so simple. yet so difficult

I didn’t get it as a kid.  My parents would tell me to do something, or to not do something else, and I would do the opposite.  (Sorry Mom and Dad.  I get it now).

What is it about growing up that makes us question authority?  Why don’t we simply trust they have our best interest at heart, and that things really will go better if we simply listen to the advice or direction they give?
I am on the other side now.  Don’t get me wrong; my kids are awesome and obedient much of the time.  They have good hearts that want to do what’s right.  Most of the time.  But sometimes directions are ignored and rules are broken and then there is a mess to clean up.
As I shared with you in the past, I am trying to read through the entire Bible chronologically, for the first time in my life.  To do so, I like to get through a few pages or chapters each day.  My focus isn’t just to get it done, but when I’m reading a historical account, it generally is easy following along on the first reading and so I can get through a ‘good’ amount.
This morning was different.  I read one sentence and stopped.  I couldn’t get any further.
“But if you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and do not obey….” (Deuteronomy 28:15)
It goes on to give consequences.  But it’s not to consequences that had my attention.  It was that simple statement.  Read it again.  Maybe you already have.  Maybe it hit you, like it did me.
“But if you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and do not obey….”
Those 15 words succinctly tell us why things are wrong with this world.  I can pretty much point to any time in my life where ‘things were going wrong’, and it was because either I was refusing to listen to God and refusing to obey Him, or someone in that situation was refusing to listen and obey the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
It’s all right there!  It’s so simple! Yet for me this morning, and even late into tonight, it remains so profound.
Why won’t we listen?
Why won’t we obey?
He has our best interest at heart.
He wants us to be filled with love
and with joy
Peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
I just need to listen.  I simply must obey.
Next time you are in the midst of a situation gone awry, instead of getting mad or blaming someone, I have a challenge for you.
Stop.  Take a deep breath.  And consider a question few of us like to consider.
Am I listening to God in this situation?  Am I obeying what I know He wants me to do?
If you don’t know, ask Him.  If the answer doesn’t come right away, stay in prayer until you feel His peace.
But, if the answer to both questions is ‘yes,’ then we have an opportunity to be a blessing to someone else who is answering no to one or both of those questions.
They are hurting, and because they are hurting, they are hurting me.  How can I help?