Obedience is a lightening rod of a word. We all want to obey God, to do everything He tells us to do. Intrinsically we all know that this is the only way to live a totally fulfilled life. When we walk contrary to His Word everything is, at best, a bit off. Aspiring disciples seek to follow Christ whatever the cost. Sometimes I think it’s easier to do this in the loud, noticeable ways then in the subtle, quiet activities. How many times have you ignored a simple prompting to help someone in need? It’s so easy to rationalize our way out of that scenario. It’s in these seemingly insignificant moments that Jesus refines our character and we build our obedience to Him.
We’ve all read stories of people who sell everything they have and give it to the poor. These are amazing acts of obedience and we marvel at the faith required to pull them off. In contrast, we never read about someone who lets another go ahead of them in line at a grocery store, or the individual who pays the bus fare for the next person boarding. Every one of us has multiple opportunities to obey the nudge of God. I don’t believe I remember a day ever going by without receiving a nudge from the Holy Spirit. I’m prompted to talk to someone, or give money to another, or even just to sit and be still.
Our default reaction to the nudges of God seems to be refusal. We don’t want to put ourselves out there for fear of being ridiculed or perhaps we convince ourselves we simply don’t have the time. Think about what Jesus said in Matthew 25:40: Whatever we do for those around us, we do it for Him. This means that every time we rationalize and say we don’t have enough time, what we are really saying is we don’t have time for Jesus. When we are afraid of making a fool of ourselves, what it really means is that we are ashamed of Christ. How does our fear of ridicule compare to what Jesus did for us when He suffered and died on a cross?
If we can’t obey the simple nudges of God in our daily lives, we will never be prepared to take the big steps of faith that will be required to carry out the mission He has given us to do. The little things are the building blocks for the greater things. Obedience encompasses the little nudges and the big pushes. It covers the whispers to the shouts, the baby steps to the giant leaps. Don’t let the seemingly insignificant nudges in your day pass by without taking hold of them. These are for building up our faith. Through obedience we become more like Christ. As we become more like Christ, we become more capable of carrying out the work He has given us to do. Don’t be too busy to recognize the nudge of God. Respond, obey, and rejoice in the person He is molding you to be.
What nudge have you recently ignored? How can you be better ready to respond to the next one?