It was the Saturday after the 4th of July and the Girls are Girls club was meeting at the park to talk about all the fun they had enjoyed over the past week. They talked about the parade, and the carnival and the fireworks. They talked about picnics and family trips and boys.
Arriving late to the gathering was Mindy Miller. “Did you have a wonderful 4th of July?” Tracy called out to her as she jumped off her bike. “Don't ever mention that day again!” Mindy growled back at her. “The 4th of July?” Tracy asked to which Mindy replied with a scream. “What's wrong with the 4th of July?” Mindy questioned but Mindy just screamed again.
“Is something wrong, Mindy” Stella asked a little perplexed by Mindy's screams. “The 4th reminds me of independence which reminds me of freedom which, which, which,” Mindy started to answer and then screamed again. “This wouldn't have something to do with wanting to do only what you wanted to, would it?” Came the sound of the leader's voice, the leader being Helen Grey.
When Mindy heard Helen she just turned at her and growled. “I take it you learned something about responsibility and consequences.” Helen commented. “If I Ever Try Such A Foolish Thing Again As To Never Listen.” Mindy stated in return, “MAKE ME!” “I take it then” Helen said, “Things didn't go so well.” “You can say that again.” Mindy's sister chirped in.
After giving Cindy the evil eye, Mindy told everyone about her horrible 4th of July. “I woke up on the forth and decided I wouldn't make my bed.” She told them. “Further more, I decided I wasn't going to clean my room, I would eat what ever I wanted and go where ever I wanted too. I was even going to stay up till midnight but I couldn't stay awake and sleeping was miserable.”
While Mindy was telling everyone what had happened, Cindy sat back and giggled for she knew all to well what had happened. “Have you ever tried to sleep on a lumpy bed with a tummy ache and a sunburn?” Mindy asked “I even missed the parade and the fireworks because I didn't listen and I heard they were great.”
“And now.” Cindy piped in giggling, “Her favorite china doll is broke into a hundred pieces.” “Shut up!” Mindy hollered at her sister. “So,” Helen asked, “was freedom to do what ever you really wanted really worth it?” Bowing her head, Mindy admitted “Not really. I think from now on I'm going to listen, besides I should have know things wouldn't have worked out.”
“Why do you say that?” Helen asked. “Because,” Mindy answered, “They never work out for Harold.” “That's for sure.” Stella chirped in, “You should here what happened to him on the fourth.” “No Thanks!” all the girls said in unison. “Let's talk about girl stuff.”
Can you think of times when obedience to rules would have saved you problems. Can you see how Mindy would have saved herself a lot of problems had she forgone her desired freedom and had done what she had been told to do?
Sometimes God says to do something and we don't know why but we should still do it and sometimes God says not to do something and we don't know why but we should still not to it. Jeroboam was king of the newly Divided Kingdom and was well in to idolatry when a “Man Of God” was sent to him. This story is about the “Man Of God”
And behold, a man of God came out of Judah by the word of the LORD to Bethel. Jeroboam was standing by the altar to make offerings. And the man cried against the altar by the word of the LORD … And the king said to the man of God, "Come home with me, and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward." And the man of God said to the king, "If you give me half your house, I will not go in with you. And I will not eat bread or drink water in this place, for so was it commanded me by the word of the LORD, saying, 'You shall neither eat bread nor drink water nor return by the way that you came.' " So he went another way and did not return by the way that he came to Bethel. Now an old prophet lived in Bethel. And his sons came and told him all that the man of God had done that day in Bethel. They also told to their father the words that he had spoken to the king. And their father said to them, "Which way did he go?" And his sons showed him the way that the man of God who came from Judah had gone. And he said to his sons, "Saddle the donkey for me." So they saddled the donkey for him and he mounted it. And he went after the man of God and found him sitting under an oak. And he said to him, "Are you the man of God who came from Judah?" And he said, "I am." Then he said to him, "Come home with me and eat bread." And he said, "I may not return with you, or go in with you, neither will I eat bread nor drink water with you in this place, for it was said to me by the word of the LORD, 'You shall neither eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by the way that you came.' " And he said to him, "I also am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, 'Bring him back with you into your house that he may eat bread and drink water.' " But he lied to him. So he went back with him and ate bread in his house and drank water. And as they sat at the table, the word of the LORD came to the prophet who had brought him back. And he cried to the man of God who came from Judah, "Thus says the LORD, 'Because you have disobeyed the word of the LORD and have not kept the command that the LORD your God commanded you, but have come back and have eaten bread and drunk water in the place of which he said to you, "Eat no bread and drink no water," your body shall not come to the tomb of your fathers.' " And after he had eaten bread and drunk, he saddled the donkey for the prophet whom he had brought back. And as he went away a lion met him on the road and killed him.
1 Kings 13:1-24 (ESV)
God doesn't tell us to do or not to do things to keep us from enjoying life but that we might enjoy life. One of the reasons Jesus came was for us to have life and to be able to live it to its fullest - John 10:10 - A thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I came to give life—life in all its fullness. (NCV) We need to remember that rules are their for a reason and it not to break them for God knows what happens when we do.
- Joshua 1:8 - Always remember what is written in the Book of the Teachings. Study it day and night to be sure to obey everything that is written there. If you do this, you will be wise and successful in everything. (NCV)
- Psalm 119:9 - How can a young person live a pure life? By obeying your word. (NCV)
- Psalm 119:11 - I have taken your words to heart so I would not sin against you. (NCV)
- Psalm 119:92 - If I had not loved your teachings, I would have died from my sufferings. (NCV)
- Psalm 119:93 - I will never forget your orders, because you have given me life by them. (NCV)
Here's Something To Ponder
- How often have you wished you had obeyed the rules and avoided the consequences?
- How much do you appreciate those who don't listen to you when they should?