A Right Heart

NorthCarolina_101711_0275When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going they were cleansed. – Luke 17:14

The lepers obeyed Christ’s instructions. They turned to go trusting that they would be healed even though they could not yet see the signs. They trusted.

Obedience is not always an easy task. Our stubborn natures hindering the attitude of our heart. His ways are not our ways and the situation in which He is asking for obedience makes no sense.

As we grow, though, we learn to obey. At first we obey begrudgingly praying our heart will follow. Trusting, but not quite wholeheartedly. Tentatively.

I wonder if any of the ten lepers obeyed with a heart not yet postured for submission. A heart that was tentatively trusting. He told them to go. To go and show themselves to the priest as was the custom. No immediate signs of healing, but “as they were going, they were cleansed.”

I’ve written before about these lepers. How it struck me that healing did not immediately occur. I believe that there are times we must simply go through the motions to find healing.

As I sat discussing obedience and submission I began to wonder if maybe there are times we have to go through the motions of obedience for trust to follow. Even when the attitude of our heart is not one of submission.

We take a step in the direction He shows. We question. Nothing about the situation makes sense. Not on paper. Not to others. And not in our mind. So we follow. We obey saying “Okay, God. I’ll do this. I don’t understand and I’m not really happy about this, but I’ll do it.”

Do you ever wonder if Noah began building the ark with an attitude of submission? He was mocked and taunted. Nothing made sense. No one had ever seen rain. No one could fathom water falling from the sky. There had to be days when Noah became disgruntled. Discouraged. Days where he questioned. But he continued to obey. Choosing to trust.

I can’t say I always have a heart with a attitude of submission when obedience is required. So many times I do the right thing, not out of an attitude of submission, but because it’s the right thing to do. Many times I do not obey because I fear what others will think. There are situations where I bite my tongue to keep the hateful words from tumbling out. Situations where others have said hurtful things and judging based on assumptions they made with no knowledge. Oh how I would like to slander the person. To call them out on judging others. But I don’t. I may be obeying by not tearing this person down, but I am not doing it out of an attitude of submission. I hold my tongue begrudgingly praying that the right attitude will follow. Trusting that He will change my heart.

Yes God would prefer a submissive heart. A heart that glady obeys without question. I think, though, if we continue to obey, that just as the lepers were healed “as they were going” so too will our hearts learn to trust. And in the trusting our heart will learn to follow with a right attitude. An attitude that shines His joy in the obedience.

Do you struggle to obey at times with a right heart?

Life: Unmasked