We experience moments when The Holy nudges us to do something or leave something undone.
Yet we resist. By…
Ignoring the prod to pick up the phone and apologize.
Resisting the urge to give.
Uttering the unkind word though we know we should keep silent.
Breaking the confidence we promised to keep.
The Holy prompts us toward that which rings with righteousness, that which illuminates us as children of God.
The feeling often comes on strong like a gushing wind lunging forward from within. But if we resist, the gust reduces to a breeze then stills to a calm. We miss the moment.
Can the cost of disobedience be quantified?
Today, we celebrate Day 13 in the #LentChallenge, reading though the Gospels in preparation for Resurrection Sunday. To download a free copy of the reading plan, click here. Are you following along with the Color Method? Click here to download the Gospel of Mark as a PDF.
The first three chapters of the Gospel of Mark strap us into a gripping rollercoaster as we witness the highs, lows, and twirls of the life of Christ.
John the Baptist heralds the message to prepare “The Way.”
Those who press their ears against John’s chest recognize the depth and cost of the hearty calling.
The Way leads to imprisonment. Mockery. Brutal death.
For those who follow The Way, down becomes the new up, weakness becomes the new strong, brokenness becomes the new whole.
Not just for John the Baptist and for Jesus, but for all those who follow Him—including you and me.
The Way is more than a path; The Way is a Person.
Walking the Way. Following the Way. Pursuing the Way. Costs everything.
With water streaming down His face, John the Baptist and his followers listen to a holy voice declare the words we must learn to tuck into our hearts:
Then Jesus transitions from dripping from dehydration.
Jesus survives the wilderness for 40 days before handpicking the disciples—a motley crew that includes doubters, deniers, and betrayers.
The transition baffles Jesus’ parents and siblings. They don’t understand what has happened to their baby boy all grown up.
Jesus steps into ministry. Driving out dark shadows. Eliminating life-threating fevers. Making leprosy scamper away. The paralyzed dance. The tax collectors find new friends. Shriveled hands sprout fingers. Crowds press in.
Indeed, the Way of Jesus leads to life, order, and wholeness.
Yet a surprising act of disobedience is tucked into Mark 1-3.
A man with leprosy falls to his knees begging Jesus for healing, for purity, for restoration.
With a handful of syllables, the man is healed.
Jesus sends the man away with one ask:
Why follow Jesus’ instructions?
(Errr. Not enough room in this post.)
- Obedience is a sign of gratitude.
- Obedience is a sign of honor.
- Obedience provides an opportunity to share the Messiah to the priests.
- Obedience is the response of a healthy fear of God.
- Obedience has a long term impact.
Yet the man does the opposite. He strolls into streets and verbally processing with anyone who will listen.
The cost of the man’s disobedience:
Did the man ruin Jesus’ ministry forever? No.
God is bigger than our disobedience, but He can do even greater things through our quick obedience.
This man’s disobedience had a high cost, and ours does, too. We don’t always see the impact of our disobedience. We forget how interconnect we are to one another. We forget that our delays, our neglect, our slow response takes a toll on others and ministry God wants to do.
In early December, I learned of a friend who needed money to buy presents for her children for Christmas through an email. I felt compelled to send a check, but with the busyness of the holidays, the email sunk lower in the queue. I did send the check—but not until December 28.
What was the cost of my slowness to obey?
I may never fully know. Higher than I realized for that mom, for those kids, for that family.
What do I most need to read but least want to hear?
Be quick to obey. Be quick to respond. Don’t miss the moment. Obedience to God isn’t just doing what you’re led to do but responding swift, quick, now.
What do you most need to read but least want to hear from today’s reading? Share in the comments.