to obey

To obey is difficult. Obedience seemed to be the theme at church this morning. In my Sunday school class, we talked about the story of Philip and the Ethiopian in Acts. Philip heard the Lord say go toward the south. “And he rose and went.” (10:27a). He simply went. Later, “Go over and join this [the Ethiopian’s] chariot.” (10:29b). Simple as that. Philip obeyed, not knowing where he was going or what was supposed to happen. And he ended up sharing the love of Christ with someone who gladly received it.

A guest speaker in the worship service, a very prominent scholar, shared his testimony of converting from Islam to Christianity. I don’t remember exactly what part of his story he was referring to when he said this, but he said, “You cannot live joyfully without obeying the Lord.”

It’s true. There is often a lack of joy in my life, specifically in the area of vocation, because I don’t obey the Lord. What is so difficult for me about obeying Him is this: I don’t know for sure what He is telling me to do. I think I have some ideas, but what if I do the wrong thing? What if it’s my own will I’m following? I know I will end up where He wants me, because I believe He is sovereign. I pray He will help me recognize His will. He wants me to. He is for me.

In Philip’s case, he didn’t really throw a fit or have an anxiety party. He just went. I suppose I am more like Moses or Jeremiah, who threw up the “but’s”, but eventually obeyed. I’m glad the Bible is full of imperfect people.