Growing up my mom’s go to phrase was, “Do what I tell you to do when I tell you to do it.”
There were consequences when I went against this directive.
She meant business and did not hesitate to punish me when I was disobedient.
Those times of punishment were few and far between because:
- She was always very clear about her expectations so I was rarely confused about what she wanted.
- I did what she told me to do the majority of the time.
When I crossed the line and was punished I placed the blame where it belonged – on me. (Although there were times when it was my brother’s fault. I promise.)
My mom’s resoluteness about obedience helped me to understand that God wants me to “do what He tells me to do.” When I don’t, there are consequences. Just like with Mama.
How do I know what God wants me to do?
Open the Bible (KJV), read it, pray and ask the Holy Ghost for wisdom and guidance. God makes His will known to anyone who seeks Him. He doesn’t hide His expectations.
For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy:…(Leviticus 11:44 KJV)
He has spelled out how to do this repeatedly in Scripture.
I am reading the book of Jeremiah in the Old Testament. God is upset with Israel:
Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the Lord: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say. Their quiver is as an open sepulchre, they are all mighty men. And they shall eat up thine harvest, and thy bread, which thy sons and thy daughters should eat: they shall eat up thy flocks and thine herds: they shall eat up thy vines and thy fig trees; they shall impoverish thy fenced cities, wherein thou trustedst, with the sword. (Jeremiah 5:15-17 KJV)
Destruction is at hand for Israel. God will let the enemy take everything.
…because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased. How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses….Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? (Jeremiah 5:6-7,9 KJV)
Adultery, worshiping other gods, hanging out with harlots – God is not pleased.
Israel did not do what God told them to do.
God will not let this disobedience stand without a response.
But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone. Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the Lord our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest. Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you. (Jeremiah 5:23-25 KJV)
Good things are withheld from Israel because of sin.
How many times have we been punished for not obeying God? How many times have we placed the blame for our unpleasant circumstances on something else, other than the real culprit – our disobedience to God?
I can attest that when I do what God tells me to do, I have unfathomable peace in every situation. Even when the outcome is not as I thought it should be.
I have learned to accept the punishment and blame when God chastises me for being disobedient. Instead of complaining I ask God to reveal my faults and to cleanse my spirit. I focus on reading the word, praying and humbly asking Him to guide everything I do. I submit to His will. I repent and try to “…sin no more.” (John 5:14 KJV)
Do what God tells you to do.
Don’t let sin keep good things from you.