“If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matt 15:14 NIV)
We humans, especially in this day and age, don’t like the term “obedience”. For some reason such a word angers us and fills us with discontent.
For example, how would we feel if local authorities advise us not to wander outside after dark?
“We’re back to World War II!” We would fume. “Our government is no better than the Nazis!”
That is possibly why these three friends were wandering around in one of the neighbourhoods of Hveragerdi, Iceland, in the year 1906. True enough, World War II had not yet happened. For that matter, neither had World War I! But no matter the era of history, they were still wandering outside, against local advice.
One thing you must know about the region of Hveragerdi: It is filled with smoke that emits from hot springs. And that night, not only was there smoke coming from these heated pits, but the weather was far from desirable, and the visibility was . . . Well let’s just say things were quite . . . Invisible, if you know what I mean!
And yes one of these men did indeed fall into a hot spring. Luckily he had a couple of travel companions, who succeeded in pulling him out of his precarious situation, but he was badly burned, and the following day he succumbed to his injuries. Thanks to him though, one good thing occurred. Hveragerdi was the first town in Iceland to install electric lights, especially around those deadly hot springs!
Why are we so geared to do the opposite of the laws we encounter? It’s strange don’t you think?
Jesus had a completely different view about obedience: “I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.” (John 14:31 NIV)
It is as simple as this: When we respect and trust someone, we delight in pleasing them and we have no problem following their directions. My grade 7 teacher, Mr Lingier, was such a man, and none of his students ever defied him. Why? Because we respected and trusted him. In fact, we all admired him, for he was doing his best to get the best out of us!
And what about God? Do we respect and trust Him?
Jesus’ answer is clear: “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15 NIV)
I can just hear Jesus’ tone of voice when He declared this. I can hear His passion. I can see Him filled with adrenaline and utmost love towards his audience. Didn’t He die on a cross for everyone who hears these words, so that we could face eternity with a smile?
Still, we need to take the time to answer this question: Do we respect and trust God? Only then will love conquer our hearts.
Would you like a flashlight? It sure is nasty outside! Be careful for those hot springs! Maybe, just maybe, it would be wise to listen to the local authorities!
(To access the entire “Jesus’ Deepest Desires” devotional series, please click here.)