In the last couple of weeks, my son Jude has been teaching us a thing or two.
He has assisted in bringing to light numerous lessons concerning my relationship with our Heavenly Father. This weekend, Jude was used yet again. Specifically, his actions this weekend, have given an instructional example concerning obedience and our dependency on the Father.
To explain, it’s important to note that my wife just spent the weekend away, so my son Jude and I got to have a few days of quality time together. Though Nicole might hate hearing this, but he was extremely well-behaved and obedient the whole time she was gone.
Now, out of the two of us, I am generally the stronger hand when it comes to disciple, but I don’t think that was it. It was like he subconsciously knew that because his mom and his little brother were gone, he only had one person left to hold on to and didn’t want to do anything to disturb that relationship.
Now, some may say this event was a fluke and that it means nothing at all. However, I’m generally not satisfied living my life with that mindset. So, I’m left asking myself, “what can I glean from this experience? What truth about my relationship with the Father is brought forth through my son’s obedience?“
If one were to consider obedience within the realm of the Heavenly Father, the Psalms are a great place to start. Looking at Psalm 119, we see the following:
“Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart—they do no wrong but follow his ways. You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed. Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands. I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws. I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me.” (Psalm 119:1-8)
If we look to the last section of Psalm 119, we obtain a few more clues into the author’s heart and therefore, the heart of his desire to please and be obedient to God.
It’s so interesting that the author begins this Psalm with deep conversation on the decrees and laws of the Lord, and obedience to them. However, in the last verse, he begins with a cry to the Lord. The first five sentences of the last paragraph begin with may, which indicates a significant petition”May my cry come before you, LORD; give me understanding according to your word. May my supplication come before you; deliver me according to your promise. May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees. May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous. May your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts. I long for your salvation, LORD, and your law gives me delight. Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me. I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, or I have not forgotten your commands.” (Psalm 119:169-176)
The author petitions for understanding, deliverance, wisdom and salvation. The author understands that the only One who can get anyone through this world of adversity is the Lord. There is a very apparent dependency that is outlined in this Psalm. Obedience is significant in obtaining the approval of the Father. Is this the key?
When I get back to how well Jude obeyed me this weekend, maybe it was out of a feeling that I was all he had? He has grasped on some level that I am his protector and provider which is important. But more significant, I think there was a connection with his mom being gone and in turn, the primary source of comfort and nurture being missed.
Jude had a true, sole-dependency on his relationship with me this weekend. He needed my care, affirmation and favour. His temptations to rebel were diminished because he was internally convinced not to do anything to come between us. His dependency on me brought out a spirit of complete obedience.
I’m convinced that our relationship with the Father is no different. When all other sources of comfort are gone, we cling to our Father. This dependency is usually followed by a significant period of obedience. Our prayer life is richer, our time in the Word is more substantial and our relationships with others have more value.
This is the kind of dependency that the author of Psalm 119 is connecting with. This is the kind of dependency that causes steadfast obedience, like that which was displayed by Jude this weekend.
When was the last time your dependency on the Father resulted in steadfast obedience?