“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice. And to heed than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22
Now I’m not much of a ‘ram-fat’ person. But I do understand the point the prophet Samuel is trying to get across. Give up chocolate, donate to the poor, pray twice a day. These are great things to do for the Lord. But there’s another practice that beats them all.
The Lord speaks his commands in many different ways. The Scriptures list the Ten Commandments. I know the Beatitudes and the Golden Rule. But there’s another way that God speaks, and I often have a little trouble following it. It’s that still, small voice that speaks so quietly inside me.
I know that God doesn’t speak in a loud, shrill thunderclap. Elijah found that out for himself, and all of us, atop Mt. Horeb. The voice of God was heard in the gentlest breeze. You know that voice. It speaks to you too.
I wrote a blog post about the time it called me to talk to a woman I barely knew. My reaction wasn’t immediate obedience. Oh no. My reaction was: “Why?”
I think there is an eternal eight year old in me that always wants reasons. I agree that obedience is the goal, but it’s a lot easier to jump to the command if I know the whole game plan. So that’s a problem. God is not always forthcoming with blueprints when I ask for them.
It’s like I’m an eight year old playing with Lego’s behind our open front door. I’m concentrating very hard on making a space ship. Suddenly, I hear my mom yelling from the kitchen, “Shut the door!”
She sounds very worried. But instead of just stretching my hand out and pushing the door closed, I look up from my creation and ask, “Why?”
Instead of an answer, I see my mom streaking for the door, and slamming it shut with all her might.
It’s not like my mom doesn’t want to tell me why I should shut the door. I’m sure she’d love to have that conversation over milk and Oreos. But right now, there’s no time for that. There’s a wolf at the door that wants to get in. My mom, who saw it from the kitchen, called out to ask me to be her defender. I missed the opportunity to help.
My desire for a reason left me completely useless.
God can see all the wolves that want to get into my life. He knows when they’re coming, and how much trouble they’ll cause. In his still, small voice he insists, “Shut the door!”
How many times will I make him ask? I wonder how he keeps his own unfathomable peace while I stand there asking for the game plans.
Sometimes, ‘why’ just doesn’t matter.
Maybe the explanation will come later. Maybe I’ll never know. The only thing I need to know? God is telling me something important. There’s a wolf at the door.
And that door isn’t going to shut itself.
Linking up today with: Unforced Rhythms
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