Obedience. The word, to me, can have heavy connotations. I think of obedience school, for dogs. Of authoritarian, official, rules that must be followed to be protected from punishment.
As someone who follows Jesus, though, it also carries a freedom that others may not understand. It’s a covering; a protection from things that would harm me or my family. I don’t know all-the-things, and I don’t pretend to. It’s so beautiful to have something to trust in and believe in. It provides such peace when the world may be whirling and storming around me.
In reading the account of Joseph in Genesis, I am always amazed at how he reacted when Potiphar’s wife put the moves on him. By all accounts Joseph was pretty handsome, and she obviously noticed. She kept at him, until finally she grabbed his cloak to really get things moving. He didn’t try to persuade her, he didn’t try to save his ego, or assuage her feelings.
Left his coat right in her room, and didn’t look back.
He wasn’t afraid to be awkward. Wasn’t afraid to look weird. He was more afraid of going against his Master. That legitimate fear of breaking trust, stealing what wasn’t his, and hurting the people he worked for was stronger than being embarrassed and his possible yearning for fun, relationship or a good time.
We need to be like that. I need to be like that.
I need to FLEE from temptation, whatever that means for the situation. If it’s a conversation that’s headed into gossip- just get up and walk away. If it’s something threatening to overshadow my main priorities, it needs to go. We cannot be comfortable entertaining sin in any form.
Is it because of the damnation? The angry hellfire? Not at all. It’s because of love. And that love is protection from things that hurt others, or ourselves.
We don’t need to wait for “conviction.” We need to run. Escape. Get out of Dodge. Back to the protection that comes in perfect love. Then we can regroup- maybe explain why we believe what we believe or put better boundaries in place. But when we have that feeling in our soul that this isn’t what we’re supposed to be doing, we need to get up and walk out, and we need to teach our children to do the same thing. The more we stifle that sense-that voice from the Holy Spirit- the quieter and quieter it gets until we can no longer hear the whisper of peace.
How I love and need to hear His voice.