Delayed Obedience is Disobedience

Instead of attending church and licking the plate of a home cooked meal, I spent Easter Sunday in Rochester, New York, held up in a hotel room binge-watching the first season of “Gilmore Girls.” As usual, I’m late to the amazing television series party.

Relax. It’s not like I’ve never heard of the show. A few of my friends watch the reruns on Netflix. I’m a, “Law and Order: SVU” kinda girl myself, so the idea of romance and drama in a small town named Stars Hollow was never all that riveting to me in the first place.

Anyhow, I digress.

During a discussion with my two flying partners the day before, the topic of mother-daughter relationships came up and the less than perfect bond between Emily and Lorelai Gilmore was referenced. The flight attendant who had seen,”Gilmore Girls” raved about how great it was and assured me that it was “clean” and “You could watch it with a five year old.” A wholesome show at least in part about a dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship? Now the Gilmores had my attention. I figured, what the heck? I’ve got thirty hours to kill in Rochester, why not give it a try. So I committed to watching at least one episode of, “Gilmore Girls” on my layover.

Then I watched eight.

In the days following my newfound obsession, I found myself being constantly lulled to sleep by the heart warming banter between Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. Night after night, I was peeling my body from the sofa and dragging myself to bed. One morning, after one of those nights, I commenced my quiet time with God. Propped up against the chaise at the end of my bed, I bowed my head and began with thanksgiving. As my prayers transitioned from one topic to the next, the Holy Spirit began to interrupt my thoughts. I stopped talking and listened. Then, I heard. Per the command of God, I had to stop watching, “Gilmore Girls.”

Yes, fully involved and several episodes into the second season, God said no. Completely crushed, I told God, Okay. I’ll give it up…next week. What I heard next was as clear as the cloudless blue sky currently hiding behind my living room curtains: “Delayed obedience is disobedience.” I knew then that I had to decide in that moment whether I was going to heed the voice of God or give in to my own desires. And so, my short lived affair with, “Gilmore Girls” came to an abrupt halt.

It may seem silly that God would ask me to give up something as seemingly harmless as a t.v. show, but it didn’t come as a complete surprise to me. My spirit had already been stirred by some of the minor themes in the show. I’d simply chosen to overlook them because they weren’t that bad. Two things in particular that bothered me about, “Gilmore Girls,” was the promotion of sex outside of marriage and promiscuity.

Because of it’s prevalence, fornication (among many other “little” sins) is sort of…expected these days. Not a big deal, even. Yet God is reminding me that we don’t answer to the culture or times, we answer to His word. And if there is anything we watch, read, listen to, participate in, or entertain that is not in line with His word, then we are out of line. Period, no exceptions. We as Christians should not be entertained by the same things as the non-believing world. We cry out for more of God as we continue to embed ourselves deeper into the heart of this world. Then we wonder why He feels so distant…

I believe that God is challenging his people. Calling our bluff, if you will. Are we really willing to lay it ALL out on the line to follow him? Are we willing to give up all the things that keep us grounded in this world? The answers to our prayers to forge a deeper relationship with God lie in our obedience to him. We fall into step with the spirit of God when we learn to trust and believe him the first time. In his time, not our own, for he is our commander in chief.

War movies are my favorite to watch because I love the art and organization of war and seeing how tactical skill and knowledge lead to victory…and sometimes defeat. One of the most vital rules of battle is to follow the orders of the commander. A Lieutenant/Colonel is not given rank over a group of soldiers, but rather, earns their title by proving that they are capable of leading in battle. They have more knowledge and insight than the majors they reside over, which makes it imperative that their subordinates heed their guidance.

If a Lieutenant/Colonel yells to his platoon, “Take Cover!” and one of his/her majors asks why, exclaiming, “I don’t see the enemy!” it’s likely that that individual will either lose his/her life or become severely injured.

Likewise, if God tells us to stop, go, yes or no, we need to be in a position to act immediately. Christians are taking unnecessary fire from enemy lines because we are disobedient to our commander, which is ultimately an indication that we don’t trust Him. If God tells us to move out of the line of fire today and we don’t move until tomorrow, we will have already been burnt. But grace. Even in our disobedience, He is a good God, for He allows us to get burned without being incinerated. Still, why waste time nursing wounds that can be been avoided through obedience. We can say all the prayers, read the Bible in every translation, go to church three times a week, and still not get any closer to God because we don’t listen.

