Following Directions

"Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip" (Hebrews 2:1).

What was I going to do? My son had studied all week long for this test, and if I accepted the way he had answered the questions, he would receive a score of 100%. However, there was one huge problem troubling my grading — he hadn't followed the directions. Although I had reminded him to read the instructions thoroughly, he had written his response in the blank instead of circling the correct answer. So, what was more important? Did it matter more that he knew the answers or that he had failed to follow the directions?

After praying, I decided to let my son be his own judge. Surprisingly, he was tougher on himself than I would have been and said, "Mom, it wouldn't be fair for me to get an A on this test." Together, we decided he should be penalized by receiving one grade lower for his failure to pay attention to the directions.

Not following the directions usually has a more severe consequence in real life. That fact was first discovered by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. When dealing with a Holy God, you simply can't skip over important details in His directions like don't eat from "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" (Genesis 2:17). Today, Christians continue to skip God's commandments when they feel they restrict their way of life. Thinking they're able to do God's will their own way, they fail God's test because they don't follow His directions.

Is your life one that reflects God's divine instructions from His Word? Do you skip over those passages that test your character like "wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord" (Ephesians 5:22) and "love not the world, neither the things that are in the world" (1 John 2:15a)? God doesn't give instructions to make your life more difficult. He gives directions because He loves you and wants you to succeed in living for Him. Choose today to follow His direction in those areas you've been avoiding and receive His grade of "well done, thou good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:21)!

Lord, forgive me for thinking I can ignore Your directions and not suffer as a result. Cleanse my life today of those things that shame Your name and help me to walk in a manner worthy of Your love. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Comments(16 comments)

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TAMMY F 03/03/2009 08:39:26


CHRISTINA L 02/26/2010 06:34:43

Why am I constantly getting the submission subject dropped in by every message I encounter now a days? While I believe this, I think submitting one to another should be right beside of it. Its so easy for a woman with a kind and gentle husband to tell another woman who's had a man beat up on her that they should submit. The walls of a woman like that take time to tear down. For the women who have a husband like Abraham, please be patient with the women who don't! I realize that this message had nothing really do do with this subject, but I just felt like airing it out since I keep getting this from about every woman I see.

JAMIE C 02/26/2010 08:16:09

I really enjoyed this devotional. Just signed up to get them yesterday. Needed to hear it.

MIRIAM C 02/26/2010 12:37:20

Superb and poignant! Thank you.

CYNTHIA W 02/26/2011 08:36:26

I have used the same technique on my two boys and one that I teach. They are always harder on themselves than I would be and it always amazes me.

VANESSA W 02/26/2011 08:52:34

Why is it that the second part is often ignored? It says women submit to your husbands as to God and then it says men are supposed to love their wives as they love themselves. That part is usually glossed over especially by men. I love God and want to follow His commands-He is an awesome God although I believe this text men misconstrue often and use their wives as door mats or punching bags. Of course in a sinful world things are not always how they should be. I am thankful to have a good husband-unfortunately many women are not so blessed.

VANESSA W 02/26/2011 08:57:09

Continue to read Ephesians through verse 29

A K 02/26/2011 09:51:54

I agree that it is easier for someone who has a loving, gentle, supportive husband to submit to them than someone who has been downtrodden, used, or abused by their husbands. Or even misunderstood by them. But I think the point of this devotional is that we can sweep even the small things under the rug and consider it inconsequential. To the wife who has a caring husband or the one whose husband isn't following after Christ's example we are each called to serve our husbands as we would Christ - and those around us as well. To the wife whose husband is caring it can be easy to take that for granted and ignore ,maybe, some of their even subtle desires and wishes when ours are being met. To the wife whose husband isn't so easy to love even when they want to because their husbands aren't following after Christ - it's easy for bitterness to set in and rob ourselves of opportunities to show them the love of Christ. We need to pray that the Lord would soften thier hearts and that our kind answer truly will turn away their hard heartedness. We can't look to how people are treating us - but will be held accountable for how we react - whether taking the small things for granted or bitterness - and how we treat them in turn. God bless to all and thanks to this devotional for encouraging me to keep a higher set of standards both in school and out.

SANDRA B 03/02/2011 05:58:43

Christina L - I agree with you. Remember, though, the scripture goes on to say (paraphrased) ... a man should love his wife as Christ loved the church. I have no problem submitting to my husband because he loves me that way (most of the time, Ha, Ha!). Those scriptures go together like "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth"...goes on to say But vengence is mine says the Lord. Sandy

SAMANTHA D 02/26/2012 06:25:47

Amen! We are held accountable for our actions, regardless of what others are doing...or not doing. Let's worship Christ by how we love our husbands. Afterall, we are not to easy to love either... Our Savior chooses to love us despite our ugliness :) praise the Lord love isn't based on merit!

