But I Did What You Said!

When my kids were little, they fueled analogies for my spiritual growth. And I could actually write about them.

Now that they’re older I must be careful, because they actually care when I write about them, haha. But this time’s an exception. It’s a scenario moms with kids of all ages can relate to, especially me.

Last weekend my son threw a surprise 16th birthday party for one of his closest friends. It was lively, special and by the end they were wired. To add to the fun, the birthday friend got to spend the night. We told them they needed to go to bed by midnight, though, because otherwise the whole weekend would be a bust. They agreed, though a bit disappointed at the non-thrill of not pulling an all-nighter. I think that would’ve been the cherry on top of the birthday cheesecake, at least in the moment.

Imagine my surprise when I woke up at 2:45 in the morning and still heard their voices! Not happy. But they were in bed. I had assumed the friend would go to the guest bed and my son would go to his bed like normal, but instead my son had tossed a sleeping bag beside the guest bed.

But they were IN bed by midnight, just like I had asked. I knew that moment that they were taking a loophole. They knew I meant “go to bed in order to get to sleep,” but all I had said was “go to bed.”

It took me a few hours to get back to sleep, but in those long minutes God in His goodness turned the situation around on me. How many times do I know what God means and twist it to do what I want? How often do I joyfully obey some of His commands and not others? Even greater, it’s unmentionable how regularly I justify my behavior to my Father in heaven, knowing full well that He knows my motives fully. I often choose to take a loophole.

I’m thankful He is quick to forgive and that He allows me to call upon His mercies when my heart isn’t fully devoted to Him and His ways. Oh yes, I am! It’s not about legalism, it’s not about condemning myself to guilt so I end up curled in a ball on my hands and knees for days in disgrace…it’s about the motive and longing of my heart.

I understand why the boys did what they did, and we let them off the hook (just as they knew we would since it was a special occasion). Not without discussing the heart of the matter, though. That’s always fun for 16-year olds to listen to. 😉

The bottom line: Have we allowed our relationship with God to become partially in step, justifying to ourselves whether or not we technically obeyed or did what His Word says for the most part…”But God, I did what you said!” Or do we continue in our earnest desire to love Him fully with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, knowing He will train and equip us in how to live it out?

The more I know God, the more I love Him. And the more I love Him, the more I long to be like Him. There are times I don’t feel like loving Him. There are times I obey Him just because I don’t want to feel guilty tomorrow or to look good in others’ eyes, ugh. There are times I don’t obey Him and then beg for mercy later. There are times when my heart is not fully devoted to the only One deserving of it, no question.

But today, it’s my earnest desire to desire and know my Lord and Savior fully. And as far as I know, today is all I have. Spend it with me reflecting on these Truths from God’s Word:

Psalm 119:20
My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times.

Hebrews 3:13
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Psalm 119:4
You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed.

1 Corinthians 7:35
I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

Mark 12:33
To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

Psalm 86:11
Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

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10 Responses to But I Did What You Said!

  1. This was perfect my friend. Thank you! Such truth in those words!
    Kim @ Homesteader’s Heart recently posted..And Yet Another Hutch, Before and After!

  2. Larkin says:

    Convicting…and encouraging, just as any good devotional should be! 😀

  3. Joanne Sher says:

    Fantabulous lesson, dear La. Needed this reminder.
    Joanne Sher recently posted..A Look of Hope – God is So Good

  4. Lisa Mikitarian says:

    Oh, we have a way of finding those loopholes! Great post.

  5. Jeannie says:

    Very true post! Thank you for pointing out things to me that I don’t want to look at. Just like your boys “knew” they were in trouble when you walked in the room…they managed to squeeze a couple more hours of fun out of the night, we to try to squeeze “fun” out of our loop holes with God.

    I enjoy your blog so much!

    Jeannie recently posted..Wordless Wednesday

  6. Joe Pote says:

    Thank you, for the beautiful thought-provoking post, LauraLee!

    The scariest part, for me, is the realization that I am so good at justifying myself that I can easily hide my own motives even from myself. Thankfully, I cannot hide them from God, and the Holy Spirit is faithful to reveal our heart’s motives, as we ask.

    I also become increasingly aware of the competing desires of my heart. My choices are rarely as simple as choosing between good or evil. More often, they are choices between good and better, such as I want to lay in bed a while longer, but know I should get up and exercise…neither is inherently bad, but one is better (and harder) than the other.

    My deepest heart’s desire is to be conformed to the image of Christ…to become all that He has predestined me to be. It is at that point of my heart’s deepest desire that my will is conformed to His will. The hard part is setting aside all the smaller surface desires that often seem more pressing with quicker gratification.
    Joe Pote recently posted..Seeing Woman

  7. LauraLeeShaw says:

    Thanks, Kim. 😀

  8. LauraLeeShaw says:

    God is faithful that way! Thanks for coming by, Larkin. Send me a message and catch me up with your life when you can, okay?

  9. LauraLeeShaw says:

    Exactly. That’s a great way to put it. We’ll keep standing strong together, sister. Thanks!

  10. LauraLeeShaw says:

    Now Joe, I wouldn’t know ANYTHING about hiding my own motives from myself. Sheesh!

    You nailed it! Good can be the enemy of best, and often good is what we cling to.

    Thank you for sharing that rich wisdom and your personal input as well.

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