While I’m in the process of making certain decisions – to obey what I believe God is nudging me to do – I find myself reflecting on how we respond as human beings to His call – and especially how I have done so in the past. Life presents choices on a daily manner… from that are relatively simple to decide from what to eat, where to go, what to wear etc.. to more difficult choices such as career, life partner, ministry calling. Over the years, God has been convicting me of how I have been disobedient to His perfect plan.
When it came to a life partner, I had been unknowingly disobedient as I already had my own “Mr Right” mapped out and this was drawn out not prayerfully but rather through prejudices, family expectations, cultural norms etc. For example, I would reject a prospective partner considering ethnicity, age and family background whereas God many years later has rebuked me saying that ALL are His creation and compatibility comes through HIM… Yes, we all have our prejudices developed through our culture and hence we weigh out our options based on this value system… We even understand God’s Word applying these values.
For example, if a culture expects the children – even if they have reached the stage of adulthood – to unquestioningly obey parents, the culture will interpret the verse “Honour your parents” to affirm their cultural value. However, they overlook instances in the Bible, where God calls people out of their families, culture, places to serve Him… whereby family has rejected these individuals. (Perhaps “Christian” parents and culture who instill unquestionable obedience consider these Bible characters as those who have ‘sinned’.)
Even when it comes to ministry callings, we let these same value systems filter what God is telling us to do, and decide whether to go ahead or not based on it… Worse, we would make excuses for our logic saying that “it isn’t God’s way”. However, if we were truly honest with ourselves, we would see the calling of the Biblical characters and even Jesus for that matter – they stepped out of the cultural boundaries and norms and expectations so that God would be glorified.
For whatever reason, we often disobey God.. Sin is not about “good and bad” but rather, it is not doing what He asks us to do.. When we make decisions based on the flesh to please the world (including ourselves), we forego God’s perfect plan for our lives and through that, we don’t fulfill God’s plan for His glory either. However, we are not invincible… The calling gets passed on and we will face the consequences of our decisions. We have no one to blame – not even those who are asking us to obey them – but ourselves because if we were walking in Him, we would be prepared to take up the cross daily and please God so that His Kingdom will come.
For example, we read of Barak failing in his calling and thus Deborah stepping in. She makes it clear to him,
“But because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours,
for the LORD will hand Sisera over to a woman.” – Judges 4:9
God rebuked Moses for His disobedience (God had asked him to speak to the rock but Moses decided to take matters into his own hands and struck it instead):
Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites,
you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” – Numbers 20:23-24
God then passed on the calling of bringing His people into the Promised Land to Joshua.
King Saul disobeyed God in desiring to please the people. His kingship was taken away from him and passed onto David, who in turn also became a part of the chosen generation.
Where do you stand today?
- What is God laying on your heart right now?
- Where is God nudging you for which you are making excuses?
- What is blocking you from obeying Him? Is it your pride, is it cultural values transposed to God’s Word, is it your ambition or desire to have a social standing, is it your comfort zone…. ?
- Perhaps God wants you to be sit still in His presence and you want to conform to society and run ahead to find a partner..
- Perhaps God is asking you to do something that doesn’t adhere to cultural expectations so you are covering up saying, “It can’t be God as it’s not God’s way”!
God called people out of their comfort zones and familiarity… He called people to do controversial things – for example virgin Mary conceived Jesus Christ, Ruth was sent to Boaz in the middle of the night, Elijah was sent to not just any home but to that of a widow, Jesus not only dined with sinners but went to their home too, He didn’t push away the sinful woman who kissed His feet and wiped them with her hair, He spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well crossing so many cultural norms, Jesus sent the disciples out of town without even an extra tunic with them and asked them to enter the house which welcomes them…. the examples go on and on…
Well talk about social standing, pride, materialism, comfort zone, cultural and family values etc etc..
Was God not glorified through all these situations despite human rejection or perhaps even ridicule?
Who & what do you choose today?
Are you going to use “common sense” or
are you going to surrender and discern God’s perfect and pleasing will for your life?