Conntecting the Dots

What Does Obedience Look Like?

Watching kids and parents interact provides a fascinating study in human nature. For instance, how many times must a mom or dad tell a child to do something—pick up their toys, get dressed, or sit at the table for dinner, for instance?


In most cases, kids don’t obey the first command issued. They dawdle or ask, “Why?” Or they might start doing what they’ve been asked to do, and then they allow distractions to sidetrack them. Or they might flat-out refuse to obey: “But I don’t want to!”


Grownups often display the same behavior when God asks us to do something. Maybe He wants us to forgive someone who said unkind words to us. Perhaps He wants us to donate finances to a just cause. Maybe He wants us to assume a leadership position, or speak truth into someone’s life, or shed an unhealthy habit.


How do we respond? Do we dawdle or ask, “Why?” Do we say, “Okay,” but then allow distractions to sidetrack us from completing the task? Or do we flat-out refuse to obey? Or maybe we try to negotiate with God, hoping He’ll fill in the details rather than expect us to obey in blind faith.

Psalm 119 35

I’ve been reading about Elijah’s life, and I find his response to God’s commands refreshing:

  • “The LORD said to Elijah, ‘Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook’…So Elijah did as the LORD told him” (1 Kings 17:2-5).
  • “Then the LORD said to Elijah, ‘Go and live in the village of Zarephath’…So he went to Zarephath” (vv.8-10).
  • “…the LORD said to Elijah, ‘Go and present yourself to King Ahab’…So Elijah went to appear before Ahab” (1 Kings 18:1-2).


God isn’t interested in half-hearted or delayed obedience from His kids. He wants willing and immediate obedience from us. He wants our behavior to demonstrate that we trust His wisdom and power implicitly.


Let’s make it our goal to do what God says without dawdling or asking, “Why?” Let’s demonstrate that we believe He is who He says He is, and He is completely trustworthy. Let’s be sold-out for Him, surrendered to doing life His way.



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