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Purity Girls
Purity 101

O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E

     Have you heard this song in Sunday school or Jr. church? It goes like this:

"Obedience is the very best way
To show that you believe:
Doing exactly what the Lord commands,
Doing it happily.
Action is the key--do it immediately,
The joy you will receive!
Obedience is the very best way
To show that you believe.
O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E (Yes, sir!)
Obedience is the very best way
To show that you believe."

     Were you humming the tune while you read that? I was while typing it. Yes, I learned that song at an early age and came to know it well.
     At first, it was just a cute song that taught me to spell a very long word. But, over the years, that song came to have a different meaning in my life.
     You see, my mom also knew that song, and at times, when I'd stall or grumble at things she asked me to do, she would start to sing. "Obedience is the very best way, to show that you believe…"
     Soon, I hated that song. I hated the words, I hated the tune, and I especially hated it when I had to sing that song. It just rubbed me the wrong way. Why did I always have to do whatever my parents or teachers told me to do when they wanted me to do it (and it seemed they had opinions about everything I did every moment of the day)?
     "I'd like to tell them what to do all day and see how they'd like it," I thought. I had it all planned out. When they wanted to sleep in, I'd make them get up. If they wanted to eat Fruit Loops, I'd give them Grape Nuts. If they wanted to watch TV, I'd make them scrub the bathroom floor. It would be sweet revenge!
     The only problem with my plan was that most of the things I planned to deny them, they did not seem to enjoy anyway. My Mom virtually never slept in, ate sugary sweet cereal, and she often was found cleaning the house while I watched TV.
     "Grownups just don't like to do fun things any more," I thought.
     I have news for you. I AM a grownup! And yes, I still like to do fun things! Yes, I'd like to sleep late every morning, and there is no one to force me to get up early! But I still get up (guess why!) because I have to wake up a little boy, fix his breakfast, pick out his clothes, and send him off to school.
     I like to watch TV--but it's not so much fun watching TV in a smelly, dirty, messy house, and if I don't clean it (guess what!) no one will.
     I'd like to eat sugary cereals and snacks, but I don't want my waistline to disappear until I resemble Santa Claus.
     What am I trying to say? I'm saying that I've learned that being an adult doesn't mean you have any more freedom than you did as a kid--you still have to do things you don't want to do all day long! The only difference is that, as an adult, there is no one there to check on you, to remind you to do things, to keep you on schedule. You have to do all that yourself.
     So, maybe "obedience" is not such a dirty word after all. It just means someone is helping you learn how to be responsible for your own self as well as your future home and children.
     It also helps to realize that everyone must obey someone. Even the people who seem to be bossing

 

you around must submit to police officers, employers and preachers. Ultimately, everyone is responsible to obey God.
     God takes obedience very seriously. Did you know that God once rejected a king because of his disobedience?
     That notorious king was King Saul. God instructed him, through Samuel the prophet, to go to battle against the Amalekites and to "utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not" (I Samuel 15:3).
     Well, Saul went to battle against Amalek, and God helped Israel to win a mighty victory that day. However, the Bible says that "Saul and the people spared Agag (the king of Amalek), and the best of the sheep…and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them" (v. 9).
     When God saw that Saul had kept the king alive for his own bragging rights and had also saved all the healthy looking animals alive, he was sorry he had ever made Saul king, and he sent Samuel to tell him so.
     Well, when Saul saw Samuel coming, he went to meet him with a happy greeting. "Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD," said Saul (v. 13).
     "Oh, really?" replied Samuel, "If you obeyed God, why does it sound like a farmyard around here?"
     "Oh, those," Saul said, "we just saved those to make a big sacrifice to God, to thank Him for helping us in the battle."
     Then Samuel said these well-known words: "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice" (v. 22).
     Saul thought he had a really good reason for disobeying God's command--after all, he destroyed most of the Amalekites and their possessions, and he was planning to use the animals to make a big, showy sacrifice to God. He was just bending the rules a little, and he was convinced that he was doing the right thing.
     The only problem is, God did not want his showy sacrifice. God wanted Saul to demonstrate by his obedience that he loved and trusted God. Instead, Saul had showed God that he trusted himself, not God, to know what was best for Saul's life.
     Why don't you read the entire story in I Samuel 15-16, and consider this: What do your actions show God? What do your actions demonstrate toward your parents? Does your loving obedience show honor and trust in them that they know what is best? Or do you doubt their ability to lead you in the best path for your life?
     If obedience is hard for you, ask yourself why. Is it because you doubt the good intentions of those who are trying to lead you? Do you think they aren't smart enough to know what's best for you? Are they asking you to do something that disagrees with God's Word? If not, then remember the words of the "Obedience" song: "Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe."
     To show that you believe what? To show that you believe that God is in control of your life and that if you obey Him, He will work all things out for good. To show that you believe that God gave you parents, teachers, and other people to obey to test your faith in Him. To show that you believe that you don't know it all, and that you aren't too proud to learn from someone else.
     Take a moment to consider: what do your actions show that you believe? Then ask God how you could improve in the area of obedience, and listen quietly for His response.

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