I regretfully admit that I did not always obey my mother. For instance, if she asked me a question or to do something, I would either ignore her or just tune her out. Many times, she had to repeat herself. Sometimes if I did not respond, there would be consequences, but often she would just get mad. I clearly remember her frustration. She would turn red in the face and say in exasperation, “Talking to you is like talking to myself!”
When I became a parent, the pattern repeated itself. My children ignored me or tuned me out, just like I did my mother. When the anger would rise in me, I heard my mother’s words come right out of my own mouth. I admit I was not always consistent in metering out punishment either.
What about God? I wonder if He ever feels that way about us Christians? I’m sure He must. After all, He is our Father, and we are His willful imperfect children. The only difference between a human parent and God is that He may feel like He’s talking to Himself, but He will ALWAYS have consequences for those who chose to ignore Him. He doesn’t let anyone slide by.
The Lord lets us know in many ways what He wants us to do. It could be our conscience whispering through the corridors of our mind or a fellow Christian. He has also provided the Bible as a guide for us to live by and from which to learn valuable lessons. His guidelines are for our own good and will allow us for the most part to lead less stressful and more joyful lives. If we choose to ignore His guidelines, then there are always consequences.
Every time we ignore what the Lord wants us to do, we are being disrespectful and disobedient – just like I was with my mother. As a parent, I expected my children to obey, so why would I think God would not expect the same from me? I confess that sometimes I hear His voice but choose to ignore it. But the Lord loves me because I am His child and though He punishes me, it is for my own good. He doesn’t want me to repeat the same mistake. Sometimes as a warning, He’ll rap my knuckles hard enough to get my attention. But if I persist in my disobedience, I will pay a higher price.
Throughout the Bible there are examples of disobedience and its consequences. Adam and Eve, Sodom and Gomorrah, the Great Flood, and the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years until the disbelieving and disobedient died off to name a few examples. From these accounts in the Bible, it’s obvious that obedience is important to God.
While God hates disobedience, He does love His children and offers forgiveness. The only thing we have to do is recognize that we have been disobedient and confess it before the Lord with the intention that we will not repeat our mistake. He will forgive us and keep us from falling back into that pattern. This season of Lent is a good time to look at your life and see where you are being disobedient and ask the Lord for forgiveness and get back on the right path.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9