As I was driving back from work today, I tried to imagine a driver’s life without road signs and stop lights. I had these thoughts and imaginations because people drive crazy especially in Chicago. There is a reason we have road signs and stop lights because these signs and stop lights regulate the flow of traffic. I know you know all this, but just stick with me because I am going somewhere. These road signs and stop lights serve a purpose, the are placed in areas that caution drivers on what action to take. We know when to exit when we see the exit sign and when to stop when the light is red. We are instructed to do so and our disobedience to follow these signs can have some major consequences. When you miss your exit, you may be adding a couple more minutes to your drive time. Also, when you run a red light at a intersection you are most likely to get involved in an accident. So it is probably easy to obey than it is to disobey, right? But have you ever been late to something and put the pedal to the metal? I have, I was driving 80 miles per hour on a 60 speed limit zone some time back when I was a running late to an event. Unfortunately, the cops got me where I shouldn’t have been, so I was ticketed and I still didn’t make to the event in time. I was disobedient and had some consequences to because of my actions, it cost me money that I could have used for something else. My thoughts after that were, “oh, if only I just obeyed and drove within the limit” and later on I questioned my use of google maps versus the waze app that lets you know that there is a speed trap ahead. On a more serious note, take all that I have said about roads and drivers and think of how disobedience in your life left you dealing with some bad consequences and regret. Now lets talk!
Disobedience is a thorn that we fail to often recognize because it is well disguised in our determination, ambitiousness, greed and self-willed spirit. Being a self willed person myself, I can tell you that I have been quite disobedient to God’s instructions based off my own idea of the right way was way. So God had to work on that with me and obviously it took a lot of work on my part to finally understand the important of obedience. You know how much time and peace you can save yourself if you just obeyed God’s instructions? You know you would be way ahead than you are right now, if you just obey. Obedience is a challenge, and it also can be rewarding if done right. The challenging part about obedience is that sometimes things don’t make sense. God will instruct you on certain things that won’t make sense and obeying that can be hard. Think of the times you were instructed by God, but you didn’t act on the right instruction. You did it your way and later on there came those unnecessary consequences and regrets that could have been avoided. This is were I ask you, do you want it your way or God’s way?
I worked in the kids department at JCPenney a couple of years ago. In the front of the cash registers we had toys and kids throw tantrums when they did not get the toy because mom and dad said no. It was a sight to see, so many meltdowns happened almost everyday and there was nothing we could do as sales associates but watch in wonder. Try to imagine with me, but this time picture yourself throwing a tantrum when things don’t happen your way. God said no to the relationship, he said no to the job you wanted, he said no to all the things he saw would not serve you in the long run, but because you are mad at God you venture off in to disobedience think you figured it out. Only to come back to God wishing you could have followed his clear instructions. God being a God of several chances will give you another chance in hopes that this time you will trust and obey. You are not the first one that has been disobedient, there is scripture that will show you that you are not the first one and certainly not the last.
He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”
62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”Luke 9 v 59-62
Based off the bible verse, I want to highlight the words that defeat the purpose of obedience “let me first”. Notice how all the men Jesus asked to follow him said those three little disobedient words? Jesus’s command was clear, he asked these men to follow him, but they were disobedient by just saying those words. How many times have you said “let me first” when you were given an instruction by God? For me, I am going to be honest and say a lot. I felt I had to have my ducks in a row before jumping, but what that did was that it delayed some certain things. Thorns to Crowns could have been started three years ago, but I said “let me first” a whole lot of times in disobedience. What are you saying “let me first” to that God has clearly instructed you to do? Take sometime to think about it and work on just doing and believing that God sees way ahead of you. If you can see what he can see, you won’t say let me first.
Logic is one of the biggest enemies to obedience right along side being self-willed. Logic and self-willed individuals go through a series of disobedience because the logic thinker wants things to make sense, while the self-willed wants their way. To my logic thinkers obeying God will require you to let those ducks go and step out in faith believing that if God instructed it, he is sure to complete it. To my self-willed friends, your way is not always the right way. You need to give God a chance to prove to you that he knows what is best for you. To all my logical thinkers and self-willed friends if we want to stop the series of regrets, we have to stop putting our decisions ahead of God’s. Rather than us making our own decisions with the little that we know, how about we seek guidance from God that knows it all.
My last word before I chow down and watch America’s Got Talent, is that if you are a crazy driver please follow instructions be courteous to other drivers lol. On serious note, I hope you can take some time to think about being obedient to God’s instructions concerning your life. Trust me when I say that it makes life so much easier for you and others. It is easier to obey than dealing with disobedience and the regrets it tags along to remind you that you messed up. I challenge you to just do it like Nike’s instructions. There are so many rewards that come with obedience. Take that crown! It is time to take our rightful place. It is time to trade thorns for crowns.