Phony Following

July 23, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

By Cheri Cowell –

One of the more recent discoveries I made is this: obedience brings blessings, but delayed obedience is disobedience.

Gulp. Now, I have always thought of myself as an obedient person. I was, however, using the worldly definition, which says that if I obey eventually, even begrudgingly, I have obeyed.

This is not God’s definition. Our forefathers had it right when they demanded a “Yes, Sir” or “No, Sir” with a strong and agreeable tone in their children’s voices. It was a way to condition them to a God-type of obedience. An obedience that would serve them well as adult children of God. An obedience that requires not just the requested behavior, but also a bending of the will. Why does God demand this sort of swallowing of our pride? Because our actions must match our words, and our words must match our heart. God knows what’s in our hearts.

In the Parable of the Two Sons, one son said he wanted to obey but did not do as he said. That son was indeed disobedient. The one who wrestles with God and then finally follows through with action is the one who obeys. It is just as dangerous, however, to do something with a heart that is not inclined. We must be careful to have all three—our hearts, words, and actions—in alignment. We won’t be able to fool God because He can spot a phony follower in a heartbeat.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for being obedient, even to death, so I might have the privilege of following. Help me follow You in a way that honors. Help me to punctuate my “Yes, Sirs” with a heart and action that echo my words.

BIBLE VERSE: “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go” (Matthew 21:28-32 NIV).

About Cheri Cowell

Cheri Cowell is the author of the new Bible study, Parables and Word Pictures of the New Testament: Following God series
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2 Responses to “Phony Following”
  1. Hally Franz says:

    As a parent of a teenager, I always like an enthusiastic smile and a “yes, ma’am” better than a grouchy, reluctant attitude and response. Cheri, you’re right, I am sure our Heavenly Father appreciates that much more as well. Thanks!

  2. Cheri says:

    Thanks, Hally. And yes, He deserves so much more, doesn’t He. However, sometimes I must admit, I’m needing to start at this level and give Him a firm “Yes, Lord.”

    Thanks for writing.

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