"Thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments" (Deuteronomy 28:1b).
"I'm not going to tell you twice," I said to my daughter as she sat with her nose in a book. Frustrated, I thought to myself, "How many times do you have to ask your children to do something before they obey?" Expecting immediate obedience from my children seemed dogmatic, but our homeschooling was never going to survive without their willingness to obey when first asked. As I began to teach and maintain this new discipline, extra effort was required to reinforce my words. However, as my children learned to obey me, I knew they were also learning something even more important — how to obey God when He first asks.
The Bible has many examples of people who suffered the consequences of ignoring, questioning, or rebelling against God when He first spoke to their hearts. Moses was rebuked by God in Exodus 14:15 when he failed to lead the people through the Red Sea at the right time. Jonah suffered the hardships of a shipwreck and lived in the belly of a big fish before he finally went to Nineveh, and the entire nation of Israel wandered in the desert for 40 years before enjoying the Promised Land. Clearly, serving the Lord with immediate obedience is God's desire for His children.
Is there something God has been asking you to do? Perhaps He wants you to witness to a neighbor, teach vacation Bible school, or restore a broken friendship. If you've been ignoring His voice, questioning His commands, or refusing to obey, He will reinforce His words. As a holy and loving Father, He's asking you to show your love by obeying the first time He asks. "That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days" (Deuteronomy 30:20a).
Father, I know You desire my obedience in all things. Forgive me when I drag my feet and fail to trust in Your Word. I love You. Please, speak to my heart and show me again what You would have me do. In Jesus' name, Amen.