As a parent, I am teaching my children that "delayed obedience is the same as disobedience." I must repeat that phrase multiple times per day. I want them to obey not only me, but God, immediately. No making excuses or procrastinating.
This morning I read Psalm119:60. It says, "I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands."
And then it hit me. I preach immediate obedience to my children, but I do not obey God immediately when He speaks to me. I cannot count the number of times I have been moved to speak a kind or encouraging word to someone, but think "Oh, I'll wait until the kids are outside to call them." I've been moved at the grocery store to buy a gift card for a new family that is struggling, but then I think "I'd better hold on to that extra money....no telling what may come up this week. I'll get one next week."
I can look back on the past 2 years of seminary and can give example after example of God's faithfulness to us. He has provided in ways that are extraordinary. And I credit the people that God chose to use for obeying Him...immediately.
What would have happened when our pantry was practically bare and we still had a week to go before payday if someone who was moved by the Holy Spirit didn't stop by with a box of groceries...."your family just came to mind and we had all this extra..." or what about the time we were leaving church and Tucker had a handful of bills in his hands...."some man told me to give this to my mom and dad..." or the card in the mail with a check...."we hope this will help...we just felt moved to send something...." and it isn't just monetary gifts. A friendly word, and encouraging smile, a phone call just to say "I'm praying for you"....all these things are direct manifestations of people who obey that still, small voice they hear.
I'm challenged to start listening....really listening...to that voice. The voice of God. And to obey.