I am earning my Mama Badge these days.
My young daughter has entered a phase of defiance. I mean DEFIANCE, y'all. At some point every day for the last week or two, she has "pushed it," so to speak.
And it's not just, "Liley, come here" and she won't come. It's "Liley, come here" and she'll head in the opposite direction.
Forget "head" in the opposite direction. More like RUN in the opposite direction with all her strength.
There's a difference between not coming when you'll called and turning tail and heading in the opposite direction when you're called.
Consider Jonah's defiance. He clearly heard God's command: "Go to Nineveh, Jonah."
And he could have gone.
Or he could have stayed put.
But instead he ran elsewhere. He turned and headed toward Tarshish, in deliberate avoidance of Nineveh. Not to mention in deliberate avoidance of the very command of Almighty God.
I think he'd tell you it wasn't worth it: Caught in a violent storm, tossed overboard like a ragdoll, swallowed whole by a fish and forced to live in its bowels for three days. And then for the grand finale, he was spat out onto dry land.
And then came the command again: "Jonah, go to Nineveh."
This time, he RAN in the way of obedience until his feet stepped on the soil of Nineveh.
I don't want my sweet girl to learn the hard way that defiance is just plain not worth it. I don't want her to be gulped up by some proverbial fish. Oh, but it's sure to happen--Just like her own Mama, she will defy, and she will regret defying. But in time she'll grow in understanding of the worth of obedience, and will grow a great distaste for defiance. I cry out for her heart to be bent toward obedience throughout her life. But I want the same for myself, too. I want a heart that responds by heading toward my own Ninevehs, not turning tail and running in the opposite direction.
Father, turn our hearts toward You. Pluck out these roots of defiance in our hearts. If they're allowed to grow, I do not even want to know what kinds of consequences will result from our rebellion. Just please give us a passion for obedience and a willingness to walk in Your way.