We’re moving forward in being Wonderstruck by Scripture in The 40-Day Bible Reading Challenge. As I’ve been reading this week, I’ve been wonderstruck by the number of cray, cray, or crazytown stories in the Bible. [Tweet this] I’ve read them before, but every so often I find myself awestruck again. Did you notice any? I was taken back again by a few of these:
In 2 Samuel 20 where Joab gets his pirate on and punctures Amasa with a sword. Guts spill to the ground. Double ew!
Or 2 Samuel 24, where God feels the pain of the terror of the 70,000 people who die from an epidemic and tells the angel, “Enough’s enough! Pull back!”
Or that trickster holy man in 1 Kings 13.
Or Zarephath, the owner of the original Biscuitville (1 Kings 16).
Or that crazy gourd story (2 Kings 4).
Something about that word “misfired” popped of the page.
When it comes to God’s words, none misfire. Zero.
None of the promises.
None of the syllables.
None of the words of God misfire. [Tweet this]
This truth echoed throughout this weeks reading—through the life of the prophets including Elijah and Elisha, the kings and more. We’re repeatedly reminded that things happen just as God’s word say they will. Every. Time. [Tweet this]
And that’s both a challenging word and a word of great comfort. This weeks reading grounds us in the truth that God isn’t messing around. God is holy, and He calls us to pilgrimage into greater holiness. Step by step. Day by day. Without swerving. [Tweet this] Knowing His words never misfire. They all come true.
The other resounding message from this week’s reading came from 2 Kings 5 when Elisha asks Naaman to wash in the river in order to be healed of his skin disease. Naaman refuses.
The request seemed ludicrous to Naaman. He stomps off, mad as a hornet.
His servant catches up with him and says “Father, if the prophet had asked you to do something hard and heroic, wouldn’t you have done it? So why not do this simple ‘wash and be clean?”
Naaman’s heart is pierced. He recognizes his foolishness. He washes and is healed.
The story got me thinking: It’s easy to spend a lifetime waiting for God to ask us to do the “hard and heroic.” We may even wonder if we’ll have the strength when the moment arrives.
Naaman’s story grounds us in the truth that most (if not all) of our lives aren’t going to be spent doing the “hard and the heroic” but answering the call to simple obedience.
The call to simple obedience is often much more difficult than “hard and heroic”. [Tweet this]
Answering the call to simple obedience strips us. There’s no glory. There’s no applause. There’s no measuring devices. Just a long journey of obedience in the same direction.
Simple obedience invites us to choose God each day. Day after day. To carve out time for God. To pray prayers never heard by any other human beings. To study an ancient book. To engage in relationships others would give up on. To respond to those sacred echoes of the Holy Spirit when He nudges.
For most of us, simple obedience won’t involve speaking to world leaders or making an Oscar appearance, but offering encouragement to the discouraged, hope to the weak, generosity to those in need. Responding to God in the midst of our daily routines.
Simple obedience takes many forms. Sometimes it means staying in a job you want to quit. Taking in foster children. Starting a non-profit. Choosing to be a stay-at-home mom. Waiting until everyone else is served before you pick up a plate. Giving away your seat, your ticket, your spot to someone else. Making small decisions that sometimes gently, sometimes firmly go against the grain of our culture and world.
Do you hear the call to simple obedience?
Step by step.
Day by day.
Hour by hour.
What has the Holy Spirit been speaking to you as you’ve read the Bible this week?
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