Listen, Debate, and Obey

Listen, debate, and obey. God did not speak these words to me today. He told me to listen and obey. I have such a very long way to go in learning to listen, and an equally long way it seems in learning to obey. But most of all, I need to learn how to listen and obey without debating.
What exactly do I mean by this? When God tells me to do something, I often have a few questions first. Why? What’s going to happen? What will the other person say? What will those people over there do? Do I have to do this? Do I really need to do this NOW? What if I don’t do it? Is it really you talking to me, God?

I am blessed to say I have read some books and blogs recently that comfort me in knowing I am not the only far-from-perfect Christian woman out there. But I am even more comforted in knowing that Jesus is not only the author of my faith. He is also the “completer” and the “perfecter” of my faith, according to Hebrews 12:2 in the Bible. I had always thought Jesus was the “finisher” of my faith according to the Bible translation I usually read, but it was comforting to be reminded that He is the “perfecter”. In other words, there is not only a beginning and an end to my walk with the Lord. There is an in between, and the Lord will take me through the perfecting process. When it comes to listening and obeying, with a whole lot of debating in between, I not only have a long way to go. I have Jesus to perfect me in the process.

I don’t recall being a big “why” person as a child, nor do I remember questioning everything. But then, I don’t remember most of my childhood anyway. So perhaps I am having a delayed childhood – maybe? Okay, perhaps I’m barking up the wrong tree. Or coming up with implausible excuses anyway.

The bottom line is that I need to learn how to listen to God, and to obey God, without tossing in the debating in between. Not only I am distrusting, and disrespecting, God in the process, but I am also delaying the inevitable. God wants to take me from point A to point B, and debating His instructions before taking action is only holding everything up. Not only am I holding things up, but I may be missing opportunities. While some of these opportunities may be somewhat small and perhaps insignificant, other opportunities could be a matter of life or death, physically and even spiritually.

Just weeks ago, I heard the Lord speak to me as I was driving. He told me to slow down. He told me to go under a certain speed. Now this didn’t make any sense to me, as I tend to be a somewhat slow driver anyway. But by obeying the Lord, I realized in just minutes that He was protecting me from a potential accident that if I remember correctly could have resulted from my smashing into a deer that ran across the road.

And just days ago, I heard in my heart that I should share the Gospel with a young couple that approached me on the beach to meet three-legged Lucy and paralyzed Mercy in her doggie wheelchair. Instead of obeying what very likely was the Lord speaking to me, I did not share the Gospel because I became confused. Was it really God speaking to me? Now really, would the devil have told me to share the Gospel? I honestly don’t know whether I was meant to share the Gospel with this couple, but I do know this. I have spent far too much time questioning, debating, and doubting when the Lord does speak to me to reap the full rewards of obedience.

Do I have a long way to go? Most certainly. The good news is I am well aware of my travels thus far. I am well aware of how far I have yet to go. And most importantly, I know that following the Lord is the only way to go.

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