Be careful what you do, and always do what is right (Proverbs 4:26, NCV).
Friend To Friend
When Dan and I first married, I knew almost nothing about football. In fact, I would often ask, “Honey, who has the ball now?” He was so patient, answering every question without bursting into laughter. Dan’s favorite team was the Dallas Cowboys and his favorite player was Emmitt Smith, their star running back at the time.
During one particular game, Emmitt was playing on grass instead of the artificial turf he preferred. The grass was wet, and Emmett was not playing his best game, falling down two plays out of three. Frustrated with his performance, Emmett took himself out of the game to change cleats. It didn’t help. In fact, it took three cleat changes before he found the ones that gave him the best footing. He then went on to play a phenomenal game and lead his team to victory.
Obedience puts us on solid ground. God is not asking us for a season of obedience. He wants a lifestyle of obedience.
Will Rogers once said, “Live your life in such a way, that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.” In Proverbs 3:6-7 (NCV) Solomon wrote, “Remember the Lord in all you do, and He will give you success. Don’t depend on your own wisdom. Respect the LORD and refuse to do wrong.” Obedience is remembering and choosing God in everything we do, choosing to walk in His steps and following the path He has set for us.
We are to live like citizens of a future world, guarding each step to make sure it matches the step of God. Not out of fear but out of love. Not because man observes and keeps score, but because God watches and we want to please Him. “Obey God because you are his children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of doing evil; you didn’t know any better then.” (Peter 1:14, NLT). We cannot come to Christ and continue to respond to the world in the same way. Our behavior will change along with our perspective, our standards, our motives – everything. As Paul says, we become “a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV). This holy discipline sounds like an impossible and overwhelming command. It is – outside the power of God.
Our son played football for many years. Different coaches tried to get Jered to play different positions, but they always ended up playing him as a fullback. College recruiters said he was a “throwback” and explained that Jered was built like a true fullback; he ran like a true fullback and thought like a true fullback. Consequently, he rarely fumbled the ball, explaining his success in a way I remember to this day: “Most players who carry the ball either make the mistake of trying to create their own route or end up following the wrong guy. I have blockers assigned to me on every play. Their job is to make a path for me. The minute I get the ball, I put my head down, look for my blockers, watch their feet and follow them – right across the goal line.”
God has already been where He wants us to go. All we have to do is look for Him, watch His steps and follow them – right across the finish line. Discipline your steps, making sure that they match His.
Father, I want to obey You. Forgive me when I let fear keep me from walking in Your steps or when I listen for the voice of others above Yours. Give me a hunger and thirst for Your Word so that I can grow up in You and become a mature believer that honors You with her life. Give me the strength and power to step out in faith.
In Jesus’ name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read Psalm 86:11. “Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name” (NIV).
The psalmist prays for an “undivided heart.” Examine your own heart. Is it divided? What does that mean to you and how does it impact your walk with God?
Read Romans 10:17. “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (NIV).
How does the Word of God impact the strength of your faith?
More from the Girlfriends
Mary’s MP3 download, Stepping Out in Faith, will help you discover a new confidence in God and the power of obedience to Him. And be sure to check out Mary’s new weekly Online Bible Study From a Mess to a Miracle beginning July 8. Enroll now and have access to all 2013 lessons. And be sure to connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.