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 football 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, Emmitt took himself out of the game to change cleats. It didn’t help. In fact, it took three more 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 does not ask 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.”
King Solomon said it this way in Proverbs 4:26: “Be careful what you do, and always do what is right (Proverbs 4:26 NCV).
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.
Obedience calls us 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 sees you through eyes of love, and because we want to please Him.
“So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then” (Peter 1:14 NLT).
We cannot come to Christ and keep responding to the world in the same way. When we truly encounter the living God, our behavior will change along with our perspective, our standards, our motives – everything.
Paul says that when we come to Christ, we become “a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). This holy discipline sounds like an impossible and overwhelming command. It is – unless it is fueled by the power of God in and through us.
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.” Jered was built like a true fullback; he ran like a true fullback, and he thought like a true fullback.
Jered 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 instead of Yours. Give me a hunger and thirst for Your Word. Help me grow up in You and become a mature believer whose life illustrates a radical obedience to God.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Is your heart divided? How does it impact your obedience to God? Read and memorize 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.”
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