Sunday, August 9, 2009

First Time Obedience

“I am tired of always giving you another chance.” Jeremiah 15: 6

When our son was a toddler my husband and I took a parenting course that included training in first-time obedience. Methods of instruction were given to encourage our children to obey as soon as a request was asked of them. No spoken repetition of the task was to be given. The child was to comply immediately without argument. I don’t know how those lessons played out in other homes, but our outcome wasn’t always as favourable and the odd time second and third chances were given.

I wonder if the Lord ever gets tired of always giving me another chance. I wonder if there are some opportunities, that because of either my hesitation or negative reaction, He decides not to present before me again and I lose out on experiencing all God has for me. Are there some situations where He has thrown up His hands concerning an area of my life and said, “No more. I am tired of always giving you another chance”?

His Word says that His Spirit will not always strive with our spirit (Gen 6:3). There comes a point where we must suffer the consequences of our choices, whether that comes in the form of discipline or missed/lost opportunities.

Maybe God has asked you over and over again to join Him in some area of service, and today is the last time you’ll hear Him present this exact request before you. If you knew you’d never be offered this opportunity again, would it make a difference? Would your response be different? Don’t live with regrets. Seek the Lord. We need to heed the ‘firsts’ as much as the ‘lasts’. Many times we just think we’ll do it later, or next time, but eventually we live in a place that never was. The Lord is waiting for our obedience in a certain area, knowing how our obedience will open doors of fulfillment, but with each ‘no’ the opportunity passes and we become numbered with the less courageous. The time for that specific opportunity has come and gone and the Lord presents the request to someone else. He becomes tired of our rejection and our choice to remain in a cycle of rebellion.

Oh Lord, how I pray it’s not too late. Please don’t give up on me. I don’t want to live a life that is shy of Your best for me. Please forgive me for the many times I have said ‘no’ to You. I can’t go back, but I can move forward. Help me become someone You can turn to and say, “I’ll ask Joy. She embraces My plans for her, trusts Me and steps out in faith.” May I respond with first-time obedience.

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Rachel B said...

This was soooo good. I just mentioned this last week in a book study we are doing. I said, "God doesn't always give us a second chance!" I got some strange looks from a couple of the women in the study. But it's true!

My two year old son likes to watch the Veggie Tales Movie "Jonah" In that film they sing a song, "God, is a God of second chances." BUT I want my little son to know that God doesn't HAVE TO keep giving up chances. Yes, he is full of love, grace and mercy, but we should also try to do what is right. Sometimes we do things that can't be reversed...or don't do something and miss the opportunity given to us.

I don't think this is a very popular topic in a lot of Christian I am thrilled to read this on your blog. Very good writing!

I really appreciate your prayer at the end. This is my prayer as well. :)

Sande said...

An issue that is current with us too. Regarding His voice, His words. Showing us what it's like through our family to make a request and have that ignored, considered and implemented if its convenient, outworked but while complaining, repeatedly critizing our choice of request, or completed if they feel it will have a favorable outcome.

Don't get me wrong. Our kids are fantastic workers ... together we manouvred eight tonnes of mulch in four hours yesterday. And their attitudes aren't the sum of the picture I have painted.

We all have that 'old man' that flesh tendency in us. He probably was just using them to reveal more of my muck. To trust Him .... that He is there and guides me for US. For our relationship. Not to be a big bully or control freak.

I get it in my head Father but help me really get it in my heart.

~Grace and Peace said...

You made me think. Well, guilty as charged. I'm such a procrastinator I wonder if God just bypasses me thinking it won't get done the 1st time He asked. And yet....when my boys do this to me I get very irritated. Oh, I didn't realize how much I grieve my Father's heart.