And over a period of months in 2005, God led me to realize that it was time to transition out of my role as pastor. The final confirmation came while I was preaching the last message in a series on Disciplemaking in December. The theme of the message was on obedience.
I remember talking about how God called Abraham to leave the land in which he was living to go to a land which God would show him. And Abraham obeyed God.
And I had this sense that I wasn’t preaching to others any more – that God was using my mouth to preach to my heart. It’s kind of a weird thing when this happens. If you’ve ever experienced it, you know what I’m talking about. God had my attention.
Then I went to the New Testament where Jesus called Peter and Andrew and James and John to follow Him. And the text says in Matthew 4, “they immediately left their nets and followed Him.” And I started talking about how delayed obedience is disobedience.
Delayed obedience is disobedience.
As Christians it’s easy to delay obedience. Sometimes we just know the right thing to do and we don’t want to do it. We choose to sin rather than obey God.
It grieves me when I do this. Yet I’m stubborn. I want what I want instead of what God wants. So I delay obeying. This is actually disobeying.
What about your life? Is there an area of your life where you are choosing not to obey God?
In my core group I often ask the guys when we meet:
What area of your life does God want you to obey?What would it look like for you to obey God this week?
Most times when I ask this question, we all immediately know where we are delaying to obey (disobeying). Together as we discuss these areas, we commit ourselves to obey God.
If you are involved in making disciples, I encourage you to spend time talking about the value of obedience and teaching them that delayed obedience is disobedience.
Remember Jesus instructions to be “teaching them to obey all that I have commanded.” I used to think this meant that we needed to teach all that Jesus commanded. That’s not what Jesus said. He instructed His disciples to teach to obey.
Obey Jesus. Then teach others to obey Jesus.