Since having a child, I find myself discovering more about how the Lord views us. In some ways, it's good. I can now truly appreciate how God loves us as His children as I see how I love my daughter. In disciplining her, I see the desire to give grace and love. But sometimes when I tell my daughter the same thing over and over and I know she understands, she won’t listen and obey. She screams or whines or pouts and tries to do what she wants. Sometimes I wonder why it's so difficult for her to just listen sometimes. Doesn't she realize that I know what's best for her?
I can't even begin to count how many times I have done this with the Lord. I mess up and learn how to do better next time, but then I don’t actually do better. Other times I get annoyed that the Lord wants something of me that I don't want to give. Sometimes I'm just not listening and need to be told over and over as if I am a defiant toddler. And I probably look just as immature to God. Thankfully, like a loving parent, God gives us abundant grace. But also as a loving parent, He rewards and disciplines us accordingly.
I've been reading in 1 Samuel lately, which says a lot about obedience. God rewards Samuel's obedience by giving the Israelites victory over their enemies. Then there was Saul who was made king of Israel by God because the people had disobeyed and desired an earthly king. The Lord was gracious in warning them that a human king would have its drawbacks, but they still wanted a human king for their own interests. Saul ended up disobeying very clear instructions on a few occasions, and God gave Saul consequences for his disobedience. The downfall of Saul began, and his sons would no longer be his successors. He could have had a great legacy, but he disobeyed and lost it all because he thought he knew better. Samuel, on the other hand, remained obedient to God’s commands and received many blessings throughout his life.
Luke 11:28 “But He said, ‘More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!’”
We need to practice simple obedience to the Lord. We need to stop throwing toddler fits and listen with an open heart. He knows what's best for us and can show us if we trust and obey.