When you have it, you can influence.
Without it, you get pushback.
As our kids grew older, reason became our tool to gain buy-in. Reason, we hoped, would aid compliance. Sometimes it did. Other times, not so much. (Did I mention our kids are really strong-willed?)
As I grow older, I find the same thing. Reason has little influence on my own compliance.
Love exerts more influence than reason ever did, but I still want the why behind the what. God, however, often requires me to move out in both faith and obedience before I get the why.
Apart from reason.
Apart from common sense.
Because He says so.
When I pulled that line on my kids, I required action based on my authority as Mom. I wished I had read Luke 5 first, because Jesus doesn’t use it that way at all:
One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. (Bible Gateway.com/NIV)
Peter obeyed not because he wanted to. He didn’t. He’d fished all night. Peter was tired and was ready to go home.
He obeyed not because it made sense. It didn’t. A carpenter giving fishing tips to a pro? Really?
He obeyed not because Jesus pulled rank. Jesus didn’t. He gave a simple instruction.
Peter obeyed because of Who did the asking.
“Because you say so.”
And his obedience led to a monster catch that broke nets.
A monster catch that nearly sank not one boat, but two.
A monster catch that left a group of professional fisherman gaping like a bunch of big-mouthed bass.
A monster catch that led to a career change for Peter that impacts believers today.
All because he obeyed when Jesus said so.
When you hear “Because I said so,” what comes to mind?
Whose requests would you honor regardless?
Whose requests would you have to think about before you made your decision?
What is the difference between the two?
Into what category does God fall?
If He is not in the first one, what would it take to get Him there?
Reason aids my own compliance little. Click to tweet.
Love restrains me more than reason ever did. Click to tweet.
Peter obeyed because of Who did the asking. Click to tweet.