You Don’t Have to Understand the ‘Why’
By Rick Warren
“I will quickly obey your commands.” Psalm 119:32 (NCV)
If there’s ever a time in life you need to hurry, it’s when God tells you to act—even if you don’t understand why.
Psalm 119:32 says, “I will quickly obey your commands” (NCV).
You don’t need to fully grasp something to benefit from it. I don’t understand how heavy planes fly in the air, but I fly often. I don’t understand how computers work, but I use one all the time. I don’t understand the internal combustion engine, but I’ve driven a car for years.
You don’t have to understand something to enjoy it and benefit from it. And you don’t have to understand why God tells you to do something to benefit from your obedience.
If you’re a parent, you’ve likely told your child to do something and had them respond, “Why should I do that?” And you may have responded with four little words: “Because I said so.”
When you do that, you’re saying much more than those four words. You’re really saying, “I’ve been around a lot longer than you. You’re not old enough to understand, but one day you will. I’m telling you to do this for your own good.”
And if anyone has the right and the authority to say, “Because I said so,” it’s God, the omnipotent Creator and Ruler of the universe and our heavenly Father.
In the Bible, whenever God gives a command without a specific date on it, he expects immediate action.
I’ll give you an example. When our children were growing up, my wife, Kay, would sometimes call the family to dinner at a specific time. When she said, “Come to dinner at 5:30,” it meant we needed to be ready to eat at that time. But if she said, “Come to dinner!” we knew that meant now.
Kids like to play all kinds of games to delay their obedience.
Sometimes they pretend they don’t hear you. We do this with God all the time. We pretend we can’t hear him, even though he is speaking clearly.
Another game is, “Imagine Mom Is Talking to Someone Else”: “You didn’t mean for me to get to dinner at 5:30, did you?”
We do the same thing with God when we read a command in the Bible and pretend he’s talking to someone else.
But none of these tricks fool God. These delay tactics are a subtle rebellion that question God’s authority or his plan.
Faith is obeying God’s command immediately, even when you don’t understand or when you see roadblocks ahead. Step forward in faith, knowing God is motivated by his love for you and that he has your best interest at heart.
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