"When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger." Luke 2:15-16
Hearing a message is only part of the equation. After the shepherds heard they made no excuses. They took a step based on the information they received from God. No excuses. No delays. They heard (see yesterday's devotion for more on hearing from God) and they went. This sounds a lot like what James, the brother of Jesus, said in the book he wrote ...
"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do." James 1:22-25
Sometimes, the easy part is hearing. The message is delivered directly to us. The hard part if following through on what God is calling you to do. The shepherds took a bold step. They had to leave their flock --their job, their responsibilities. But they also had to leave their stress and worry and anxiety. God doesn't always show us exactly where to go. The step is not always a big one. Sometimes it's as simple as doing what the bible says to do. Simple is not always easy.
What is it for you? Forgiveness, kindness, generosity, baptism, paying more attention to your spouse and/or kids, being more reliable at work, controlling what you watch or what you say, or is it something else?
What is God calling you to do right now? What is He asking you to say or not say, to be on not be, to give, or to do?
Read the following passages. Write down what each of these examples teach about obedience --doing what God says to do when God says to do it.
Use your bible concordance (back of your bible) or a Google search to find other places where the bible talk about obedience or give examples of people who were obedient. Based on the verses you find and the ones above what changes need to be made in your life to be more obedient to God?