Welcome to your morning coffee! May our Heavenly Father help us to better, more fully obey Him today. Father, call us back into your presence in prayer and worship. Call us back into your Word, both alone and with your other children. We are your children if we hear your Word, and do it. Hearing is not enough Father. Make us hungry to do what you have been revealing to us. And help us to seek full obedience in which your delight and your pleasure wash over us both now and forever. And forgive us when our obedience is twisted and blended with our own attitudes and agendas. Forgive us and by your grace help us to embrace the consequences of our choices as your discipline, for we know you love us. In Jesus name, by the Spirit, expose our obedience as it pleases you and as it displeases you. Amen.
Your Morning Song: "This Little Light Of Mine" by Rend Collective
Your Morning Scripture: Genesis 12:1-4
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
So, Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.
Notice anything odd in these verses? God speaks to Abram, telling him to do certain things, and also promising him certain things. God promises to bring a great nation out of Abram, to make Abram's name great, and that He will reward those who bless Abram, and curse those who curse him. And because of Abram, God promises to bless all the families of the earth.
God speaks. He commands him. And He makes promises to him. How does Abram respond? The quick and easy answer would be, "He does what God says to do." But does he?
So, Abram went, as the Lord had told him, (so far so good)
and Lot went with him.
Wait. But God said, "Go from your country and your kindred." What is happening here? Abram is obeying God, but not fully, not exactly. If you continue to read the story of Abram, over and over Lot is not a good, Godly part of this story. At Lot's best he is captured by enemies and Abram has to rescue him. And it only gets worse from there. His shepherds fight with Abram's. He lives in the horrific city of Sodom and Gomorrah, and offers his daughters to the evil men there to be raped and likely murdered. And he later gets drunk with those two daughters and fathers sons by them. And from these sons come Canaanite nations.
Lot was not supposed to go with Abram. And when Abram did not obey God exactly as he had been told, there were unnecessary and far-reaching consequences, even if God's promised blessings would still be true.
Can we honestly say that we are any different from Abram in this regard? Can we claim that we obey God, not perfectly, but with the full sincerity that hungers and longs to obey God on His terms and not ours?
How many of us are saved, have received everlasting life, but only obey in part? How full is our obedience? How often do we neglect reading God's word so that we can more easily excuse our meager obedience? Do we daily obey God fully on His terms? Or are we just playing church?
Who among us would make themselves a cheeseburger and instead of cheese use animal feces? Is that too gross of an image? Does that seem like a bit of a stretch? What is more disturbing, that image, or our children seeing our incomplete obedience and deciding that God is not worth obeying at all?
Have we lost our gag reflex for sin? Have we lost the ability, by the Spirit, to see the painful consequences of playing church, of playing with God as is He was a toy, or an ATM?
It is not a question of perfect obedience versus imperfect. All of our obedience is imperfect. "We could all do better" is just another piece of dog feces in our cheeseburger.
It is a question of how we see God. Is He God on His terms? Or on ours? Have we mixed our obedience up with disobedience? Are we pretending to be confused by the consequences?
God, who is rich in mercy and longs to forgive and redeem and reclaim, will not abandon us for our failings in full obedience. He will do as He did with Abram and keep His promises. But He will still allow our poor choices to bear bad fruit amongst the good He is producing in us.