If you have ever attended Sunday School or read the Book of Jonah, you know that as Jonah ran away from God’s instruction the more troublesome his life became.
Well, friends, call me Jonah–for now. I have the tendency to do what I want to do when I want to do it. But, since I’m not trying to end up in the belly of the proverbial whale, my goal for the year is to be totally submitted to God. I really don’t want to be swallowed up. Therefore, it makes sense for my word of the year to be obedience.
According to Google, obedience means “compliance with an order, request, or law or submission to another’s authority.” For me, it means complying with what God leads me to do–even if I am scared, don’t feel like it, or don’t want to. I will comply.
Why Don’t I Always Comply?
I could say that I am human. But as an individual, things are much more nuanced than simply being human. Off the top of my head, there are a few reasons.
- I like to do what I want to do.
- I like being in control.
- Sometimes, I think I know best.
- Sometimes, I am afraid.
- Most of the time, I don’t trust God enough to submit.
Did I type that I don’t trust God enough? Yikes! I’m admitting it out loud. There have been quite a few things I’ve handed over to him that didn’t even get close to the outcome I wanted. Even as I write this, Isaiah 55:8 comes to mind: “‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.'”
If I could pry God’s fingers apart, I would because my mind unsuccessfully tries to fathom what he has in his hand for me. I know what he has for me is good but I also know what I want. We say Jesus take the wheel when we are afraid, but when we are confident in our own might, we try to take the wheel back.
In other words, we trust ourselves more than we trust God, the creator of the entire universe. How arrogant is that? I don’t trust God enough to submit? It makes very little sense as he has all the answers.
When the Apostle Paul wrote Romans 15:13, I often imagine him sending that letter directly to me because he knew that I was having a hard time trusting God. He wrote, “I pray that the God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Confident hope comes through the power of the Holy Spirit when we trust in God.
This year, I will walk in obedience because I have confident hope for outcomes too great to imagine as a result of my trust in God and the power of the Holy Spirit.