Daily Life FollowingOne of the things my husband and I are most strict about with our children is that when we call them they need to come right away…first time. It isn’t a matter of control really, but a matter of obedience and sometimes safety…you know your parents. The other day my oldest was up from the table in the middle of lunch and I wanted him to get back in his seat. We were eating outside so he was on the side of the house when I called him back. I know he heard me because he turned and looked but that’s it. He didn’t move. Just looked at me like, “What are you going to do if I don’t.” I was MAD and he knew it but that didn’t motivate him to move. I actually had to get up and get him. What happened after isn’t really necessary for the purpose of this devotion, but it wasn’t pretty.
This situation got me thinking about the way I am with my Father. Do I come when He calls? First time, no questions asked. I know I answered the call when I was young and chose to follow Him, but do I make the daily decisions necessary to truly come to Him when He calls me?
Daily life following is hard. Just like I ask of my kiddos, sometimes He asks me to do things I really don’t want to do. In Matthew 19 a rich, young man comes to Jesus and asks him what good things he must do to have eternal life. Jesus tells him that he must keep the commandments. To which the young man replies, “I’ve obeyed all of the commandments.” I bet the kid was thinking, “Sweet! I’m in. That was so much easier than what I thought it would be.” But Jesus wasn’t done, you see He knew what was going on. He saw to the heart of the man and in verse 21 He says, “If you want to be perfect go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Wow! Hard stuff. Remember this was a RICH young man. Sadly, the man heard this, and went away.
Your Father knows you. He knows what is beneath the seemingly benign questions you ask of Him. He knows what you are holding on to in your life that keeps you from following Him with your whole heart and just like He called his disciples, He is calling you. Matthew 16:24, Then Jesus said to the disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life.”
Daily life following means listening first. Listening to what the Father is telling you through the Holy Spirit in your life. Sometimes it is just a breath, an inkling or reminder of something He wants you to do for His people…write an encouraging note to a friend or help mow your neighbors lawn. Other times it is a directive like I received the other day, “Traci, you need to take a computer break.” No, I didn’t hear audible words, but the words in my heart were so clear there was no need for a voice and sadly I had been hearing the Holy Spirit tell me this for a month or so. I just didn’t want to do what He told me. How like my children I am. You see, He knows what is standing in the way of me and Him and most often, I can’t see it as clearly. I am too occupied with the computer in front of me and the lives lived out in the blogs I read and not focused on my life and what He wants me to do with it. You see anything can become a distraction, an idol, even good things so much so that when He calls, we don’t even hear, let alone answer.
Daily life following means choosing to do what He says. God doesn’t demand. He doesn’t threaten or hold things over our heads. He loves. He saves. He forgives. Choosing to do what He tells us to do isn’t about control it is about safety really. Following Him puts you under His protective covering. He knows you best. He knows whatever He is asking you to do, give up, take up or let go of is really in your best interest and will ultimately bring you life everlasting. You don’t have to do it, He will still love you, but doing it shows Him how much you love Him. I John 2:5, But those who obey God’s word really do love him. He doesn’t need you to do it, you need you to do it. He doesn’t need me to take a computer break, I need to take one. My ability to hear Him and daily follow Him depends on my obediently answering His call and doing what He tells me.
He may not be asking you to sell all like He did the rich, young man, because ALL may not be your hang up, but he may be asking you to do something else equally as hard in you life. Are you listening and responding first time, no questions.
Remember…..Matthew 11: 29-30, Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.