“Be thou there till I bring thee word” (Matthew 2:13).
Several years ago I had a one hundred and thirty-five pound German Shepherd dog for a pet I named Tye and he hated the command “Stay.” He would joyfully sit, rollover, play dead or obey a host of other commands, but stay was a challenge for my dear pet. Until he finally came to grips with the fact that if he would stay there would be a doggy treat in store for him, and so it is from the perspective of too many Christians. Too many of us are willing to sit in the congregation and hear the word but are not doers of the word. Some are willing to rollover–go with the flow, go along to get along, and the most disappointing are those willing to play dead—if you do not bother me you will not know I’m here.
Like our pets we need motivation, the promise of reward to do what we know we ought to do without reservation. I am not a psychologist by any definition of the word, but I feel that there are two aspects to staying put that challenges the Christian mind, body and spirit. One is the sense of bondage—being held in a place or time against our will; “And every one whom his spirit made willing” (Exodus 35:21). The other discipline—requires a willingness to personally restrain one self and-or be constrained by rule, law or other obligation; “The spirit within me constrained me” (Job 32:18). There are many examples in the Scriptures where God commands a servant, king, warrior, prophet or shepherd to stay put. Some obeyed and were rewarded; others did not to their regret.
I wanted to share this poem with you, the author is unknown, it strikes a chord in me. For I too have been tempted to move on my schedule instead of waiting on the Lord, but I have made up my mind I will stay put. May you be blessed!
Selectively and all too often with reservation we obey God’s commandments until He command us to stay put. Suddenly, it is outright rebellion. We are impatient creatures with an insatiable desire to physically be on the move. Is it the same with the Christian spirit? I believe so and I also believe there is a yearning in most believers to obey God’s words and commandments. Jesus warned the disciples in Gethsemane to: “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). Enter not into the temptation of disobedience, moving when we are commanded by the Spirit of God to stay put. Yield not to the temptation of removing ourselves from the will of God, it is easy to forget “Obedience is better than sacrifice.”
As human beings our hearts are restless, they beat against the ribs of a Christian’s life circumstances, and our minds yearn for opportunities to enter larger spheres of influence. We ask God to order our steps, yet we want to choose the path. The patience and trust in His wisdom and will is overshadowed by our impatience and aspiration to escape the boredom of the ordinary Christian life. Little does some of us know that it is the best training we may gain in preparation for the stress and strain that comes with the greater opportunity which God may send our way. “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof; and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit” (Ecclesiastes 7:8).
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- Obedience, Obey (georgehach.wordpress.com)
- “Not My Will, but Thine be Done” New Testament Lesson #25 (mormonapologeticstudies.org)