Tag Archives: obedience

The Best Laid Plans

Proverbs 19:21 

There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.
You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail. (NLT)

The Jonah Syndrome

Back in 1998, I heard God speak very clearly to me about a gift He wanted me to make. A young man in ministry needed to replace his car, but this was something he could not afford. I argued with God for a while because I felt that the sum in question was too large. I was prepared to make a gift, but on my terms, not God’s.

It was at this time that my eldest son (Nick) was fundraising to join the Baptist Missionary Society for a gap year between school and university. He needed to raise £2,400. One retired lady at our church gave him a check for £100 one Sunday. When I found out about her generosity I went to thank her.

Tears welled in her eyes as she told me that God had instructed her to make this gift, but that she had argued with God that she could not afford to give Nick £100. My heart sank right down into my shoes.

I went home and wrote a check for the amount God had placed on my heart and I sent it to the young man God had identified. He duly wrote back and thanked me for my generosity. But I didn’t feel generous. I didn’t feel anything but that horrible feeling you get when you have done something wrong and been caught out.

A Question of Attitude

Obedience brings blessing, but usually only if the timing is right. When Jonah disobeyed God he had to face the consequences. Time spent in the belly of the fish resulted in a change of mind, but not attitude. He duly obeyed God and delivered God’s message to Nineveh.

Amazingly the King and the people of Nineveh listened to Jonah. They decided to change their ways, and God responded with forgiveness. Did this make the messenger happy? Did Jonah feel blessed? Not at all. In fact, Jonah chose to sulk.

To be blessed, we need to be obedient. To receive a blessing we need to listen to God, and do as He asks when He asks. Not several weeks later because we feel bad about our failure to act.

His plans, not ours. His timing, not ours.


Am I Willing to Take Orders?

Image result for proverbs 10 8I live in a world where I must respond to others and take orders. I have customers, colleagues, bosses, police, parents, teachers and the list goes on.

“A wise heart takes orders; an empty head will come unglued.” ~~King Solomon (Proverbs 10:8)

I do have options though.

  • I can ignore the person and hope they forget. Sometimes they do.
  • I can be obstinate.
  • I can be defiant.
  • I can say yes and then not do it.
  • I can fake obedience.
  • I can get too busy.
  • I can forget.

I can be too clever some days at avoiding the real issue of simple obedience.

It is a matter of the heart. Do I have a heart that respects authority? Am I willing to serve others? Do I have a slave’s heart for what my Master Jesus wants me to do?

If so, I can be wise.

Do I come unglued when someone in authority asks me to do something? King Solomon concludes I have an empty head. As my dad would say, “That is not right bright”.

God’s goal for me for is to obey. It is most important to obey Jesus. Jesus teaches me to pray, “Your will be done!”


Wisdom Is Crying

Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: – Proverbs 1:20 

Try to picture the desperate concern of Wisdom. Read the next few verses. Here the pleading in Wisdom’s voice as she cries out: “If you respond to my warning, then I will pour out my spirit on you and teach you my words” (Proverbs 1:23 CSB).

Then read of the sorrow and disappointment as Wisdom bemoans the lack of attention to her offer.

“Since I called out and you refused, extended my hand and no one paid attention, since you neglected all my counsel and did not accept my correction, I, in turn, will laugh at your calamity. I will mock when terror strikes you, when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when trouble and stress overcome you.” – Proverbs 1:24-27 CSB

Then stop and ponder (meditate upon) the dreadful finality of verse 28: “Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me…”

Tragic. Just tragic! Wisdom calls, yet few answer.

But then stop and consider this greater truth: Wisdom has a name, and His name is Jesus.

…Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. – 1 Corinthians 1:24

And Jesus has done his share of crying (both calling out and shedding tears).

“…[He] beheld the city, and wept over it…” (Luke 19:41).

“Jesus wept” (John 11:35).

Please don’t mock the things of God. Please listen to Wisdom. Don’t be like those in verse 28!

Wisdom is crying out in the street right now, tears flowing. Are you listening?


The Best Laid Plans

Proverbs 19:21 

There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.
You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail. (NLT)

The Jonah Syndrome

Back in 1998 I heard God speak very clearly to me about a gift He wanted me to make. A young man in ministry needed to replace his car, but this was something he could not afford. I argued with God for a while because I felt that the sum in question was too large. I was prepared to make a gift, but on my terms, not God’s.

It was at this time that my eldest son (Nick) was fundraising to join the Baptist Missionary Society for a gap year between school and university. He needed to raise £2,400. One retired lady at our church gave him a check for £100 one Sunday. When I found out about her generosity I went to thank her. Tears welled in her eyes as she told me that God had instructed her to make this gift, but that she had argued with God that she could not afford to give Nick £100. My heart sank right down into my shoes. I went home and wrote a check for the amount God had placed on my heart and I sent it to the young man God had identified. He duly wrote back and thanked me for my generosity. But I didn’t feel generous. I didn’t feel anything but that horrible feeling you get when you have done something wrong and been caught out.

A Question of Attitude

Obedience brings blessing, but usually only if the timing is right. When Jonah disobeyed God he had to face the consequences. Time spent in the belly of the fish resulted in a change of mind, but not attitude. He duly obeyed God and delivered God’s message to Nineveh. Amazingly the King and people of Nineveh listened to Jonah. They decided to change their ways, and God responded with forgiveness. Did this make the messenger happy? Did Jonah feel blessed? Not at all. In fact Jonah chose to sulk. To be blessed, we need to be obedient. To receive a blessing we need to listen to God, and do as He asks, when He asks. Not several weeks later because we feel bad about our failure to act. His plans, not ours. His timing, not ours.


The Best Laid Plans

Proverbs 19:21 

There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.
You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail. (NLT)

The Jonah Syndrome

Back in 1998 I heard God speak very clearly to me about a gift He wanted me to make. A young man in ministry needed to replace his car, but this was something he could not afford. I argued with God for a while because I felt that the sum in question was too large. I was prepared to make a gift, but on my terms, not God’s.

It was at this time that my eldest son (Nick) was fundraising to join the Baptist Missionary Society for a gap year between school and university. He needed to raise £2,400. One retired lady at our church gave him a check for £100 one Sunday. When I found out about her generosity I went to thank her. Tears welled in her eyes as she told me that God had instructed her to make this gift, but that she had argued with God that she could not afford to give Nick £100. My heart sank right down into my shoes. I went home and wrote a check for the amount God had placed on my heart and I sent it to the young man God had identified. He duly wrote back and thanked me for my generosity. But I didn’t feel generous. I didn’t feel anything but that horrible feeling you get when you have done something wrong and been caught out.

A Question of Attitude

Obedience brings blessing, but usually only if the timing is right. When Jonah disobeyed God he had to face the consequences. Time spent in the belly of the fish resulted in a change of mind, but not attitude. He duly obeyed God and delivered God’s message to Nineveh. Amazingly the King and people of Nineveh listened to Jonah. They decided to change their ways, and God responded with forgiveness. Did this make the messenger happy? Did Jonah feel blessed? Not at all. In fact Jonah chose to sulk. To be blessed, we need to be obedient. To receive a blessing we need to listen to God, and do as He asks, when He asks. Not several weeks later because we feel bad about our failure to act. His plans, not ours. His timing, not ours.