LYNN S 02/26/2012 20:21:21

It is always chancy to take scripture to fit your own beliefs and agenda. Following directions 100% is a good reminder, now meandering into the Wives " SUBMITTING" issue? May I share something from my bible? Ephesians 5:22-29 per a very wise Vanessa W: Commentary,New Spirit filled Bible; Submitting is taking the divinely ordered place in a relationship. Submission can never be required by one human being of another, it can only be given on the basis of trust, that is to believe God's word and be willing to learn to grow in relationships. The Bible does not put males over females , but it does call for husbands to accept responsible leadership in the same spirit of self-giving and devotion Christ has shown for his Church. Ephesians 5:24-33 These verses put such demands upon the Christian husband that it is impossible to see how a charge of male chauvinism could justly be against the Bible or how a license to exploit women or wives could ever be claimed from such texts. My husband once stated I should obey him in every decision he made using these passages. I responded by challenging him. '' Do you obey everything Jesus tells you to do? He shut up and looked shocked. Since then I confess I read and studied and prayed and I decided that Peace is more important in our home than me being, RIGHT. I was honest with myself that I had been tricked by Satan at looking at this situation all wrong. Now I listen to my husband, choose to believe he has my best interest at heart,pray continually for his ability to lead our family in a Godly manner and when I believe he is wrong, I am now silent while I pray and trust Jesus in his timing to correct him if he is wrong. Jesus see all of us mess up every day and he extends patience and mercy and love and forgiveness everyday. Should'nt we with our husbands? With that said, Christina L, please do not let anything that others say steal your joy and peace. If you live with an abusive husband pray Jesus will soften that mans heart and convict his heart everyday. Submission to abuse is not what Jesus calls us to. He wants to heal you and your husband and put him in a place to stand in the way of the enemy and protect you and lead you lovingly. Jesus never beats me or berates me so That scripture can not be implying we are to submit to abuse. May Jesus fill you with healing power this week and please let God's word bring comfort to your soul and mind.

ADRIENNE C 02/28/2012 14:44:38

Beautifully put Lynn S! I agree that God wants our husbands to serve Him as Lord of their lives in all things but God also knows we are not perfect. We are to follow Christ whereever He leads and if it is to be submissive to a flawed human husband then that is where we go. God is the captor of hearts and the Holy Spirit our daily, intimate companion. He will not lead us where He cannot sustain us. Remember that Abraham also had Hagar in his home that God (El Roi - the God who sees) called to return to her home and endure with Abraham and Sarah. He was leading her where He wanted her - even though she wanted different. He showed her He sees her and is there with her through it all. The Holy Spirit is our guide and will lead us where God wants us either to stay or seek refuge - but we must keep our hearts focused on Him! When we do we will not be shaken or moved from the love, peace, and joy God provides in all situations.

ADRIENNE C 02/28/2012 14:46:31

I also must say I LOVE LOVE these devotions! God always uses them in my life! They are wonderful! Thanks!

ANGELA W 02/29/2012 08:16:21

If it is very important that we obey - Scripture says that God does not change, he is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and Whoa to any many who changes one dot or tittle of Gods Word. Yet many Christians, sadly, don\'t realize that the Papal Church under Constantine, changed the Sabbath to Sunday. There is no support for that change in the Bible. Sabbath was instituted for us at Creation - not Sinai. Most Christians will follow the other nine commandments but totally look over the 4th? How is that obeying God?

TARA EARLEY 02/26/2013 15:09:58

It's amazing to me that we women have a tendancy to point out the last part of the scripture pertaining to submission on our part and husbands loving their wives. When are we gonna stop saying "Oh, well, don't forget what it says about husbands!" It is our responsibility to God, not to man, to obey His Word for His pleasure regardless of our husband's behavior. Trust me. I know a little something about a hard man. We have to stop saying 'But, Wait! What about them?!' Every time we hear a scripture or a devotional directed at us as women. We should pray for our husbands but work on our own relationship to God's Word and obedience to it. Also, I hope the real message of this devotion this morning has not been lost on us because we've allowed our pride to puff up and comment on the one thing directed soley toward a woman in scripture. We got to think about it ladies! Love you all!

TERESA SULLIVAN 02/26/2013 20:17:38

Too many women live with so called Christian men who, with the backing of this verse, treat their wives horribly. And too many goodyf two shoe Christian women tell these depressed, suffering women that they have no choice but bear it and be happy they are following God's laws. Too many children are being terrified by Christian men, beating them (remember, spare the rod, spoil the child) and watching the humiliation and torment of their mothers. And the Church, ministers and the holy members, say this is right. The world watches how Christians treat each other, and how women are , some churches, nothing but a pair of hands, No mind, just serve your spouse and your church.

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