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As you are reading your Bible and praying every day, you will undoubtedly come across specific commands from God for your life. How you respond to what you’re reading is very important.

When faced with a direct command from God’s Word, there are many choices to make. Even though it is always a YES or NO decision, the NO decisions have varying deceiving reasons. Yes, there are always options in the life of following Jesus. However, just because there are options doesn’t mean every option is best for you. If you respond in any way other than immediate obedience, the situation becomes more complex and much more complicated.

Zephaniah 3:2 (NKJV) “She has not obeyed His voice, She has not received correction; She has not trusted in the Lord, She has not drawn near to her God.”

Why is immediate obedience so significant? When we are obedient to God’s commands, we trust Him. It shows that we believe His Word is accurate and that He knows what is best for us. When we disobey, we say that we value our way above God’s way. It’s often disastrous.

Romans 2:5–11 (NKJV) “But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.”

Over the years, I’ve seen three primary ways believers avoid immediate obedience.

First is the response of partial obedience. It’s easy to obey only in those areas that are comfortable and desirable. But partial obedience is complete disobedience and not a wise substitute.

The second is the response of procrastination. It’s more convenient to avoid the decision altogether by continually putting it off for tomorrow, next week, or sometime in the future. But procrastination will put things off until it’s too late, and the situation becomes much more difficult.

The third is the response of analysis. Instead of acting on what is a clear and concise command of God, you think about it, think about it, think around it, and think yourself out of the faith needed to obey.

These false substitutes and others breed a slow, arduous death to the effectiveness of the believer and the Church. Immediate obedience combined with faith-filled flexibility is helpful in the progress and influence of your life.

1 Samuel 15:22–23 (NKJV) “So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.”

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