humanness is always with me. I truly want to be awake to this truth.