Before God can transition us to the next level, He has to trust us to trust Him. We cannot sustain ourselves in the place He has purposed for us. Giving up, “Gilmore Girls” wasn’t easy at first, but I’m glad I did it. I’ve given up a lot of worldly pleasures (some things I’m still working on letting go) this year in obedience to God. And I’ll be honest, it’s hard and it hurts. It sometimes feels like I’m being stripped of everything that makes me, me. But I guess that’s the point. The Christian journey isn’t about becoming more ourselves, but becoming less like us and more like Jesus.

When I first started working on this post, I typed up some questions related to obedience to get my writing juices flowing. Feel free to answer them in the context of your own life and walk with God. Share or not, but ponder please.

  1. Why is it important to obey the Holy Spirit at the time of prompting?
  2. What are the consequences of being disobedient to the Holy Spirit?
  3. Should God entrust us with inside information if we can’t follow His instructions?
  4. Is it possible that we wait as long as we do for our desires because God is waiting on us to show that we are capable of being obedient?

11 thoughts on “Delayed Obedience is Disobedience

    • Haven’t we all been in this place?! Sounds silly, but it’s the little things that get in the way of us having full access to God! How right you are, it’s so important to ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

  1. This was so good. I have been here with a few TV shows. It’s very difficult sometimes to let those things go. We want to hold on to them because they give us that quick satisfaction. 1.) It’s important to obey the Holy Spirit at the paticular time He’s telling you to because He sees the final result. He sees how these things can influence you and the others around you. He knows that one thing can lead to another/other “bigger” thing(s). 2.) As stated, the consqeuences are getting burnt. If God is telling you to move it’s because there’s a need to move. He doesn’t say anything just to say it. 3.) This is an amazing question. It seems like the simple answer is no. I think the whole concept of God “trusting” us is interesting as a whole. I think, for sure, that we aren’t always trustworthy people 100%, but He still uses us. 4.) Yes, yes, absolutely yes! God is always about building and molding and showing proof of perserverance and trust. One of God’s biggest concerns of His followers is that they trust Him. He can’t use us if we don’t trust Him because we won’t listen. So, I think He definitely wants to grow us and teach us to trust Him. What other reason would the most powerful being of the universe, who can do anything and less than a second, wait around to give us want we want or need?

    I absolutely loved this post. It’s so hard to hear, but absolutely true.

    • Skye! First off, thank you so much for reading and posting your responses! Quick satisfaction is right! It’s never worth it. It always leaves me in a slump and feeling discouraged.

      I love your answer to the first question. God know’s so much more than we do. His instructions are always for our good…even when it doesn’t seem like it.
      I also love your perspective on question three. We are so unworthy, yet God continuously gives us chances to show our commitment to him. The more we trust Him, the more he will entrust to us!

      OMG, thanks so much Skye for reaching out and sharing your thoughts on this post! I loved reading your responses to the questions! It’s always great to get another perspective from a fellow follower!!!!

  2. Pingback: Thoughts Of Redemption – Sunshine Blogger Award Winner! – Thoughts Of Redemption

  3. Absolute truth….Interestingly the Lord spoke to you saying, “delayed obedience is disobedience,” however, His words to me were, “partial obedience is disobedience.” Both of these are akin and should be heeded the same. I remember like it was yesterday hearing the Lord say these words to me and then He led me to 1 Samuel 15, adding weight to His words, as if they needed any. In this passage the Lord gave Saul specific instruction for battle. (I know you’ll appreciate this story, since war movies are your favorite to watch)

    “Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” 1 Samuel 15:3

    But as we know it, Saul failed to completely obey the commands of the Lord…

    “And Saul attacked the Amalekites, from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is east of Egypt. 8 He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9 BUT SAUL AND THE PEOPLE spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed…1 Samuel 15:7-9

    I absolutely love this story and the lessons the Lord teaches us through it. Not only does the Lord use it to reveal Saul’s partial obedience, which is ultimately disobedience, He also shines a spotlight on the blatant lie he told Samuel. If this weren’t enough, he also blamed the people for this act, and then tried to justify why they kept the best of the livestock, for sacrificial purposes..

    My prayer through these stories become one that the Lord would help be walk in complete obedience to His voice and commands. As Caleb and Joshua wholly followed the Lord, so would I. Thanks for this message Sis! It’s wartime!!

    • Omg, yes!!! This is just a true, partial obedience is obedience as well. I’ve pulled a Saul quite a few times and it always backfires, for our hearts and intentions cannot be hidden from God. Thank you so much for the scriptural references (& catering to my love of war movies!).

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