Summary: One of the most important things in life that is NOT optional is our obedience to God
Obedience Is Not An Option
10 years after I graduated from high school and working in a dead-end job, Wendy decided that I needed to go to college. So I went to PNC, registered on registration day (last time I didn’t pre-register), and chose my new career path. I was on my way to becoming a computer programmer.
Three years later, I decided that maybe sitting at a desk behind a computer all day writing code was not for me. So I switched my major to Industrial Engineering. Besides I.E. looking more interesting, when I graduated, there would be many more options as far as positions in companies.
According to Webster’s dictionary, an option is: “the act of choosing; choice; the freedom to choose”. So as far as having more “options”, that meant I would have more “choices” of what I wanted to focus on for a position within a company. I could work in plant layout, or do time studies, or robotics, supervision, etc., etc.
Now with the “freedom to choose” comes responsibility, because life is full of choices. We make so many decisions that affect our lives on a daily basis. A high school senior might have several different choices as to which college to attend. They could go to a big name college in California (and pay much more money), or they could spend less money and go to a state college that will give them just as good an education. I would think that the parents would have some say in that choice.
Not all choices affect our lives on such a large-scale basis but we must make choices regardless. What we choose is our option, but we MUST choose. We must choose A, B, C, or D. In doing so, we must use common sense and understand the consequences of our choices.
Some things in life are not optional. For example, it’s tax time. So we can choose NOT to pay our taxes. But we must understand what can happen to us if we don’t. We would ruin our reputation and we lose our freedom when we end up in jail. We could choose to not eat any food but then we would die. Some things in life are just not optional.
One of the most important things in life that I think is NOT optional is our obedience to God. Following His ways, following His commandments, doing His will. I’m sure we can choose NOT to obey God but if we make that choice, if that is our option, then we sure don’t place much value on doing His will or appreciate His blessings on our lives and the grace given to us.
The Bible is full of accounts of obedience and disobedience and the ramifications of the choice made in each case.
Genesis 12:1-4 Abram told to go from country to another.
Result: Abram obeyed, Lord said, “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you……I will bless those who bless you…in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
Genesis 19 Lot’s wife told to not look back.
Result: Looked back and became a big ol’ table condiment.
Genesis 22:1-12 The command to sacrifice Isaac.
Result: “I will indeed bless you, and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore……because you have obeyed my voice.”
Jonah 3 Jonah is told to go to Nineveh and proclaim God’s message.
Result: Jonah obeyed God, God saw them turn from their evil ways, changed His mind and did not punish them.
Matthew 21:28-31 Read. Ask which one.
Acts 5:27-32 Read
Many of you know Gene Henderson and about his work with Labrador Retrievers. I’ve talked to him about how they obey the simplest command of a short blast of a whistle and arm motions. I’ve watched field trials on TV and will see dogs, sometimes over 100 yds. away, know which direction to turn by obeying an arm motion. They are obedient because they know whose in charge and they want to please their master by being obedient.
In the devotional, Our Daily Bread, Archibald Rutledge wrote that one day he met a man whose dog had just been killed in a forest fire. Heartbroken, the man explained to Rutledge how it happened. Because he worked out-of-doors, he often took his dog with him. That morning, he left the animal in a clearing and gave him a command to stay and watch his lunch bucket while he went into the forest. His faithful friend understood, for that’s exactly what he did. Then a fire started in the woods, and soon the blaze spread to the spot where the dog had been left. But he didn’t move. He stayed right where he was, in perfect obedience to his master’s word. With tearful eyes, the dog’s owner said, "I always had to be careful what I told him to do, because I knew he would do it."