During these days of stay-at-home, isolation, seclusion, social distancing, shelter-in-place, quarantine, and virtual lock-down, Americans have learned how easy it is to practice something they probably thought they weren’t really cut out for: obedience.
I used to wonder if we were even capable of unquestioning obedience to anyone. I mean, the whole idea goes against our very nature to figure out for ourselves what we do, think and believe. Yet, since the beginning of the whole COVID-19 fiasco, we have been told what to do and, for the most part, we have obeyed.
We were told to stay at least six feet away from everyone else, and we did. We were told not to meet in groups numbering more than 50, then 10, then maybe two, and we obeyed. We were told not to go out of our homes unless we were “essential” workers, or we were going to the grocery store or pharmacy, and we (for the most part) obeyed. We were told to close churches — “for the health of the community” — and we obeyed.
To say the least, we’ve been very busy as of late just obeying. So busy obeying, in fact, that I fear we might just become too good at it, or too used to it.
Some have decided, for better or worse, that they’ve had enough. They’ve taken to the streets to protest orders from governors, health departments, and various governmental administrations.
Some mayors have gone against their state governors’ orders and opened their cities for business ahead of mandated reopening dates. They’ve decided, for what it’s worth, to obey their own consciences rather than the commands and policies of politicians.
Throughout the Bible we read that we, as believers, are to obey God above all others. In the book of Acts, when the Apostle Peter and his cohorts were arrested, set free, and then arrested again for preaching in the name of Jesus, they made an astounding statement.
“We must obey God rather than human beings!” (Acts 5:29 NIV)
There, you have it. Believers, we have to be careful whom we obey. We need to weigh commands, directives, executive orders and state mandates very carefully. We have to watch very closely to make sure we aren’t being led down some hurtful path instead of following — obeying — God.
Only God is good enough, trustworthy enough, and wise enough to earn our unquestioning obedience. To God and God alone we should each readily say … “Your will — above all else — be done in my life.”