The struggle is real. A 4 year old boy in a department store. If you are a parent today, and have raised a son to this level of maturity you could write the story yourself. The fact is, there are times in life in which a normal human being must go to a store of their choice and buy things such as clothes for oneself or gift items for another. This is a pretty mundane occurence.
The difficulty comes when this individual, and their significant other have created another human being in the relatively recent past and this miniture human seems to think this store is a neutral zone in which the house rules no longer apply. The end result is discipline…justice.
It can be frustrating when interacting with a child and trying to embed in their heart and mind the concept of obedience. Our son in a runner. When he is placed in a situation in which him and his sister out number the adult supervision, he makes it a point to make whatever adult is in attendance work for their accolades. At the end of the experience we find a parent who just can’t seem to keep their sanity. When in a store with a short amount of time to finish errands, my son will make the decision to play tag at the most inconvenient times. This causes an obvious safety problem. Deep within us is the fear that someone will snatch him up when he is out of view. This concept has been conveyed to him regularly, and it will stick for a period of time.
The Israelites in the Old Testament behaved in the same way. God sent prophet after prophet to keep them pointed in the right direction. He gave them moral and social law, not to burden them, but to make their lives run more efficiently. He gave them spirit filled leaders, who were not perfect, but were put into place to lead by example. God’s people would obey and live in holy abundance, but when things became more difficult, they would fall away into a more convenient pattern of life. The creator of the universe desired to show His children love through provision, miracles, and mercy. These people had such trouble staying in an attitude of obedience.
There is a problem with obedience. It is unnatural. In the depths of who we are, we have a constant impulse to follow our own way. There is something temporarily satisfying about creating our own solutions to the problems and hardships of life. It feels good to be in control…especially when things go somewhat well. Obedience takes us out of our element and puts our future in God’s hands. It makes us admit that our abilities do not measure up. The Israelites found out time after time that God’s way is right, and the guidance He gave was not oppressive but meant to make their life run in the way in which it was created. Why, then, do we reject God’s way time after time? I think, because, we have to admit our own weakness.
How many times have you reflected on your life and realized it didn’t go as planned? Of these instances, how many times did you realized you followed what felt right instead of what was right? The enemy of our souls wants us to follow our impulses. When we give our heart and life to God, our impulses become missional and our desires become His.
Don’t reject obedience. Pray for His wisdom.