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“Well-Practiced Obedience”Categories: Christian character, discipleship, Sunday Family Report articles
“Training had come to an end. There had been twenty-two months of it, more or less continuous. The men were as hardened physically as it was possible for human beings to be… They were disciplined, prepared to carry out orders instantly and unquestioningly.” (Stephen Ambrose, Band of Brothers, p. 60)
I know that many of my church members are accustomed to a daily workplace in which following orders is taken far more seriously (Colorado Springs has a very large contingent of military personnel), but I live and work in a world where that kind of ready obedience to orders is anything but commonplace. I regularly hear griping about laws and workplace regulations and educational requirements in conversations with my work colleagues at the restaurant where I work part-time. When I punish my sons for disobeying a parental instruction, I feel compelled to look over my shoulder in fear that a stranger will think me too harsh. And I hear news outlets glorifying rebellion against some form of authority which should rightfully be obeyed.
But then when I read my Bible, I find stories that admire the devotion of many who “followed orders” completely because they had faith in God who gave the orders. I read of people like Abraham, Gideon, Joshua, and others who simply did what they were told whether it “made sense” or not. In fact, I find it surprising to note that the Bible rarely explores the psychological processing of things like that. We tend to speculate at great length, asking, “What must he/she have thought when God asked them to do this?” But the Bible doesn’t tell us how those obedient ones wrestled with their decisions; it simply says that they did what God told them to do.
I wonder how many of us are as obedient to God as the soldiers in the quote above were to their CO’s. I wonder if we have the faith to simply read the commands of God in Scripture and obey like them: instantly and unquestioningly.
- Dan Lankford, minister