DAY 19 - DECEMBER 14TH, 2018

Serving and Obeying

Tricia Robinson

And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
— Deuteronomy 10:12-13

“You can play in our front yard, but don’t go out into the street.”

Simple enough, right?  At least I thought so, as the mother of a preschool boy. Yes, it was simple, but that did not mean it was easy – at least not for my son. He played along happily enough until he decided he wanted to venture outside the boundaries I had set for him. But then, because he wanted something outside the boundaries I had set for him, he glanced back over his shoulder to see if I was watching him. 

When he locked eyes with me he slowed his pace toward the curb of the street, the curb being the edge of disobedience. Then he gave me a little smirk and took one step over the line. Needless to say, there was firm and swift discipline, because I knew I needed him to fear disobeying me. 

As he sniffled his way back to playing a few minutes later, several thoughts ran through my head:

Why did he do that? I wondered.

Doesn’t he know I love him more than he can imagine?

Doesn’t he know I know much better than he does?

Doesn’t he know I only want what’s best for him?

He probably did not know all those things. But he knew he was disobeying me, and what he wanted, at that moment, was more important than trusting me. 

Before we are too critical of our disobedient little ones, let’s think of how we often trust in our own flawed thinking and fail to trust that God loves us and gives us curbs we are not to cross. Because He loves us.  Because He wants what is best for us. 

God’s commands in this passage are explicitly stated to be “for [our] own good.” And He knows a lot more about what is best for us than we do about what is best for our young children. He loves us more than we could ever love anyone; even our children. Given His love and what He has done for us, loving and serving Him should be our natural response. It seems to me that the key to doing so is reminding ourselves that we are much more like our little children than we often think. In my experience, it is often simple, even if it is not always easy.

Question to Consider:

All of us have stepped off the curb in the past. This verse follows a mention of walking in obedience with serving God. How are these two things tied together? 

AdventJocie Morganadvent, 2018