I stirred awake at a dark and early 4:30 AM. With all intention of rolling over and going to bed for another hour and a half, I closed my eyes. Like a whisper into my consciousness, I heard Do the dishes.
Still, calm, and direct, yet I began wrestling with God. “What? Now? It’s 4:30 in the morning? Couldn’t I just do it later?”
Isn’t that what you said yesterday? Isn’t that what you say about our time together so often?
“Yes, but… It’s…”
Delayed obedience is still disobedience.
“Couldn’t you wake mu up again in thirty minutes?” Regrettably, I still rolled over as I was “thinking” about getting out of bed. I drifted asleep with the faint voice of someone stirring me out of a dream until my husband’s snoring (which consequently stopped after I left the room) woke me up like a siren from heaven. Do the dishes.
“Ok. I’m up!” I look at the clock; it’s 4:45 now, though it felt like seconds, moments from when God first woke me. I got dressed in the darkness of the before dawn hour and made my way to the kitchen where I heard again, Delayed obedience is still disobedience.
“God, I know. I’m sorry.” The morning dialogue then got a bit disconnected and scattered. I start thinking about my parents. By this standard of measure, delayed obedience, I was a very disobedient child. I knew I needed to make it right with them later in the day. Then my mind began to wander to job applications. There is one open that I have applied for a couple of times already. “God, should I apply for this job? Is it what you have for me or will I be rejected again?” There is a pause as I do some dishes. “I’ll admit it, God. I’m afraid of being rejected again.”
My perfect love casts out all fear. I have called you for a purpose.
“Thank you, God, for your love and your hand over my life. I will trust you and your purpose,” I think as tears cloud my eyes.
God will speak with us if we draw near to Him. Sometimes it will take obedience to open our ears to hear. Sometimes God wants to remind us of HIS truth. And sometimes he has many reasons for doing things. As I finished up my dishes and my conversation with God, I asked him, “Why? Why did I have to get up to do the dishes? Why do you care about them?”
I needed to know that you would get up and obey me when I call on you later.
I can’t say I passed the test, but the lesson is learned and I am thankful for the intimacy of the Holy God that I can have a complete conversation with him. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)
And today I have learned that being obedient means laying down your will the first time to submit to authority, especially when that authority is the Holy God! I am yours, Lord! “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.” James 4:7-8a