Delayed Obedience

 : Stopping clock hands to stop the time (3d isolated on white background characters series)
After walking with the Lord for more than two decades now, I realize, I may not say a complete “NO” to the Lord when He asks me to do something. I might stand around asking “Is it REALLY You Lord?” couple of times and then buy some more time by really being busy in the “ministry” that I don’t have time to sit and think about what God is trying to tell me. I might even tell a best friend, “I am struggling, will you pray for me?” And those prayers strangely NEVER get answered. Wonder why?

In the first place, it is just delayed obedience on my part. When it comes to the insight from the scriptures, delayed obedience is just disobedience- even when I say “I am struggling.”

I sat down drafting at least two different articles tonight. Nothing was moving. After much prayer and travailing and not getting anything, I finally decided I am not going to post something for the sake of it. Got ready for bed and almost called it a day, that is when my sweet friend caught up with a late night test, “Missed your blog, you okay?” To which I replied, “I am struggling” Grateful to a God who catches our own words and reminds us to tarry in long obedience in the same direction. 

King Saul was an example in partial obedience (incomplete obedience) that we read yesterday. Today I want to write about a person who showed delayed obedience in the scriptures.

Jacob left his birth place and was on the run for his life while he had an encounter with God at a place that He called Bethel-(house of God). There he makes a promise to God:
“Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.” (Gen 28:20-22) Basically the guy who’s on the run for stealing his brother’s share says he was going to come back to Bethel and tithe!

It amazes me, that even when we are on the run, God love runs after us!

Faithful as He is, God keeps His promise, But when Jacob returns, he forgets all about this promise, though God reminds him in Gen 31 saying “I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar.”
The guy has no clue about Bethel at this point. He goes and settles at a place called Schechem. Sadly he forgot about the vow, he forgot about God and he forgot about the house of God- Bethel. That is also when tragedy struck Jacob. We read that in Genesis 34 when the only daughter Jacob had is defiled by the prince of Shechem-leading to Jacob’s own son’s becoming murderers! 
The destiny of his daughter and sons changed by just a delayed obedience! Want to know how the next chapter begins? 

“Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.”(Gen 35:1) 

And so he did in verses 2&3: “So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes. 3 Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.”
Delayed obedience has a consequence. It can change destinies. Do you have a Bethel that you need to return to? Don’t delay, Arise, Purify yourself, and Go to Bethel. Do not delay. 
Father, we ask that you would help us know how dangerous it is to delay in obedience to you. Show us how it impacts your glory and how it changes the destiny of us and those around us. Give us grace to desire you and want to come back to our Bethel. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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