Because He Said So
By Rachel Olsen

“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands.” 2 John 1:6 A (NIV)

Is there a summer camp for kids destined to become lawyers? If so, I’m ready to sign my daughter up. No, I’m kidding. I love her dearly but she can wear me out with all her questions and challenges. She is a pre-teen now but this started years ago.

About the time she turned four, she had been out past bedtime at an event with her father. She’s an extrovert so being out late around lots of other people had her really wound up and talking non-stop on the way home. The more she talked, the more animated she became. Finally my husband said, “No more words, honey, we’re going to be quiet for the rest of the ride home.”

“Why?” she asked.

“Because it’s late and you are tired, and you need to let your body wind down and rest.”

“I’m not tired at all,” she insisted.

“You don’t realize it but you are very tired; its past bedtime and you need to settle down.”

After a moment of silence she said very matter-of-factly, “You can’t know how I’m feeling.”

My husband, who has a Ph.D. in communication, came through the front door saying, “Our preschooler just out reasoned me!”

She wants to understand our plans, motives, and reasons for everything. If she doesn’t understand the logic of something she has a hard time accepting it. She loves us and truly wants to please us, but she wants to know why before she obeys. She’s usually very obedient, once she’s heard our reasons. Nonetheless, in response to her questions I’m sometimes tempted to use that infamous parental phrase: “Because I said so!”

I wonder if God ever wants to use that phrase with me?

I sometimes challenge His rules. Do not murder – check. Do not take the Lord’s name in vain – got it. Honor your father and mother – OK. Do not gossip – hum, not even in the form of a prayer request? Do not lie – you mean, not ever? Do not envy – is this even possible?

Other times I question His ways. Can’t You just feed the poor by making crops grow? Why do unbelieving drug addicts conceive babies, but my own girlfriend who follows You cannot? Why didn’t You give me more organizational skills if You were going to have me marry this man and do this job? … Are you sure You got the formula right when You made me?

God is infinitely more patient a parent than I am, and He is abounding in grace and love. He can easily handle all my questions without exasperation. But I wonder if He wishes I would just simply trust and obey – just because He is God. I know I wish I would!

The scriptures say: “Do what your king commands; you gave a sacred oath of obedience. Don't worryingly second-guess your orders or try to back out when the task is unpleasant. You're serving his pleasure, not yours. The king has the last word. Who dares say to him, "What are you doing?" Carrying out orders won't hurt you a bit; the wise person obeys promptly and accurately.” (Ecclesiastes 8:2-5, MSG). I want to be that wise person.

The Bible further assures me of His capable hands and creative purposes saying: “But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?” (Romans 9:20-21, NIV). Yes, He certainly does. I want to be the fancy pot but I have to trust I will find the greatest joy when I accept the purposes He’s designed me for.

So my goal today is not to question God but simply to trust and obey... even if I don’t understand why and even if it’s hard to do. I will accept the way that I am made and the plans that He has set before me. Yes, I know I can take all my questions to the Lord and He will lovingly sift through them, but today I want to obey His commands in swift, willing obedience – just because He said so.

Dear Lord, help me to show my love for You and others by knowing Your commands and obeying them. Give me the mind and attitude of Christ today and help be a woman who says “yes” to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, by Lysa TerKeurst

Listen to Today's Radio Show

Read Rachel’s blog

The 7 Hardest Things God Asks a Woman to Do, by Lisa Whittle

Application Steps:
Write out a declaration of intention to obey God at all costs. Pray and ask God to help you grow in obedience.

Have you been challenging the Lord lately about the way He made you? Or the task He has set before you?

Are there commands that you are struggling with obeying right now?

Will you leave this place of questioning and doubt and move forward in obedience?

Power Verses:
Romans 6:16, “Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (NIV)

2 Corinthians 9:13, “Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.” (NIV)


Blogger laura said...

This devotional is so right on. I am currently in the middle of a situation that God has specifically told me to stay out of and I can just feel myself saying yes but... It blows me away to think that I would even entertain the idea that I could do something better than God or that He might just need my help...yet I still do that even just 5 minutes ago. I think it has something to do with His timing. I do okay obeying if everything comes together immediately but if I have to obey and wait and wait and wait - I just want to get in there and fix it. Good thing He loves me!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise God for your obedience to write what He lays on your heart. I feel like I have been lukewarm in the ministry He has for my husband and I right now, because we feel like it is time for a change. But until He moves us on, we have to be passionate about the kids in our lives. (Eccl 8:2 really helped with that!) Also, I have a hard time loving myself for the "pot" He created me to be. Thank you for reminding me to appreciate who He made me to be.

Blogger Van said...

Rachel, I think your daughter and my older son grew in the same pod! I remember the night he woke me at 3 AM announicng he had slept and now he was ready to get up. NO amount of reasoing would change his mind! I am convinced that God gave us children so we could grow closer to Him, seeing life from His perspective. I understand my Father best, when my child challenges me, reminding me of my lack of trust in Him. Wow that is a turnstile lesson!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You couldn't have had this devotional on a better day. I've been struggling with questioning how God could put so much on my plate and wondering how I could do everything that He is asking of me right now. I had gotten to the point of wanting to ask if it is just because He's mean or doesn't like me.

Now twice within a week, I'm reminded that He does love me. And as a dear friend told me, God must really love and trust you to put this much on you right now because He knows that you can handle it.

Thank you again for the reminder.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

While everyone has a 'thing' to cope with, sometimes it feels like mine is just not right. Thank you for reminding me that God may not be on my time but he is never late. Today I got news about a court hearing next week with my ex, involving my children. This is going on 4 years and there seems to be no end. Sometimes my nerves get the best of me, but today when I needed it most, Proverbs 31 was right there to bring me back into the mindset God wants me. Thank you God and praise Him for his grace and mercy. In his grip and grace, LaRissa.

Blogger Sara said...

"Because I said so" is a good answer. Children should trust and obey without questioning. Just as we should trust and obey God without questioning. Thank you for what your wrote. Amen!

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