Why do you call me “Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I say? –Luke 6:46
It was a sunny, and unusually warm autumn Sunday afternoon, so I thought I would take advantage of it by going fishing on a local river. As I took the dirt-road cutoff that would take me near my favorite fishing spot, I rounded a bend in the road and slammed on my truck’s brakes.
There, in the middle of the road, was a woman lying on a blanket, working on her tan. I was both taken by surprise, and quite relieved that the truck had stopped without running the woman over. When the dust from my sudden stop had cleared, I got out of my truck, and approached the woman.
Me (fairly calm given the situation): What are you doing?!
Her (startled and angry): What does it look like I’m doing?!
Me: You are lying in the middle of the road.
Me: I don’t think it’s a great idea to lie in the middle of a road. I could have run you over!
Her: [Bleep] you. I’m not moving!
Me [sarcastically]: Okay. Have a nice day!
I got back into my truck and backed it down the road until I found a safe place to park.
I’ll admit that I was frustrated. Sure, there are certainly times when people ought to take a stand, regardless of the consequences. But, I didn’t feel that this qualified as a great example, for either one of us. To me, it was a moment of stubbornness and will, and while the woman didn’t back down, I did.
This experience caused me to reflect on all of the times when I know there are things that God is asking of me, and I, in effect, say to Him, “I’m not moving!” Yes, I want all of the good things that God has for my life, but I want life to be easy. When it becomes uncomfortable and difficult to obey, too often, I turn stubborn.
In one way or another, we all have these stubborn moments with God. No person is immune from them. The question becomes, how can we minimize the times when we won’t budge? I don’t know the complete answer. I wish that I did. “Just say yes to God, whatever the circumstance,” is the right answer, but most of us already know this and still struggle in carrying it out.
The long journey toward consistently saying yes to God is found in taking small steps. Perhaps the first small step is in the realization that taking the easy road in life rarely takes you where you want to go, nor leads you to becoming the person God wants to make you into. Obedience to God is not always easy, but whatever pain it brings, it also reaps the benefit of molding us more completely into the image of Jesus.
Today, take some small step when you find your first response to God is to say, “I’m not moving!” Get up off the road, pick up your blanket and walk toward Jesus.
1. Reflect on your life. In what situations are you most likely to say to God, “I’m not moving!”
2. How do you feel that saying no to God has affected your journey as a Christ-follower? How has saying yes to God affected your journey as a Christ-follower?
Romans 6:16; 1 Peter 1:6-7; 14-15; 1 John 5:1-5