About a year ago, we adopted a little grey shih tzu named Oreo. As you might imagine, Oreo had some bad habits, so we quickly enrolled him in dog obedience classes. After his first few sessions with the trainer, he learned to sit, stay, and walk on command. The next phase of Oreo’s training was to practice with me. The first session was rough. But then I realized if I follow the trainer’s instructions exactly, Oreo will obey my commands. As long as I obey the trainer, we all get along peacefully (except when a squirrel comes on the porch, but that’s a different story).
Obedience is trusting those who lead you by doing what you’re asked to do. God asks us to trust Him by giving us specific things to do to accomplish His work around us. He may even ask us to do something that seems too hard or too uncomfortable. But we can choose to trust that He’ll work out the details and take care of our needs. Then it’s easier for us to choose to obey and act on what we know, because we trust our ultimate Leader.
The monthlymemory verse is: “Obey your leaders. Put yourselves under their authority. They keep watch over you. They know they are accountable to God for everything they do. Obey them so that their work will be a joy. If you make their work a heavy load, it won’t do you any good,” (Hebrews 13:17, NIrV). Often it’s hardest to obey when God asks us to trust another person that He has chosen to lead us. But, as long as their instructions line up with God’s commands, do what they ask of us.
In Week One’s Bible story, God places Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden with just one command (Genesis 1, 2, 4). When they make their own plan and disobey God, it has profound and lasting affects. Our Bottom Line is: I should trust and obey even when I think my way is better. Our leaders see the bigger picture and understand the greater consequences.
In Week Two’s Bible story, Noah had a history of trusting God, and continued to obey God to the smallest detail while building the ark (Genesis 6-8). Even when everyone else disobeyed, Noah followed God. Our Bottom Line is: I should trust and obey even when others don’t. Developing a pattern of obedience might prepare us for trusting God in a moment when the stakes are even higher.
In Week Three’s Bible story, God makes a big promise to Abraham, and then asks Abraham to move to a new place (Genesis 12:1-5; 13:2-18; 15:1-6). Abraham doesn’t know where or how God will keep His promises. But he trusts God. Our Bottom Line is: I should trust and obey even if I don’t know how it will all work out. We always know we can trust God, so we can confidently obey.
In Week Four’s Bible story, God asks Abraham to do something shocking (Genesis 18, 21, 22). When Abraham is willing to obey and sacrifice what he loves, he demonstrates his unwavering trust in God to keep His promises. Our Bottom Line is: I should trust and obey even if it costs me something. We can trust that God wants what’s best for us.