I had a teacher in seventh grade who taught her class and her children to “obey immediately and completely without arguing or complaining.” As a child, I did not like that saying. It was too long. It was too difficult. It was too true.
For whatever reason, though, I liked it enough to share it with my mom and soon, this long statement was our go-to household rule.
“Immediately and completely without arguing or complaining!” My teacher would say in a sing-song voice as we groaned while clearing our desks and putting away our books for quizzes.
“Immediately and completely without arguing or complaining!” My mom wrote in a list of chores that she left for us on Saturday morning while she went to do groceries.
“Immediately and completely without arguing or complaining!” I heard God whisper in my heart when I passed a girl sitting alone, outside, crying.
I was minding my own business, walking back to the dorm after classes. I did not know who this girl was or why she was crying. “It’s not my problem she’s crying. I have other things to do.” I whispered back to that voice in my head. But for some unknown reason, I felt like I needed to comfort her.
“Immediately and completely.”
God expects our utmost obedience and He expects it immediately and completely. When Jesus was called to go to the cross, he went immediately and completely.
The word “immediately” comes up 83 times in the Bible; 79 of those times are found in the New Testament, mostly in Mark. It’s a call to action, a call to obedience.
When God calls us to do something, we need to do it. Not simply because it’s good or it will help us, but because He is God and He has said to do it. What kind of response would my mother give me if I refused to obey her? How much more important is it to obey the perfect and heavenly God of the universe? While we may not always understand His commands, His timing is ultimately perfect. Jesus didn’t say “let me wait until later,” secretly waiting for God to send someone else to do the job instead. Jesus said, “not my will but Yours” and walked obediently to His death.
What is God calling you to do? Are you obeying His command or are you ignoring the call? What is stopping you from listening? What is stopping you from obeying immediately and completely? Maybe you obeyed, but have you complained? Ask God to reveal your attitude. Ask Him to give you a heart of love and obedience for Him. And if you’re uncertain, ask Him to make His commands clear.