On several occasions after receiving correction for her disobedience, my 4-year-old has given me a big hug full of smiles and sweetness, and then says to me, “Mommy, I am going to obey my parents! I am not going to disobey ANY more!” She is sincere...at least as sincere as a 4-year-old can be. I think at the moment she really means it! But, as you can guess, it doesn’t take long for something to happen and she is off and disobeying us once again.
This reminds me so much of the Israelites. How many times did they eagerly say that they would obey God: “All that the Lord has spoken we will do!” (Exodus 19:8; 24:3, 7). It wouldn’t take long for them to become dissatisfied, unhappy, and angry with their situation. They would soon turn away from the true God to serve idols. They never seemed to learn.
Then I think of myself. How many times do I determine that I will obey God, only to turn away from trusting and obeying Him when things don’t go my way?
What great opportunities these are to share with our kids (my 4-year-old) why they need Jesus Christ -- and why we do, too. No matter how adamant we are, how determined we may be to do what is right, we cannot follow through without Jesus. Even those of us who trust in Him still battle the powerful enticement of our flesh!
I observe my daughter’s heartfelt cry, “I will obey!” I want her obedience, but even more than that I long to see her to throw herself upon the grace of God in Jesus someday. I pray her cry will be, “I will trust Jesus!” Obedience is born out of loving trust. Our kids want to obey because they love and trust us (I’ll save comments on this for another time!). We can only obey the Lord, however imperfectly, when we love and trust Him first.