The Other Side of Your Obedience

Contributing Writer
The Other Side of Your Obedience

Recently a friend of ours felt compelled in her heart to pray for me, my wife, and our family. In a conversation we had with her at a later date, she mentioned that she felt this leading by the Holy Spirit and at first tried to ignore it. However, this leading was so strong that she could not dismiss it any longer. She decided to obey what God was asking her to do and she prayed for us and went one step further – she emailed us a prayer to encourage us.

I think a command and instruction like this is pretty clear. It leaves no room for interpretation. Somehow there was someone in Israel who didn’t quite follow this instruction.

If you read the story, Achan saw these precious items and his heart was filled with covetousness. He probably thought it’s just a few items, no one will even notice that I took them. After all what’s the big deal? Well, the big deal was that he was being disobedient no matter how small it seemed. If you are not familiar with the story here is what happened. The Israelites next town to conquer was a small town called Ai. Since there were only a few people who lived there, this should have been an easy victory. After all they had just conquered the mighty city of Jericho. Here is what happened:

What just happened here? The answer is simple. Just like there is another side of your obedience, there is also another side of your disobedience. In this instance, Achan’s act of disobedience cost the Israelites not only a humiliating defeat, but people died because of Achan’s sin. Also if you notice, God didn’t say Achan was unfaithful, he said the Israelites were unfaithful. One man’s act of disobedience impacted the entire nation. Here was God’s response:

Achan committed an act of disobedience and he saw the result of it. Ultimately, this one act of disobedience cost the lives of men from the Israelite army. It cost Achan his own life and also the lives of his entire family. What a terrible price to pay, but it shows you what is on the other side of disobedience.

One way street signs

Photo credit: Unsplash/Brendan Church

I hope you can see that the decisions and choices you make don’t just affect your life. After all, we don’t live in a vacuum. It doesn’t matter what status you have in life; your decision to obey or not obey will come with consequences. If you obey it will bless you and bless others. If you disobey you not only hurt yourself, but you have the potential to bring others down with you. I think Achan is a good reminder of that.

The bottom line is simple, always choose to obey. Your choices matter, so choose wisely. This will not always be easy. In Achan’s story he saw the beauty of the treasure and his heart got covetous, leading to his act of disobedience. There will be things that will try to move you off your stance of obedience. It could be distraction. It could be delay and the thought of putting it off. It could be anything. Regardless of what it is, just remember there is another side to your obedience, and choosing not to obey may be hurting you and someone else.

More from this author
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The Power of Broken Prayers
2 Important Keys to Unlocking God’s Blessing in Your Life

Photo credit: Unsplash/Jared Murray

Clarence Haynes 1200x1200Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, and co-founder of The Bible Study Club.  He is the author of The Pursuit of Purpose which will help you understand how God leads you into his will. His most recent book is The Pursuit of Victory: How To Conquer Your Greatest Challenges and Win In Your Christian Life. This book will teach you how to put the pieces together so you can live a victorious Christian life and finally become the man or woman of God that you truly desire to be. Clarence is also committed to helping 10,000 people learn how to study the Bible and has just released his first Bible study course called Bible Study Basics. To learn more about his ministry please visit