“Mom! I dropped my flashlight” my daughter yelled from the other room.
“Ok, well, pick it up” I called back.
“I dropped it in the potty” she replied.
Great. Dread came over me when I realized that she had been in the bathroom this entire time. Then frustration when I realized that after the hundreds of times I have told her NOT to bring toys into the bathroom with her, she had done it anyway. And now, the very thing that I was trying to avoid with those rules had happened. She had dropped her toy, a flashlight in this case, into the toilet. And someone was going to have to get it out.
I walked into her bathroom and sure enough, there was the flashlight, floating in the toilet along with…. well, you can just imagine.
If you have never been in this predicament before, let me just tell you, there is nothing worse than having to dig toys out of the toilet. And to make it even better, the flashlight was ON. Lighting up the pot in all of its glory.
I laugh about it now, but at the time there was nothing funny about me plunging my glove- covered hand into the potty to pull out her flashlight and fling it into the trashcan.
This month’s kit from Creative Retreat reminded me of this story and has had me thinking a lot about obedience to the Lord. The focal verse for the kit is James 1:22-25, “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
How often do we open the Word and spend time with the Lord and have distinct instructions from Him on how to live, but we walk away and do our own thing? It’s not that we have a rebellious attitude necessarily, but we keep our un-changed spirit and decide that we would rather live in what we know as comfortable. We decide that instead of dealing with an unclean spirit or a mind that is not fully focused on Him, we will keep on in our ways and live like we think is best.
Obedience to the Lord is the natural overflow of our love, respect and trust of Him. Obedience is a choice that is rooted in the desire to show love and honor to Him because you respect Him. It’s a matter of us having a heart that wants to obey and the desire to live a life that is pleasing to Him. We have to come to the place in our lives where we trust Him and accept His ways, even when we don’t like it, even when it requires us to change and even when it means becoming vulnerable to the point of brokenness. It’s easy to walk away from that mirror and forget what God says about your sin. And it’s even easier to walk in the ways that YOU deem best. But is that really best? It’s hard to walk the straight and narrow. It’s hard to follow the guidelines that God sets for us, especially when we have been living with a sin for so long that is almost second nature to us. But in order to be a doer, and not just a hearer, we have to be willing to surrender. Not the surrender that says, “Fine, Lord. Whatever you want, do it.” That is just as much a slap in the face to Him as our intentional disobedience. I’m talking about the surrender that says, “Ok, God. Here’s what I’m dealing with and to be straight honest, I don’t want to let go of it. But living a life that is pleasing to you is more important to me than holding on to this sin. But you’re going to have to help me, because I don’t have the strength to do it alone.” And God is so faithful, you know why? Because instead of Him making you let go of it and stay empty handed, He gives you something else to hold on to – His hand. And He promises that no matter what, He won’t leave you to walk it alone. He won’t require you to take any step that He hasn’t already taken. That, my friends, is one glorious exchange!
So, just like we have boundaries and standards for our own kids, God has those things for us too. But the choice to obey is a decision that we have to make. Examine your heart. Let the mirror of the Word reflect what is deep inside and choose to walk away remembering your deep need for Him. Where your sin runs deep, His grace is more. Let Him have it. And live a life that is completely sold out to Him. ❤
My page for this passage was super-simple and I left a lot of open space for journaling. I truly feel that we are going to be dealing with some heavy heart issues in this kit and I wanted to make sure that I had ample space to write out my prayers.
I started by splattering some Pink and Prussian Blue Neocolor ii onto the page and then used various elements from the Faith-filled digitals set to accent the page. The space that remains I will use to write out my prayers and thoughts. If you haven’t gotten this kit yet, you can grab it in the Creative Retreat shop here.