We all know consequences come when we disobey. From spankings to speeding tickets we grow up learning of the repercussions of our actions. There are many times in our lives when we might ask or wonder - "How do we turn our disobedience around?" Knowing that we have done wrong and doing something to turn from that same behavior is separated by a decision. That decision really comes down to one simple life commitment. As "a work in progress" what we decide to do daily can turn disobedience into a disciplined obedience, so that we can work in the blessings of God!
I have a lot to learn, but I do know that I do not ever want to return to the days when I was a work a holic instead of "A Work in Progress". I actively pursue God in this area on a regular basis during my daily prayer time. I strive to align my priorities with God's priorities, praying over what to do and what to let go of each day. I remember a time, not too long ago, when a “storm” came and went. Afterwards I noticed that I had allowed my priorities to take a back seat to my over whelmed to do list.
For some people a growing list of responsibilities would cause room for frustration, but for someone who had been a work a holic it can present a reminder of a life not wanting to revisit. Therefore, I noticed myself taking action – out of self preservation - by reserving the right to put some to dos on hold. This may seem like the right thing to do, but it is not when those things placed on hold were the specific things that God had asked me to do. You see I did not go into this situation wanting to disobey my Father God, but that is exactly what I had done. The interesting thing is that I did not notice that I was doing it, because it was masked as doing the right thing by trying to stay far from a place that He had delivered me from years ago.
After a couple of weeks of this behavior I began to see, even though I had the right intentions, my plan of selective completion was not working. I went to God. I asked Him what should I have done? I was at a loss because I knew that the storm that hit me was not my fault, that the to dos I had committed to were priorities and not just extra work that I had given myself. Therefore, what was the solution? As always God had a simple yet profound answer.
Be quick to obey.
When I heard this my first reaction was - What? I thought that I was being obedient and just did not have the time to finish my work. I began thinking of all the reasons why I couldn't have been quick to obey due to the circumstances around me. That is when I noticed that I had been concentrating on what I could not do instead of what I could have been doing.
God began to show me how I had not been quick to obey with some of the tasks He had given to me, which caused a back pile of the things that were then added to the list. I then looked at my planner and noticed that the things I had not completed were tasks that I was not that eager to do in the first place. I also noticed that I had moved them several times from one to do list to another to another.
Although my schedule had been squeezed I had allowed my circumstances to be a scapegoat for my lack of obedience. I had done this because I focused on the wrong things. I had begun to focus, not on what I could do, but what I could not do.
My excuse had become my refuge.
Being quick to obey keeps us in a place of blessings, a place where we are not overwhelmed but productive. As I write this I am reminded of areas today that I can grow and apply this simply truth; areas that need quicker action, so that I can stay productive instead of destructive. Learning how to be quick to obey continually helps me stay away from the perpetual place of incomplete works so that I may enjoy all the blessings that God has for me.
When we are quick to obey God helps us complete our work in a much more productive manner, which gives us more focused time for the priorities in our lives. As "a work in progress", "Now finish the work" is the difference between living in disobedience and being an obedient disciple.
“Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have”
(2 Cor. 8:11-12 NIV)