No Delay to Obey

We live in a very blessed culture in 21st century America. We live in a world of options and diverse blessings. Think about this. At the risk of making everyone tune out of worship today in favor of thinking about lunch, fast forward to a post- service lunch decision type conversation. We have options in this regard. For lunch today, you can have food from whatever country you want—sometimes we get into heated debates about this. “I’m thinking Mexican,” someone says. “No! We need to get Italian!” Another voice rings out. “How about a good ol’ burger?” We can go around and around because we have so many options. It’s a blessing and a curse. Mostly a blessing, though. 

We love being able to choose things based on our own preference. So, when we start hearing God saying things like “trust and obey” in the Bible, we might be given some pause. We might start thinking if we submit to God we will miss out on all the wonderful options we have in this life. Aside from ‘obvious sins,’ there are constant distractions that keep us connected and/or entertained. The devil likes to use these things to slow us down and keep us constantly pivoting to the next thing—we can do this much that we miss what God wants for us. 

That’s why Ananias said this to Paul in Acts 22.16—“Why do you wait?” Paul wanted to learn what it means to follow Jesus and Ananias let him know what the next step in his journey was. “Arise and be baptized…wash away your sins, calling on his name.” Paul was baptized then and there. After that, Paul didn’t slow down or stop. He kept us his job as a tentmaker while he went on spreading the gospel and encouraging disciples to do the same thing. There was no slow down or quit in the apostle Paul.

This same apostle tells us to “imitate him as he imitates Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11.1) Are we eager to obey King Jesus the way Paul was? Do we believe that God’s purpose is higher than our own? Does the love that Jesus brings dwell in us and urge us on to move the way he moved? Are there aspects of your faith that need attention? “Why do you wait?” Don’t delay. Obey God—not out of sense of obligation, but out of an earnest love and excitement for the joy, peace and purpose that will all surely come when you do. 

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Cain Atkinson

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